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last update: 16. May 2024

1986-08-10 Orange - Théâtre Antique d'Orange (France)
 

This was no real concert but just filming the close-ups for the 'The Cure in Orange' movie without any audience.
setlist unknown

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Robert Smith
Simon Gallup
Porl Thompson
Boris Williams
Laurence Tolhurst
Day of the week: Sunday

Intro:
Mainset:
Encore 1:
stage banter segments may be wrong or incomplete
[...] marks unknown banter segments
media type: Rehearsal
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from the book 'A Visual Documentary'
AUGUST 1986
The Cure play a string of festivals in Spain and France. The last, on August 9, at the Roman Amphitheatre in Provence, is filmed in it's entirety by Tim Pope, the first rock concert at the venue since Dire Straits two years previous.
"We wanted to film it ... because every concert we do now reaches a point that has seemed unattainable in the past and I wanted it captured for ever, before we move on or give up. I don't think it's a risk working with Pap because he isn't really a director. We could have got in some proper director to make a film of any old concert but he wouldn't know what the band was about and I want this to be a Cure film about The Cure." ...
Tim Pope: "This one's absolute psychedelic madness." To heighten the obvious comparsions with Pink Floyd's Live At Pompeii, the band play 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' at soundcheck. And, reports Melody Maker, they play it perfectly.
"The risks, of course, are many. Because of the limited budget, all the live filming had to be done on Saturday, at the concert, with close-ups following during Sunday's mock up. Rain on one or both days would have scuppered the whole thing - £150,000 literally down the rain because they couldn't comprehend their cheapest insurance quote: £50,000. I didn't rain until Monday."
A deserted city, as if devastated by a hurricane. Empty cans and pink tickets showing a smithian figure lie on the ground. A few survivors of a sleepless night appear, like zombies.
It is on this quiet Sunday, 10th August 1986, that at the Theatre Antique in Orange takes place the filming of a few live shots that will be part of a Cure film, produced by The Cure and directed by Tim Pope, already the author of their delirious videos. This film that will include these live scenes as well as others, filmed throughout the evolution and journeys of the group, will be distributed globally... when it is finished.
We enter the enclosure of the theater, perhaps one the most sublime and mystical places that The Cure could ever play. Sitting comfortably on the stage in the company of their girlfriends, the five musicians listen to the tape of yesterday's concert, which had been filmed as well. On the subject of look, Robert has chosen, since having his hair cut, a sailor cap that makes him look like he's seventeen again. As for Simon, he's exchanged his usual black costume for some savagely torn jeans showing some black lace tights very "sex and violence". Simon and Porl are doing a hilarious belly dance to The Walk. Robert, more composed, seems busy writing a song, while Lol and Boris seem more interested in what's happening around them: the technicians are running around, making preparations for the shoot. Meanwhile, Rob allows himself a little break playing football with Chris Parry, the group's manager, and Steve Sutherland, the chief editor of Melody Maker, looking very elegant in Indian army shorts and tennis shoes. It is by the way Steve Sutherland whom the group has asked to be in charge of the "official" biography of The Cure. Steve is accompanied by Tom Sheehan, the magazine's photographer, for whom Robert and Simon will make some irresistible faces.
Night falls; there are individual soundchecks, and then the filming can start. The Cure show up in stage costume: Robert wears a wig resembling his old hairdo; it will be quickly torn off by Simon: ah, they're so funny, these dear kids!
Tim Pope, who keeps pushing back his too long hair behind his ears (it makes you want to hand him a rubber band to keep it) is bawling outrageously at our star: "I will kick you if you do not move more!" The group interprets their most beautiful songs in playback, but it is Inbetween Days that poses the most problems: a split second on video necessitates a complicated movement of the camera, while Tim Pope tries, for ten good minutes, to bombard Robert with multicolored socks.
The takes are exhausting and there's a little fifteen minute break between them; this is why, before restarting, Smith passes an ice cube over his face to simulate sweating, while hopping quickly around the stage four times!
The filming of A Night Like This provokes hilarity as well: the speeded-up playback version presents our five heroes playing in accelerated mode but keeping all their dignity.
Another pause (but not for everyone since neither the tech crew nor Tim Pope ever stop), and Mad Bob descends from the stage to rejoin the girls (Mary, Cindy, Janet, and Carol, looking like Barbie dolls) who had stayed very quietly in the stands - like us - the whole evening to admire their men. Cindy comes closer to the stage every now and then to film Boris with her Super 8 during his drum solos. The Super 8 camera is actually one the favorite distractions of the group, seeing that they spend practically half the day filming each other.
Finally, the hallucinatory shoot for Give Me It: Porl on sax lets loose Miles Davis style, and Simon, unbridled, jumps at anything that moves, giving blows with his bass all around him.
At three in the morning, Tim Pope decides on an idea that we were hoping for from the beginning: carved in the beautiful wall of this Gallo-Roman theater, twenty-five meters above the stage, there is a niche where stands, grandiously, Emperor Augustus, the first Roman emperor, Julius Caesar's nephew. Under the frightened looks of their girlfriends, "My God, it's so dangerous!", our five heroes pose around the statue in glamour poses, making signs to a gathering that comprises just some V.H.F. (very happy few). Finally, Rob, alone next to the statue, does a last dance step for us and a last hand wave before finding himself again in Mary's arms. It is on this very Beatles note (five boys in the wind) that this night ends, the last of the summer 1986 tour.
In a huge and sumptuous car, the Cure family takes the road back to the hotel, a wonderful Provence castle. Their real vacations will start later in Mourillon. Around Toulon and trips to Sainte Maxime among others one could see them at the Groupie (!), a seafood restaurant, as well as in numerous bars in the region. It is in this Mediterranean south that The Cure reside for now, and record their new album. Like other British groups before them (Rolling Stones for example), they find in France the success, the joy of life and the beginning of glory.
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list of recordings may be incomplete and could contain wrong informations
The Cure
unknown whether there was an opening act
Venue address:
Rue Madeleine Roch
84100 Orange
Venue related links:
The Cure appearances at this venue:
  1. 1986-08-09 Théâtre Antique d'Orange
  2. 1986-08-10 Théâtre Antique d'Orange
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Please send tickets and adverts, stories, photos, recordings and other relevant information.
Thanks very much to everyone sending mails with contributions for the website.
Please be patient,
I'll include it all ASAP.