Cure fans will be delighted to know that their fearless leader Robert Smith he of the high, black hair, red lipstick, lovely British pop sound and 23 million in album sales plans to make not one but two stops in the Toronto area this year.
First, there will be the Cure's headlining performance tomorrow night on the first evening of the three-day Eden Musicfest at Mosport Park. And then, hopefully, a solo date in the fall.
"We got an instant reponse from people, particularly on the Internet, saying why aren't you doing a proper Cure show in Toronto?" said the incomparable Smith, 37, on the phone from Montreal last week. "The date hasn't been confirmed, but it's being held. So it's sort of 90% certain that we'll be there. I think it's the second week in September."
That's the good news. The bad news, for some hardcore fans who have taken to emulating Smith's goth look (no easy task considering he used to wear black velvet dresses to school when he was just 14), is that he has taken scissors to his celebrated head of hair.
"I don't know if it will look like it's been cut to anyone else 'cause it was incredibly long for the last year. But it's pretty modest, sort of quite short," says Smith. "I could probably walk into any social setting and pretty much get by unnoticed."
Further bad news is that Cure's gig at Mosport Park tomorrow night, in support of their critically acclaimed 10th studio album, Wild Mood Swings, will only hint at their current stage show.
"We'll take elements of what we're using. But we've got some very sophisticated 3-D projectionist stuff," says Smith. For an outdoor festival show, obviously the scope has to be pared down.
For the tour, they use "a kind of rundown fairground," set and an everchanging lineup of songs -- the band has some 75 different tunes down -- that gives you a pretty decent night of entertainment.
"It is pretty stunning, this one," said Smith of the stage show designed by Toronto's own Roy Bennett, who's on his third Cure tour. "I think this is the best one we've ever had," said Smith.
"Everyone keeps saying 'Oh you should see this effect, it's incredible.' It feels like I'm floating at certain times on stage."
The Cure is currently playing 11 of the 14 tracks off Wild Mood Swings, and he senses a general excitement about the new album and the tour. The album was recorded at actress Jane Seymour's rented out mansion near Bath, England. ("We exchanged flowers at Christmas, but the house is covered in photographs of her so you never felt like you were that far away from her," says Smith.)
"I've been to see, I won't name anyone, a couple of the bigger bands coming through, and there's so little attempt at making it interesting," says Smith. "People are paying $25 plus for a ticket, so you want to give them something that they're going to take away and talk about and remember."
And if there's one thing Smith is good at it's leaving a lasting impression.
"If I didn't wear makeup I couldn't get on stage," he says. "I'd be much too self-conscious. People have missed that over the years. They've missed kind of the humor involved, some of the irony."
As for that velvet dress from his childhood, Smith says: "My mom actually made it for me. My parents were good about that kind of thing. They were clever 'cause they knew that if they tried to stop me doing something I would do it even more, 'cause I'm that kind of person. So they gave me enough rope and I hung myself. And I got it out my system. I don't wear black velvet dresses very much anymore ... although The 13th video shoot (for the new album's first single) almost got me back into one."