Robert Smith

Last week, the Cure played a few London shows to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust, and those shows were vast in scope — too vast for at least one critic. Writing in The Guardian, Caroline writes that the 45 songs that the band played were simply too many and that “they’ve yet to work out how to build up a show.” And when a commenter took exception, she responded within the comments section, “I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.” This turned out to be not quite accurate, as Cure frontman Robert Smith pointed out via every rock star’s favorite medium, the all-caps screed.

As Pitchfork points out, Smith responded by taking to the Cure’s Facebook and writing this:

“I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.” Caroline Sullivan… WHAAAT?!!

SHE WAS COMMENTING ON HER OWN GUARDIAN ‘REVIEW’ OF OUR EPIC 45 SONG 213 MINUTE FRIDAY RAH TEENAGE CANCER TRUST SHOW

TO BE CLEAR – AND ON THE BEST AUTHORITY – THE BAND HAVE INDEED READ THE REVIEW – BUT DID NOT LIKE IT!

THE REVIEW WAS – TO PUT IT POLITELY – LAZY NONSENSE… swampy… numbing… yet to work out how to build up a show… GULP!!!

BUT WE NOW KNOW WHERE WE HAVE BEEN GOING WRONG ALL THIS TIME: Condensed into 90 minutes, this would have been one of the gigs of the year

WE PLAY TOO MANY SONGS! DOH! BUT… IS IT NOT VERY OBVIOUS THAT WE PLAY OUR OWN SHOWS (AS OPPOSED TO FESTIVAL HEADLINES) FOR FANS OF THE BAND?

THAT IS WHY WE PLAY A MIX OF SONGS, AND WHY WE PLAY FOR AS LONG AS WE DO…

WHEN WE GO TO SEE AN ARTIST WE ARE FANS OF, WE DON’T WANT THE PERFORMANCE TO END… THAT’S WHAT BEING A FAN MEANS… ISN’T IT?

WE HAD TWO FANTASTIC NIGHTS, PLAYING TO GREAT CROWDS FOR A WONDERFUL CHARITY… THE GUARDIAN ‘REVIEW’ WAS SAD BITTER JUNK

PS. AS FOR THE TORYGRAPH HACK… sigh… ONWARDS

Sullivan later wrote another piece about the band’s set and her reaction to it, and she ended the piece with this kicker: “OK, Robert. Buy you a drink?” This did not exactly placate Smith, and he responded again:

LAZY NONSENSICAL CONTENT ASIDE; WE WERE DRIVEN TO REACT TO CAROLINE SULLIVAN’S ‘REVIEW’ BY THE BLATANT DISHONESTY OF HER ACCOMPANYING COMMENT

“I have it on good authority that the band have read the review and liked it.” IT WAS SIMPLY TOO MUCH TO IGNORE…

HAVING EXPOSED THE LIE, WE FIGURED WE WOULD AT THE VERY LEAST GET SOME KIND OF A HANDS IN THE AIR “IT’S A FAIR COP GUV” FROM HER FOR ATTEMPTING SUCH A BANAL SELF SERVING DECEPTION… WE THOUGHT THERE MIGHT EVEN BE A FAINT CHANCE THAT SHE WOULD BE MOVED TO APOLOGISE TO HER READERS FOR MAKING STUFF UP!

BUT AS COMMENT BY COMMENT SHE DIGS HER EVASIVE HOLE A LITTLE DEEPER, IT WOULD SEEM WE HOPED FOR TOO MUCH…

A SHAME. WE ALWAYS THOUGHT THE GUARDIAN AND ITS JOURNALISTS VALUED TRUTH?

“OK, Robert. Buy you a drink?”… gulp!!!

HONESTLY? ummm… WE WOULD PREFER YOU JUST REVIEWED WITH A TAD MORE UNDERSTANDING AND HONESTY AND CONSIDERING LINES LIKE “Not as scary […] as Robert Smith in full fig” MAYBE THREW A FEW LESS STONES? OR MOVED OUT OF YOUR GLASS HOUSE?!!

“Rock is about grabbing people’s attention.” REALLY? THAT’S WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ‘BE ABOUT’? YOU THINK THAT’S IT? IT WOULD EXPLAIN A LOT

WE WILL NOW DRAW A LINE UNDER THE ‘SAD BITTER JUNK REVIEW’ EPISODE, AND SLIP BACK OUT INTO THE WORLD WITH A SHAKE OF THE HEAD AND A SMILE…

PREFERRING THE OLD GOTH DISNEY DICTUM TO ROCKER SIMMONS’;

“WE ARE NOT TRYING TO ENTERTAIN THE CRITICS; WE’LL TAKE OUR CHANCES WITH THE PUBLIC”

It’s generally not a great idea for stars to respond to their critics, but Smith is right about at least one thing: Actual fans are never going to be bummed out that a favorite band is playing for too long.

Comments (31)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Okay, but seriously people, you don’t find the ALL CAPS thing is a bit silly? Robert Smith also wasn’t saying anything that most people would have already realized if he had simply said, “Uh, no we didn’t like the article.”

      • I’m just worried that he’s going to break his MacBook Air if he hits those keys any harder.

        (You’ll have to have a good memory to get this reference)

      • that’s why I enjoy it. It’s a bit silly. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if he had been as rational as your response.

    • I hate the idiot police downvoting people and leaving the ”popular” people’s opinions undownvoted. People are fickle and stupid that way. I upvoted ya cause you’ve a right to yer opinion. Scott, take out the downvoting :) It just encourages favorites.

