For a generation of Peruvians who grew up in the eighties, wearing black was a symbol of identity and determination, as was their taste for dark music, with dark sides and empty tunes. These were the so-called ‘post-punk’ years, of general depression, and, at least in Peru, there seemed to be sufficient reason for all the violence we see daily. However, this is part of a global trend that has reached even the first children from the Third World. One of the people responsible for spreading that black seed to the corners of the planet, at least in the first years of its development, was Mr. Robert Smith is the lead singer of the British band Unburnt. treatment.
See also: Repatriation: This is how wildlife rescued in Peru return to their natural habitat
“In those years, you would walk the streets of Miraflores and other neighborhoods and see a lot of ‘Robert Smiths’, boys and girls dressed in black and with messy hair, going to the clubs,” recalls Gucho Peñalosa. When asked about the significance of the band that popularized classics like “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Closer to Me,” the music lover replied. “They called it the Gothic Wave or the ‘Dark Wave,’ and I think that’s a great hook that explains part of the group’s success. Robert Smith, by imposing his style on a lot of young people, did something stronger than U2’s Bono sold more albums. “None of the influential bands of the era achieved what Robert did in terms of visual impact,” says the late “TV Rock” host.
But before the stand-up hair and makeup, Penalosa had the music and, above all, Smith’s uncanny voice. In his mind, there are vivid memories of No Disco, the ‘point’ of certain youth fashion in the early eighties. It was in a basement, in front of Kennedy Park, and The Cure played there before people knew what their pints were like or anything like that. In 1986, the band began to achieve great success in our country, when the radios played the single “Boys Don’t Cry” several years late. The time when the group exploded, the time when the songs that the public remembered came out.
An organized community of fans
For followers of The Cure in Lima, dreaming about the band’s hypothetical concert in the country at the time was a topic that occupied a good portion of their daily worries. The issue was complex and required organization, volunteer work, and almost religious militancy. In the nineties, there was an organized group of fans in the city of La Gran Cura, who met with concert promoters to discuss how far they were from bringing their loved ones to Peruvian soil. They were even seen collecting signatures for their cause at the doors of local universities, as the idea was to prove to those who decided that bringing in Robert Smith could be an interesting business.
All those efforts resulted in a concert lasting over three hours at the National Arena, in 2013, the day they finally set foot on Peruvian soil, many, many years later. Today we are in an even more extraordinary situation. If the timing of their first visit was a pleasant surprise, and it was, in part, the reason for the so-called ‘concert boom’, the arrival of the “Just Like Heaven” authors in 2023 shows the giants. Canceled by municipal and other decisions, it seems a real miracle.
The craze for The Cure goes beyond the followers who listen to their music, sing their songs, or dance to their music in nostalgic clubs. Various tribute bands also have their ‘makers’. One of them was Leo Bush, widely known in the world of tribute concerts as ‘The Robert Smith of I’. Formerly an English teacher, this was Leo’s fifth time seeing the British in person. Robert Smith was a great chameleon, so in my opinion, the treatment was appropriate. If you listen to them, they start out as a ‘post punk’ band, but they undergo a musical transformation. His musical range is very wide, singles, more commercial, his compositions are very dark and dark like on the album ‘Disintegration’.”
For Leo Bush, known as The Bush after the song The Cure, playing Smith from 2019 is a responsibility he does not take lightly. It takes hours of rehearsal and coordination to make every detail sound like The Cure live experience. Over the course of five years, he sang “Boys Don’t Cry” several times. “You never get tired of singing because the audience gets excited, and that’s priceless for those of us who do it.” //