Festivals — April 10, 2018 at 7:01 am

Robert Smith to play Meltdown with ‘curious friends,’ says he’s working on new music

London’s Meltdown festival today announced the remainder of the acts slated for this year’s Robert Smith-curated series of concerts, including festival closer CURÆTION-25: a two-hour performance by Smith at which he’ll be “joined onstage by four of his curious friends.”

Festival organizers describe the June 24 performance at Royal Festival Hall by saying The Cure’s frontman will be “joined onstage by four of his curious friends – and other, imaginary accompanists – to perform special interpretations based on a very particular selection of songs he has sung throughout the years.”

This year’s Meltdown, the 25th anniversary of the festival, runs June 15 to 24 at the Southbank Centre in the U.K. capital. Previously announced acts include My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, The Psychedelic Furs, Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses, and The Church. New acts announced today include  Death Cab For Cutie, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad and Suzanne Vega.

As for Smith’s performance, it’s not yet known who will join the curator on stage, thought it sounds like it will be The Cure — even though the band’s 40th anniversary concert in London’s Hyde Park this June had been billed as the Cure’s only European performance this year.

Smith did not reveal much during an interview with BBC 6 Music this morning.

“It will be me and four other people that I know really well, and some others,” he said, according to the NME. Smith added that he’ll be playing “primarily Cure songs” and interpretations of tracks by the band with “different instrumentation,” and noted that the Meltdown set will be “completely different to the Hyde Park show” and “a little bit more weird.”

Smith also said The Cure plans to play more shows in 2019, according to NME, and he’s considering celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band’s 1989 landmark Disintegration.

Perhaps most tantalizingly, Smith revealed that the process of curating the Meltdown festival has inspired to him to start writing new songs and get back into the recording studio.

“I’ve listened to more new music in the last six months than I ever have. I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the idea of writing new songs, so it’s had a really good effect on me. .. I booked some time to do some demos next month. Some of it’s really good, some of it not so good. I never wanted to be in a position where I was forcing myself to write, I’ve never felt comfortable with that.”

Listen to the full interview below.






  1. speechless… roadtrip!

  2. “Ok Robert…”

  3. We all know he’s full of nonsense when it comes to new music. It’s been a decade… and the last several albums were awful. Last time RS put out a good album was Bloodflowers and that was 18 years ago!

    But live, The Cure delivers beyond any other band. Simple as that.

    • And the last GREAT album was “Disintegration” which was nearly….and I can barely bring myself to type this….30 years ago!

  4. I hope that his four friends are Pearl, Simon, Boris and Lol. I also hope that he keeps them around for the next show and the mythical new record.

  5. I hope that “Things will never be the same” is one of those new songs he is talking about and that he gives that song a proper release and recording.

  6. Pupsmaschine

    “I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the idea of writing new songs.”
    Ehm, what have you done in the last 10 years since 4:13 ? Gardening ?

  7. Agree. That song is awesome and better thank anything off 4:13 with a possible exception to Underneath The Stars.

  8. I think The Scream, All Kinds of Stuff, Hungry Ghost, NY Trip, Truth Goodness and Beauty, Before Three, and others are great cure songs and really can’t join in to bash everything because they didn’t write exactly what I expected, like Underneath the Stars. UTS is redundant and although good, its just Uyea Sound with lyrics so its the same people wanting them to remain at Wish or earlier and never do anything else. The last two albums had shitty production more than the songs being at fault. I’ll gladly welcome any new material as long as they never get pedestrian, like Cut Here, ever again.

    • I agree. Even though it is so maligned, 2004 has some of the best songs post Wish. Lost, Labyrinth, Going Nowhere, The Promise, Anniversary, Truth, Goodness and Beauty are all great songs and it is the only time that Cooper’s drumming sounds okay. The 2004 b-sides are perhaps even better. Fake and and This Morning are excellent. Some of the songs are horrible, usually the contrived pop songs. Smith should really stop trying to write pop music. He hasn’t written a good pop single since the 1980s. When he doesn’t do that, his songwriting is still pretty good.

  9. Scott: You have a point there. The (IMO) DIY sounding production does seem to take away from it all. I love All Kinds of Stuff/NY Trip, Siren Song, Switch, Hungry Ghost and a few others on that album quite a lot. Underneath The Stars does have some redundancy to it. My bad.

    Beauty is in the ear of the beholder. When It Can Never Be The Same snuck out I was dealing with a loss and – like so many other greats – it effected me in a way none of the other tracks off 4:13 did. But that doesn’t give me the right to dismiss them.


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