Win: Tickets to see The Cult (and a CD)

Last updated 09:56 27/04/2010

I'm not trying to win you back after giving you the week away from my writing. Honestly, I'm not. It just worked out this way. During my "week off" I was lucky to speak to Ian Astbury from The Cult. The Cult play Auckland next Monday, May 3. I wish I could go. But I cannot. I have to think up ways to win back my audience after giving you the week away from my I'll be busy.

The CultBut, very kindly, the promoters of the show have given me one double pass and a copy of the Pure Cult greatest hits CD to give away.

So we'll do that today. One lucky reader - preferably someone who lives in the Auckland area, or who is prepared to pay for their own travel to get to the gig in Auckland from wherever they live - will score two tickets and a CD.

But first, we'd better hear a bit from Ian.

He was in New York when I spoke to him. And tells me straight off, when I ask why the band has chosen the Love album to play in its entirety for this tour, that "Billy [Duffy] had the idea to perform the album at the Royal Albert Hall. It had been a long-standing ambition. We just felt it was that sort of album - one that could stand up to a Royal Albert Hall show. And it's gone from there - taking that idea and we've been pleased with the shows. So they have continued."

Astbury, 47, a Merseysider who had been in Southern Death Cult and then, with Duffy, shortened that to Death Cult before becoming The Cult, speaks in clipped, short sentences. He is smart and appears to answer questions urgently - waiting for more; waiting for spaces to wax philosophical. Waiting for the gaps to plug his other ventures. Until he gets bored. Something that happens a lot.

He laughs at any thought of he and Duffy being compared to other famous guitarist/singer duos like, most obviously Mick and Keef from The Stones or Tyler and Perry from Aerosmith.

"Oh god no - not at all. Billy and I are not married!" And then there's a break off for some laughter. The kind that is not altogether mocking but is certainly designed to give the feeling that any such comparisons are absurd; utterly, utterly absurd.

"I am able to go away and do my stuff and Billy is able to go away and do his stuff - and you don't get that if you feel like you're in a musical marriage. We know the songs together, we wrote so many of them together and that's the common bond. Beyond that we explore different avenues. I'm working a lot with film now - I've got a film in a festival at the moment and I'm exploring both documentary and short film making. And I'm looking at other music outside of The Cult too. But for right now I'm enjoying being in The Cult again."

There's a need for Astbury to prove things. It comes out many times in the space of our taut 15-minute chat.

"For a start, I play guitar as well, I've just not felt the need to play guitar on stage with The Cult. I mean, I wrote The Witch! But I have respect for this material; it is the work of the band The Cult. And I don't need to go off and play it when it's not me and Billy and the band."

He then goes on to detail that he did play a handful of songs from The Cult when on the tour with his first significant post-Cult band (during the first breakup), The Holy Barbarians.

"But again, they were the songs I wrote - so that's fair".

The Cult - LoveThere will be new material from The Cult. Apparently an EP is being readied - part of a series. Just don't go calling it an EP. They have a fancy new name, you see...

"First of all," and it feels like David Brent in performance-review mode here, "check your calendar: it's 2010 mate. 'EP' is old technology that stands for 'elongated play', that's dated. So we're not releasing an EP. We're releasing 'a capsule'."

Astbury explains that this will take the form of new songs and will include "a film aspect, music videos that you can download or purchase on DVD and maybe a T-shirt".

They will also look to release the fancy new capsule on both vinyl - and cassette tape. Yes. Old technology though, isn't it?

"Well yes, but you see this is where the capsule idea comes from - it 'encapsulates' it all. Whatever we decide to release will be available in whatever format for download or over-the-counter purchase. Or to buy at gigs. We need to move with the times."

So, they'll be moving with the times and releasing material on tape?

Astbury chuckles, but only slightly. "Well, I'd like to". I tell him that I've read he has a recent fascination with tape, finding an old Walkman and using it to listen to playbacks of recordings.



But the awkward silence doesn't last too long - and when I ask about his involvement with The Doors (Astbury fronted The Doors of the 21st Century; tackling the Jim Morrison role, working with original Doors Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger during a long hiatus from The Cult).

"Well I can honestly say that I was never much of a front man until I worked with those guys. They taught me so much - things that I have taken back with me and use now with The Cult. I just learned so much from working with those legends."

Of course they must have learnt a lot as they worked with one of rock music's ultimate performers back in the day, right?

"Well, yes of course and we could talk all day about that - but we don't have time. So let's go back to The Cult."

New material will be performed in the second half of the show - there'll be the Love album and then Astbury says there will be a few "brand new songs" as well as "all the hits". He believes the band has never sounded better.

But that is an obvious thing to say - and Astbury times it so that he can add, "I better press on. Good luck!"

I didn't really enjoy talking to Astbury. But I gave it a shot.