  2. Furthering her laziness was the whole “buy you a drink?” appeasement, which to me makes my blood boil every time I read someone say something along those lines, just like when people say, “We should hang out sometime!” and you know they’re never going to actually follow through with that offer. I remember that time some Brooklyn-based web site confused M. Nelson with me in these comments and published a non-story about a non-troversy in their pages, which they were later forced to delete and apologize for, and the writer replied back to M. Nelson’s tweet, “Sorry man, I owe you a beer!” and it’s just like, “Dude, do you even know M. Nelson IRL? Does he even want to waste his time on you? Don’t go making promises you have no intention on following through with.” Same thing goes for this lady.

    tl;dr: People need to stop trying to convincing themselves they are off the hook by throwing around insincere “should-vites” and virtual beer mugs.

    • Personally, I thought her ‘buy a drink’ quip was designed as a simply rhetorical retaliation to Smiths ALL CAP written assault on her, but whatever…hardly the point here.

      The shock here is that a writer took an effort to point out a band (playing for a worthy cause, mind you) playing ‘too long?’ If you are going to criticize a show, I’m sorry, but length should not be on the top of any negative commentary regarding the event. How about something like, “…and although the set was a monstrous 45 songs, The Cure came and delivered for the crowd which is quite commendable.”

      We’re talking about a band that’s been around for 40 years, and the fact they took to the stage for a 45 song set list may be one of the most devoted gestures any band could have done for their fans or the cause they were there supporting.

      As if I needed a reason to love Smith more.

      • Yep, if it was “too long” she could have left the show after an hour. I really hope she wasn’t being held there against her will. But if so, how do I sign up for that kind of torture?

  3. GULP. I’m going to start using that phrase. Is it common across the pond or is that just a Robert Smith thing?

  4. “WHEN WE GO TO SEE AN ARTIST WE ARE FANS OF, WE DON’T WANT THE PERFORMANCE TO END… THAT’S WHAT BEING A FAN MEANS… ISN’T IT?”

    Yes, exactly. BRAVO Robert Smith BRAVO.

  5. Maybe the Critic is just finding it hard to deal with the fact that she’s not in her twenties anymore. And standing for a long show makes us tired, not matter how much we like the band.

  6. Three star live gig reviews – serious business clearly.

  7. For those that don’t know…. Robert Smith has written on the internet in all caps for as long as I can remember. It’s like……his thing. I still always read caps as someone yelling though.

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • GULP! CAN’T resist:

      “Dude, you’re article sucks…” Great way to kick off a complaint about someone’s writing! I know you know what a contraction is because of a line later on in YOUR complaint: “Robert didn’t ‘go nuts’ on anybody.” Didn’t = did not. CORRECT USAGE! You’re = you are. INCORRECT USAGE!

      Even funnier is in the middle of YOUR complaint when you gift us with this line: “…by rephrasing your being an honest writer?” Oh man, nothing is sweeter than somebody attempting to use both “you’re” AND “your” in the same post and fucking them BOTH up. YOU’RE clearly confused.

      Whether you have a valid point or not about Tom’s writing is irrelevant when you CAN’T (as in can not. Contractions, remember?) even string a grammatically correct sentence together. Even if YOU’RE capable of using the words lambast and douche properly in the same post.

      • I upvoted you.

        Remember, kids…whenever you feel the need to criticize someone, be sure to triple-check your writing.

    • Go easy. Tom didn’t write anything to court controversy. I think your only beef should be with The Guardian son.

  9. sci79  |   Posted on Apr 3rd -1

    I love a concise set list! Hit the audience with your best stuff, leave an impression and call it a night – I need my 8hrs.

    • Then stay home and rent the concert on net-flix or something. If I am going to pay for a ticket, as much as they cost, I want to see as long of a show as I can. Especially a band like the cure who doesn’t tour much, or hit every city when they do.

  10. The way concert ticket prices are these day, every band should learn from the Cure and play a massive set. :D Good on ya, Robert.

  11. Why can’t Kanye West respond as eloquently as Robert Smith? And The Cure or Ryan Adams or other artists that put their blood, sweat and tears into that many songs should never be ripped into by a journalist for ”playing too much material for too long”. She’s in the stands with her I-Phone doing nothing but sitting there while The Cure tear it up under hot lights and caked makeup.

  12. IM TYPING SO FUCKING HARD RIGHT NOW~!!!!!11!1

  13. ” but Smith is right about at least one thing: Actual fans are never going to be bummed out that a favorite band is playing for too long.”

    I disagree with this. Back in the mid/late 90′s I went to see Guided By Voices at the Cat’s Cradle. At the time, GBV were part of a holy indie-rock trinity for me (Pavement and Sebadoh were the other two.) This was the first time that I had seen them and I was psyched. The show was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but once the third encore began, I left. And I don’t regret it.

  14. Robert Smith is my imaginary husband…..

    ….Anyways, Robert knows how to rant a rant. Kudos!

  15. Well she did describe it as “swampy, bass-drenched,” which is ALL I need to hear. Simon Gallup Represent! But to not even mention Reeves’ execution as the new guy? She got a heavy dose of that new wave thunderbird bass and her poor brain turned to pudding. She’ll heal. And the internet puts The Cure live on the front pages. I’m loving this whole thing.

  16. Robert Smith is a godlike genius.

    The Cure are the greatest band of all time.

    Fact remains: The Cure shows are just way too damn long.

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