Heavy metal revivalists stir up their converts

By Shawn McAvinue, Otago Daily Times | Posted: Monday November 21, 2016

British rock band The Cult began its Dunedin show with guitarist Billy Duffy standing alone in a spotlight delivering the opening riff of Wild Flower.

Singer Ian Astbury bangs his tambourine and howls the chorus, and the crowd is under his control for the next 90 minutes.

Founding members Astbury and Duffy have been the five-piece band’s songwriters since it was formed in the early 1980s.

The band is playing two shows in New Zealand, finishing in Auckland tonight, to support its 10th studio album Hidden City.

The second song in the Dunedin set was "Dark Energy" — the opening track from the new album.

The highlight of the show was "Fire Woman", a song that reached No 1 in New Zealand in 1989, and the response from the crowd was intense.

Astbury worked the crowd, throwing tambourines in the mosh pit and talking directly to groups including "my beautiful people with the painted faces" and telling others it was too early in the night to start fighting.

On returning for a two-song encore, he accepted art from a fan and asked if "heavy psychedelics" were used in its creation.

The encore ended with "Love Removal Machine" from the same 1987 album, Electric, as "Wild Flower", bookending a densely packed rock sermon.

"Please have us back soon," Astbury asked on leaving.

We will happily have you back, as soon as our ears stop ringing.

The Cult

Dunedin Town Hall, Saturday, November 19

By Shawn McAvinue, Otago Daily Times