Nobody was to know when it was announced last year – but holding a massive festival on 7 July 2018 was a rather risky move.
British Summer Time at Hyde Park played host to some of goth, indie and shoegazes biggest artists at the same time that England were taking on Sweden in the hopes of making the semi-finals of the World Cup.
It was poor Editors that ended up playing at the same time as the match (which, if you havent heard, England won), with frontman Tom Smith admitting: Im sure many wont come to the gig until the game finishes… but many will, plus Im sure loads will have it on on their phones whilst we play and I for one cant wait to soundtrack Spurs dire attempts to score a goal in open play for those World Cup crazy technologically savvy sunburnt goths stood in Hyde Park this Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the day, it ended up being chants of its coming home that soundtracked the gloriously hot day in Hyde Park – not exactly the backdrop you expect for watching one of musics most famous goth frontmen taking to the stage.
Almost 40 years to the day of the bands first gig as The Cure in The Rocket in Crawley on 9 July 1978, The Cure headlined British Summer Time with a career-spanning set – and plenty of jokes about the heavily made-up Cure fans who were standing in the blazing 29 degree heat.
After kicking off their two-and-a-half-hour-long set with Plainsong, Robert Smith quipped: I cant speak until the sun goes down. Its taking all of my energy not to dissolve into a puddle.
The show may have been short on small talk, but it definitely didnt scrimp on the hits.
In the first half of the set, favourites including Just Like Heaven, Lovesong and In Between Days got an airing, while songs like Fascination Street and Pictures of You were played in all their five-minute-intro glory.
And the crowd was eating it up. The crowd consisted of everyone from sixty-year-old goths in full make-up (in that weather, its no joke), dads dancing with their sons, and little kids on their parents shoulders – including the coolest little girl in the world who, wearing pink headphones, kept throwing up the hand horns at the stage.
Its a testament to how iconic The Cures music is that the ticket-holders covered all generations. While older fans were delighted to hear lesser-played cuts like Grinding Halt and Jumping Someone Elses Train, younger attendees were thrilled as the trademark opening bars of Boys Dont Cry and Friday Im In Love rang out.
Finishing up the set with 10.15 Saturday Night and Killing An Arab, Robert told the sold-out crowd: If youd asked me then what I thought Id be doing in 40 years time, I couldnt have told you it was this.
But after that performance, its hard to think that their 50th anniversary wont be spent the same way.
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time at Hyde Park continues with headlining performances from Eric Clapton, Michael Buble, Bruno Mars and Paul Simon, from 8-15 July.
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