The Cult, Love (1985)

Poole Arts Centre. November 1985. My first ever gig (apart from ‘Holiday on Ice’ that my Nan took my to when I was 10). And it was gorgeous. Unlike anything the world had ever seen (or so I thought). The music was so loud and the crowd so energetic that the floor was bouncing. No hyperbole. Even if I’d wanted to extricate myself from the mosh and empty my excited bladder there’d have been no chance without the serious risk of trampled death. But I was going nowhere; mesmerised by the gangly, Morrisonesque lead singer smashing the tambourine into his head so hard that it bled. How COOL. And this was ‘The Cult’. The band that for a short time at least became everything. Touring the country to support their first album, Love, a searing, rock-psychedelia of an album, loaded with haunting, posturing indie-rock and wildly metaphoric lyrics. An album that contained, in ‘She Sells Sanctuary,’ one of the best songs ever imagined, with its swirling 20-layers of guitar track and massive rhythm section. But it was not just ‘Sanctuary’ that did made this album great – it was ‘Nirvana,’ ‘Revolution,’ and ‘Rain,’; ‘The Phoenix,’ ‘Hollow Man,’ and ‘Big Neon Glitter.’ Fake native American mythology was combined with rock god pompousness, in a heady combination that (if I’m honest) took itself W-A-Y too seriously. Though in 1985 that didn’t matter a jot. Indeed, maybe that was the whole point. What did matter was that twice I had to buy a new needle for my record player because I wore the previous one out playing the disc over and over again; that my throat hurt most every day because I sang all the tracks at full tilt in my bedroom every chance I got. It was Love, literally. An album that was so good that for a while it was even in love with itself.