THE CUlT with NICE CAT at the El Mocambo, October 29. Tickets: $30. Attendance: 500. Rating: NNN
it didn't take long for word tospread across town that despite Aerosmith's postponement, scheduled openers the Cult would be giving up their night off to play a rare club gig at the El Mocambo. By 8 pm, the line of those hoping to catch Ian Astbury up close -- in the historic club that may soon be giving cha-cha lessons -- stretched from beneath the neon palms around onto College.
Inside, fearless Cult leader Astbury, cleverly sporting a bandana to hide his rock-star ear monitors and receding hairline, had waived the barricades and thick-necked security for the evening so he could be close enough to his loyal subjects for high-fiving and bumping knuckles.
The pumping fists of the well-mulleted stagefront mass that greeted Li'l Devil, Rain and Sanctuary, along with the trampoline effect caused by 500 people bouncing in unison to drummer Matt Sorum's regular mid-tempo thump, were a good indication that people wanted to hear the hits. The silence following the newer songs confirmed it.
"So how many of you have our new album, Beyond Good And Evil?" At most, 10 people whooped briefly before realizing they were in the minority and then quickly stopped.
"Bastards!" snarled Astbury, chiding the 490 others before a spiky-topped Billy Duffy chimed in with another dud from the new disc that no one really wanted to hear.
While Duffy's guitar techs rummaged through the stash of axes, a different Les Paul for each tune, Astbury offered a running commentary on the the club's glorious past, noting, "It's hotter than Margaret Trudeau's underwear in here" and chortling about the special honour of "standing on the spot where David Johansen once pissed." An unfortunate way to bow out.