The Cure debuted a new song called ‘Another Happy Birthday’ during their first show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles yesterday (May 23).
The band are performing three nights at the venue as part of their North American tour, which kicked off earlier this month, with the next two shows scheduled for today (May 24) and tomorrow (May 25).
The plaintive new track opens with an extended instrumental section and mournful piano before frontman Robert Smith sings: “It’s harder to hold on / With every passing year / As the memories fade / You slowly disappear.”
“And your birthday is the worst day / I’m singing to a ghost / Happy birthday / I forget how it goes,” he goes on. Watch the performance below.
It’s possible the new song dates all the way back to 1997, with Smith having mentioned the track name in an interview with MTV at the time, which he described as “unlike anything the Cure have done before. It’s not a verse-chorus-verse type of song, but more fluid”.
Last year, The Cure debuted a number of new songs on their European tour. At the first show of the tour in Latvia on October 6, the band debuted ‘Alone’ and ‘Endsong’, marking their first new material since 2008’s ‘4:13 Dream’ album.
‘And Nothing Is Forever’ was then debuted in Sweden, before Polish fans were introduced to ‘I Can Never Say Goodbye’. A fifth new track, ‘A Fragile Thing’, was then performed in Italy.
Back in May, the band’s North American tour faced logistical problems before it even started. The Cure initially said that tickets for the US tour will not be “transferable” to minimise resale and “keep prices at face value”.
Smith, however, said he was “sickened” by high Ticketmaster fees after some fans reported that the fees exceeded the price of actual tickets.
He subsequently pushed Ticketmaster to give money back for “unduly high” prices and asked the ticketing platform to explain why tickets in the promised face value ticket exchange were “weird” and “over priced”. Smith later confirmed that the band cancelled 7,000 tickets found on secondary resale websites in a bid to tackle touts.
Live Nation’s CEO later addressed the ticketing controversy and rising gig prices during a podcast interview.
Reviewing The Cure in London this December, NME described the show as “an unusual, but thrilling festive party”.
Smith has previously teased The Cure’s next record to NME as a dark, “merciless, relentless” piece, inspired by a period of great loss and in a similar spirit to their 1989 gothic art-rock album ‘Disintegration’.