A Cult Uprising

This - long overdue! - is my tribute to one of my favorite bands, The Cult. Though I have loved them for more than ten years, the idea of a page dedicated to them was born after the splendid Washington DC show of their 1999 Cult Rising reunion tour. The show was amazing - one of the purest displays of will, transcendence and band/crowd alchemy I have ever had the joy of witnessing.
(And then they actually topped it! - see link to Raleigh show review below.)
The Cult started slowly, a bit rusty, a bit uneven, and my heart began to sink: I did not want to leave thinking that I shouldn't have come. Against that, I poured all my energy into love and support for them, and the same thing obviously happened all around me, as the band gathered strength and momentum by the minute. One could literally see Ian Astbury collect himself as it all came back to him, as the energy flowed into him and he began to recycle it back out to us; the old skipping dance steps and tambourine moves coming more easily, tossing his hair like a mustang's mane. Their classic She Sells Sanctuary came in the last third of the set, a performance of magical beauty, and the light of Ian's smile after it - hard, rueful experience, deep satisfaction and pride, the smile of a man who says to himself there's a gallop in this old horse yet! - bathed the crowd like the sun. He knew that takeoff had been rough, he had no illusions about any of it, but he also knew that hard work and true love had spun the night high into the clouds, and that we had done it together. "We may take a while," he said, "but we get there - and beyond." He was so right.

It's a long time since I have seen a band so determined to make the show work, to go as far and drive as hard as it took, and so sincerely grateful to the people who had come to see them. At one point Ian stepped out and made a little Buddhist-style bow, palms pressed together: "Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting this band," he said, "I love every one of you." I believed him. The club was filled with a sense of community and closeness I haven't felt since the Mission's shows here in 1988 and 1990 - and the Mission were always famous for their warm camaraderie with a crowd. It was an experience I'll never forget, one many other bands could learn from.

Here then my little tribute: a collection of Internet links (pitifully few for a band with so long and rich a history!) and a few comments by me....

A few words in defense of Cult lyrics and Native American connections.
My review of the band's mind-blowing set at the Ritz in Raleigh, NC, Oct. 2 1999.

Cultnet.com, the band's official homepage.
Excellent band history on the Beggars Banquet website.
Record Collector magazine's Cult bio (--NOT same as those *pfeh* High Octane Cult liner notes...)
Sacred Soul, a brilliant site.
J.Taylor's extensive Cult fan site.
Electric Ocean, a handsome fan page.
Heart Of Soul, "Unofficial Cult Homepage".
Review: June 11-12/99 shows in LA.
A nice recent article with some history.
Sasette's fan page devoted to Ian (who can blame her? =)
The Cult & Ian Astbury, another love page. =)
My roomie EVB's Cult fanpage! =)

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