But I did enjoy seeing his band in 1995.

Mickey Rourke contemplates another title role with 'W' in the titleThe Pure Cult CD is a staple for me - one of my favourite band compilations and one of the longest-serving CDs in my music collection.

So many of the simple riff-as-song tunes like Fire Woman, Lil' Devil and Wild Flower are favourites of mine. Of course there's the fuzzy grinding pulse behind The Witch which I dig too. And She Sells Sanctuary is a great way for the Best-Of CD to open. Just as Sun King, Sweet Soul Sister and Earth Mofo is a great three-song finale. But you pretty much can't put a step wrong with the Pure Cult CD.

So, are you going to The Cult? Or do you wish you were?

And if you'd like to win a CD and two tickets to Monday's show, just write in below telling me why I should give you the prize. You must also name your three favourite Cult songs and your favourite album - beyond Love.

I will announce the winner later on this post - in the comments section. The winner's capsule-answer (an answer that encapsulates Cult fandom) will be my choice to make. So go to it...

Good luck!

Here's my least favourite Cult song.

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Post a comment
hh   #1   10:09 am Apr 27 2010

Your least favourite Cult song is my favourite Cult song. Each to their own I guess!

Greg   #2   10:12 am Apr 27 2010

I have truely been a fan since the 80's where I owned The Cults "Electric" album in vinyl, tape then of course CD at a later date. I used to play the whole album end to end in my walkman before sprint races at athletic meetings to get myself fired up before running. My faves were Wild flower, Peace Dog and loved the cover of Steppenwolfs Born to be wild.. Would be a blast to se them live!

Mike   #3   10:14 am Apr 27 2010

You should give me the tickets as I've been a fan of these guys since Ian Astbury's Southern Death Cult days. I'm 34, and married with a 2 year old daughter so this could be my last ever opportunity to dust off the leather pants. The only reason I don't have tickets already is because my wife wouldn't let me go (yes, I'm whipped).. but if I won tickets I'd HAVE to go. My favourite album of all time is Sonic Temple. Songs: Soul Asylum, She Sells Sanctuary, Love Removal Machine

Old Drunk Mike   #4   10:17 am Apr 27 2010

You should give me the prize Simon because back in the day I had Electric on cassette and my Sanyo double tape deck with 'Hi-Speed' dubbing chewed it to bits. Sympathy vote? No? Oh well... Three favourite Cult Songs-She Sells Sanctuary, Fire Woman and Coming Down (Drug Tongue) Best album- Sonic Temple

Don 1   #5   10:23 am Apr 27 2010

I'm rigid with excitement at the thoughts of this gig. Or possibly thrumming. Either way, I'm pretty up for it. I've already got a ticket, dammit, but I won't care once Billy straps on the Gretsch White Falcon and starts banging out the intro to Nirvana. And how good a song is rain? One verse, one chorus and still great.

Danny   #6   10:33 am Apr 27 2010

I would love to go, but it is not in Christchurch dammit. So don't give me the prize. As for my favourite Cult songs? The riff rock of Peace Dog, Lil Devil, and Love Removal Machine do it for obviously my favourite album is "Electric"!

Udo   #7   10:33 am Apr 27 2010

Wish I was going, have loved them for a long time but can't make it. Already have Pure Cult too so no point in entering as such but I will say my favourite songs are 'She Sells Sanctuary', 'Love Removal Machine' and 'Edie'. Yep, all well known singles but hey they rock. Favourite album outside of Love is Electric.

Shane   #8   10:36 am Apr 27 2010

As it happens I am not going but did talk to my partner as I hadn't realised they were here and apparently tickets were reduced to sell some time last week, she knew but OMITTED to tell me. Ce la vie I guess.

Would say one of my favourites albums was the Pure Cult compilation but when I met my partner she was a fan so have played Ceremony an awful lot since. Most of my friends at the time preferred Sonic Temple. Three fave songs would be Wild Hearted Son, Revolution and Spirit Walker.

And agree with your least favourite song, would also easily be mine.

Shirley Ward   #9   10:36 am Apr 27 2010

Fav Cult songs have to be Fire Woman, Revolution, and yes...Edie (Ciao Baby), I rate their album Sonic Temple. You should give me the tickets so me and Trish can see them to create new good times to remember, sing out loud and dance like we were twenty something again - and see them before hitting the big and scary five-oh.

fishie   #10   10:39 am Apr 27 2010

I want to GO!

The Lil Devil in me has The Cult Painted on my Heart. I'm a Sweet Soul Sister but turn into a Fire Woman when I hear the Rain and channel my Wild Flower to use my Love Removal Machine.

Favourite song is Spiritwalker from the Dreamtime album.. Then Fire Woman from Sonic Temple.. Then probably She Sells Sanctuary from Love (sorry!)

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