The Cult + Claytown Troupe – 24/11/89 – Wembley Arena

My friends split into two groups that night, one lot to go and see The Wonderstuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin at Brixton Academy, and the rest of us to the Olympic swimming pool turned concert venue to see The Cult. I loved The Cult. Still think Love and Electric are two classic albums. This was the Sonic Temple tour, and although the album was much more LA than Liverpool there were some great tracks on it.

The Cult ticket Nov 1989

Awful seats in the Wembley Hangar though, halfway back but way up on the side, so wasn’t expecting a great sound.

The Cult Kerrang! advert Nov 1989First up, a support act called Claytown Troupe, of whom I had never heard. They were an odd band, sort of indie/goth rock, with a possible god-bothering element. Through The Veil, their one album at the time is OK, couple of good tunes but nothing special. Not great from halfway back at Wembley anyway.

The Cult are aaatrocious live – specifically, Ian Astbury just cannot sing. I wouldn’t put him in the same category as Ian Brown, but he’s not far behind. He’s not flat like Ian Brown, it’s as though he is constantly very short of breath, and can’t hold a note for more than a second. Consequently, he just doesn’t do any of his songs justice. Which is a shame. Billy Duffy was just playing the rock god the whole night and Matt Sorum (soon to be G’n’R’s tub thumper), is one of those drummers that constantly throws his sticks up in the air and twirls them round his fingers like a sweaty leather clad drum majorette. Cock of the highest order. They did a couple of songs well – I remember Edie (Ciao Baby) was good, and Revolution, but was a bit disappointed by Love Removal Machine and She Sells Sanctuary. Overall, a bit of a let down.

The evening was topped off by a psycho pulling a knife on me in the train on the way home. He actually tried to stab me, the fucker, but some combination of primeval survival instinct (mm, yah, right, it all happened in like, slow motion, you know?) and very good fortune enabled me to land a kick on his windpipe which frightened him off. Someone pulled the emergency handle and he jumped out of the door and disappeared down the embankment and into the night somewhere between Surbiton and Wimbledon. Trés bizarre.


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