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Thursday at the Harbor preview: The Cult

Photo courtesy of the Cult's website

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

The Cult’s 2012 album, Choice of Weapon, debuted this week at #36 on the Billboard Top 200, the band’s highest ranking since 1991.

Yeah, that 1991. The year that came and went over two decades ago.

Frontman Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy—who’ve shared a rather tempestuous relationship since The Cult formed in 1983—bounce to Buffalo Thursday to headline a bill that includes Against Me! and the Icarus Line.

The headliner: The Cult
The venue: Erie Canal Harbor
The event: Buffalo Place’s Thursday at the Harbor
The times: The Icarus Line—5:30 p.m.; Against Me!—6:30 p.m.; The Cult—7:45 p.m.
The cost: Free

The Cult’s most memorable song, “She Sells Sanctuary,” lends a nostalgic or bizarre—depending on the crowd—look at 1980s British rock and why its allure still remains. While the outfits probably won’t be recommended by Ask Avery, the video below is a reminder of a musical era not terribly long before ours, one that celebrated the electric guitar and glamorous get-up.


This quote from Metro reveals the perspective that Astbury and the Cult has molded over nearly two-decades of on-and-off performing:

“Astbury talks a lot about energies, not unlike the Native American imagery that dots his lyrics, informs his fashion and has appeared on many of his band’s album covers. When he discusses today’s musical landscape and the influence of classic rock bands on his own group, he talks like a chief who has woefully watched others taint the beautiful terrain.”

In the same interview, the just-married Astbury spoke about the sex change of Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, formerly Tom Gabel:

“I completely support Laura’s choice to be any way she wishes to be. What I’m really surprised about is the amount of attention it’s gotten, with raised eyebrows. I mean, my God, it’s 2012. Are we really that uptight? People are so easily scandalized. She’s such a beautiful person, and unbelievable musician. She has a beautiful family, and the band is so gifted and has amazing connection. He’s very special.”

Grace’s story is detailed well by Rolling Stone’s Josh Eells, a lengthy but worthwhile read.

The story-lines at the 2012 debut of Thursday at the Harbor are abundant—an ‘80s British glam rock band pops back into prominence, a transgender artist in a high-profile band continues a long journey. Not too bad for the series’ first show.

TAGGED: against me, buffalo place, concerts, ian astbury, the cult, the icarus line, thursday at the harbor, tom gabel

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