The Exploding Boys present The Cure: Head on the Door was an emotional journey back to the 80s with every song on the legendary 1985 album shared between 3 vocalists. In-between album tracks were classic singles from other Cure albums such as A Forest, Boys Don’t Cry, and Just Like Heaven. Brisbane goths and indie-pop fans were delighted by renditions that sounded a bit different only vocally because The Exploding Boys are a Cure cover band who know their Cure songs inside out; every bassline Simon Gallup invented is played perfectly by Brisbane local Robbie Warren, who is the organiser of the event and is no doubt happy to be on stage, as COVID-19 has delayed proceedings by over 12 months.

Dave Challinor (Sounds Like Sunset), Ash Rothschild (Caligula) and Sabrina Lawrie all deliver impressive vocals with different styles; Dave has a laid-back vibe, Ash is a real front-man and likes to dance, Sabrina a powerhouse of a performer with a Siouxsie Sioux quality to her voice and stage presence.

This reviewer/photographer and ex-Cure junkie had to admit that for the most part, these guys sounded (dare I say it?) even better than The Cure live. Perhaps it was because the different vocals gave the songs something other than Robert Smith’s distinct tone, and probably also The Exploding Boys are actually one hell of a good live band. Even the encore, (which Ash Rothschild correctly quipped that “most fans of The Cure do not like this song”) Friday I’m in Love made us all dance and smile and forget how we were all once indie/alternative music snobs.

If you ever miss out on tickets to The Cure, try to see this lot live.

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