The Cult

The Cult, eh? Where have they been since one-off hit She Sells Sanctuary?

Well, frontman, Ian Astbury, has been fronting The Doors and his stint as replacement Jim Morrisson has done his ego no harm! Larger than life and twice as full of himself, he bigs up an ordinary set of songs into an event for fans. This is the band as his possession (along with Billy Duffy on guitar) – they have never managed to keep the same line-up for more than a couple of years. Now, some of us barely remember what The Cult sound like and when Ian takes the mic to tell us how critics slag them off as a sub hair-metal band from the eighties, he sums up the sound precisely. It’s hard rocking, head shaking metal of the old school, minus the bouffant hair and silly clothes. And enjoyable at that, nothing wrong with some rock.

Ian Astbury appears onstage in a very silly beaver hat and sweats profusely for the next eighty minutes as they work through the back catalogue to finish, of course, with She Sells Sanctuary. He’s gone native – from his Bradford roots to an mid-Atlantic accent – and picked up a major attitude along the way. Much like the hair metal bands he doesn’t want to be compared to, he spends the night puffing his ego. “I’m back”, he says, “too real”. “Some of you people couldn’t handle it”, he adds mysteriously before announcing, “this is the revolution”. Is he chemically enhanced or is this pure testosterone? Whatever; with his commanding voice, self belief and a hard-rocking band, this is a fine way to spend an hour or two and probably the only Cult disc you’ll ever need to buy, serving, as it does, as a ‘greatest hits’.

Ross McGibbon