August 1986 - Paris Match (France) (Translation below)

The Cure: their French tour is a triumph
"You have to be British to be crazy."

Afternoon, five o'clock. Jasmine tea evaporates from the cups. Sat around a low table in some friends' London home, Simon Gallup, Robert Smith, Boris Williams and Porl Thompson are discussing, jotting down the outline of a song, commenting on the schedule of the festivals that their group The Cure has been invited to in France. Lol Tolhurst, accomplice number five, is deep in the lecture of a real estate review. "Looking for apartment. Urgent." Not on vacation, but neither really at work, it is an ordinary day in the life of The Cure. With a grace that reminds me of a child, Robert Smith, singer and leader of the group, is getting ready. He installs himself before the mirror and applies some make-up: a little face powder, a dash of black eyeliner under the eyes, sloppily applied lipstick and bushy crimped hair. Haunting personality, Robert Smith carries on his shoulders the Cure machine. It is a myth, a living god for its fans. One "enters The Cure" as one enters a religion, and the most faithful let themselves be impregnated by the craziness and moods of the group. Look-alikes of the rocker flourish almost everywhere on the streets of Paris. Perhaps because of his middle class upbringing, Robert is the first to be surprised (although not overwhelmed) by the passion he is arousing.

Long considered a "cult group" appreciated only by a circle of initiated, The Cure was forcefully propulsed to the firmament in September '85 with the release of their tenth album, "The Head on the Door". More than 300,000 copies have been sold and two singles were in the Top 50, "Inbetween Days" and "Close To Me", which continues its ascendant course. Last Christmas, for their only concert in Paris at the Bercy, tickets sold for up to five times their face value, and hundreds of fans still couldn't get in. Success has not changed the band members. At 27, Robert Smith is still in love with Mary, whom he has met at 14 and with whom he has been living together since leaving his parents' home (late) two years ago. Same for the others. Porl has known Janet, Robert's younger sister, since they were kids, and Simon lives with his first love, Carol.

It is 17:30 in London. The pubs are opening. Malicious winks are exchanged. The Cure boys decide to go to the Warrington Hotel (the place of romantic rendez-vous for officers during the Second World War) in the north of London. At one time, having put on weight and looking unhealthy, Robert had declared that he hadn't had one sober day in six months. Since then, weary of his alcoholic experiences, and under Mary's gentle pressure, he has gone on a diet and rediscovered his adolescent vitality. And if he sometimes skirts his new discipline, it is, he says apologizing, "to continue sharing the other's craziness. Besides, you have to be British to be crazy!"

-- by Cecile Tesseyre
-- photos by Benoit Gysembergh

Photo legend:
For the reporters of Paris Match, the new idols The Cure amuse themselves at playing the street musicians on the streets of London. From left to right: Porl Thompson, Lol Tolhurst, Boris Williams, Simon Gallup and Robert Smith. Left page, from top to bottom: at a friend's London apartment. At the Warrington Hotel. A shared taste for ice-cream. Simon crimping Robert's hair.

THANKS to: Aria Thelmann  @ Music For Dreams for the TRANSLATION. 


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