Obits — April 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Gary Biddles, of Cure spin-offs Fools Dance and Presence, dies

Gary Biddles

Gary Biddles, a onetime roadie for The Cure who sang in Fools Dance and Presence in the ’80s and ’90s, each of which featured members of that band, has died, according to former Cure keyboardist Lol Tolhurst. The details surrounding Biddles’ death are not yet known.

As Chain of Flowers notes, Tolhurst posted the following message on his band Levinhurst’s Facebook page today: “RIP Gary Biddles. My friend. We will always love you.”

Former Cure drummer Andy Anderson also chimed in on Facebook: “This is very sad new’s indeed, He was a great friend, back in the early days with the Cure.”

To diehard Cure fans, Biddles is perhaps best known for the band’s impromptu jam “The Cure Is Dead,” which closed the final concert of the Pornography tour in Brussels on June 11, 1982, and featured Biddles on vocals, Robert Smith on drums, Simon Gallup on drums and Tolhurst on bass. You can hear the performance below.

In “Ten Imaginary Years,” Smith recalls:

“Before the concert, Lol and I sat in the dressing room, miserable because we knew it was the end. The show was quite flat and, during the encore, Biddles came on and started singing ‘Smith’s a wanker, Tolhurst’s a wanker, only Simon’s worth anything in this band’. I was drumming, so I stopped, threw the drumsticks at the back of his head and told him to fuck off. Everyone looked at each other… and that was it.”

After Gallup left The Cure, he and Biddles formed the band Fools Dance, which released a pair of albums during its short-lived career before Gallup re-joined The Cure. Then, in 1990, after Tolhurst was fired from The Cure, he, Biddles and former Cure bassist Michael Dempsey formed Presence, and released the album Inside in 1990. The band recorded a second album in 1992 that was never released until being posted on Soundcloud last month (stream it in full below).

Presence had reunited and was working on new material.

According to Chain of Flowers, Smith dedicated “A Forest” to Biddles during The Cure’s concert in Lima, Peru, on Wedensday night, introducing the song by saying, “This is for Biddles” (see video below).


The Cure, “A Forest,” Lima, Peru, 4/17/13


The Cure with Gary Biddles, “The Cure Is Dead”


Fools Dance, “I’m So Many (Talk Talk)”


Presence, “Act of Faith”


Presence, Closer (Unreleased second album)




  1. Rest in peace, Gary :'(

  2. This was intended to be part of 30 year anniversary posting, but it’s now more a tribute.

    The Cry – Covent Garden Rock Garden 19th April 1983
    Featuring Gary Biddles, Matthieu Hartley and Simon Gallup

    • Paul Thompson (Tot)

      Hi Was
      Indeed it is very, very sad news that Gary has passed away. I was the original drummer with Cry and that’s me drumming at the Rock Garden with Matthieu, Simon and guitarist Stuart Curran, but on this occassion Gary had not yet joined the band and the Singer was Ian Fuller, Gary joined about 2 or 3 months later when the newly named Fools Dance became a 3 piece with just Gary, Simon and Stuart. I later teamed up with Gary on the single They’ll never know. He will be sadly missed.

      Kindest regards

      Tot (Paul Thompson)

      • Thanks for the update. I’ve never managed to set hold of the setlist. Do you know which song Simon did the singing on?

        Re: the gig recording… I’d rushed across town from seeing Cocteau Twins and OMD hence the missing beginning.

        Dined out for years telling people I was there! :-D

        • Paul Thompson (Tot)

          Can’t remember the full set list, but Simon sang ‘the ring’which was in the first half of the set that’s missing. The second to last track before the encore was sung by Matthieu with Ian finishing off on vocals and for some strange reason, maybe Stuart can shed some more light on it, it was called ‘Brian’s Trousers’. I agree with you Stuart Gary certainly left his mark

    • Stuart Curran

      Tot has beaten me to it, that was Ian Fuller not Gary at that Rock Garden gig. Never realized there was a recording of this gig.
      I new Gary from when he was about 16, a really colorful character,he has left his mark RIP Gary.

  3. Always thought “Act of Faith” is a gem of a track!

  4. Sorry to hear…he had a great voice. There’s a good interview with him in ’11 from the Seattle PI:

  5. Re: Stuart curran – its fitz from Leicester. I did record that cry gig at the rock garden I’ll try and unearth it from my loft along with a few of those gigs in Holland and the Xmas show. Was really sorry to hear about Gary as he’d recently found me on Facebook and seemed his usual passionate self.

  6. Hi, this is all really interesting, I lived in Smallfield for years and there used to be a band there called Crime, which were around at the same time, am I right in thinking Stuart Curran played guitar with them ? I have a tapes somewhere with some Crime songs on it….

    • Paul Thompson (Tot)

      Hi Rob
      You are right Stuart played guitar with Crime along with Keith Davis, Sean Dixon and myself.

      Kind regards

      Tot (Paul Thompson)

  7. I know it’s a long time now but did they ever say what was the cause of death?

    • Paul Thompson (Tot)

      Hi Nick
      Lol (Tolhurst) does mention something in his book “Cured The tale of two imaginary boys” about the possible cause of Gary’s death, but nothing official

      Kind regards

      Tot (Paul Thompson)

  8. I noticed that second album isn’t on Soundcloud anymore, but it is on Spotify amazingly.

  9. Pmr De Leede

    Sad to read Gary passed away. I toured around with fools dance in the netherlands in those days as a friend of the band. Gary was a great guy. Stuart can you remember me? Patrick

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