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See The Cure’s frenetic performance of post-punk gem ‘Play For Today’ from 1980

We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a special performance of one of The Cure’s forgotten gems, the Seventeen Seconds track ‘Play For Today’. We revisit their performance of the song while out in Holland at the Berg en Bos Festival back in 1980.

Before The Cure became chart-topping icons of the 1980s they had spent much of the previous decade in the murky waters of the London punk scene. It was part of what gave the band their steely resolve, the ability to sink a pint, and most importantly, their frenetic performance style.

Later in the decade, The Cure would be one of the very artists in rock and roll to create their own sub-genre. The band were the make-up wearing champions of goth rock and became the faces of an alternative rock scene in the eighties on both sides of the pond. That said, when the group released their debut Three Imaginary Boys in 1979, the sound was a far pacier and menacing affair.

The album’s tracks were still pop songs at their core. But they were charged with the tail-end of punk’s attitude and were quick on the draw. By the time the group released their second album, Seventeen Seconds, The Cure had refined their post-punk sound and were beginning to lay the foundations of their trajectory.

Seventeen Seconds holds some of the band’s most notable work from their early period. As they moved into their gothic phase and commercial success beckoning from around the corner, the album featured heavily charged tracks like ‘Killing An Arab’ and ‘A Forest’, two of the band’s finest post-punk works—but the record also features ‘Play For Today’ an often forgotten gem.

The song represents the crossroads between their past and their future and is at the apex of their eventual iconography. It’s no better summed up than in this performance at Berg en Bos Festival, Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands from 1980 where Smith and the band let rip.

[MORE] – The 10 best covers of The Cure ever

Taking place on 18th July 1980, the group were firmly on the promotion trail and delivered a set littered with tracks from the album. Despite having a set full of hits, they closed out the performance (in this video at least) with the second song on the record, the fiery ‘Play For Today’.

Smith is utterly captivating as he delivers his now-famous vocal, all while backed by metronomic drums and the devilish Simon Gallup bassline that underpinned everything the band did at the time. It’s a wonderful performance of a defining song and marks The Cure out like the legends they’re now known to be.

Watch The Cure perform ‘Play For Today’ live in Apeldoorn at the 1980 Berg en Bos Festival. Find the full performance below that.

We're digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a performance of one of The Cure's forgotten gems, the Seventeen Seconds track 'Play For Today'

Lace ‘Em up and Play for a Cure

Play for a Cure Pro-Am is a unique opportunity for hockey enthusiasts to play along side and against some of the stars they grew up watching on TV. Players will have a chance to hang out with NHL alumnus at the draft party, hear some great stories during the tournament and even make some plays on the ice.

The Pro-Am in support of Cancer Research, kicks off with a memorable draft party the night before the tournament on Thursday, March 26th. During the party, each team will draft an NHL alumnus to play on their team; draft positions are based on how much each team can fundraise. Be the team to raise the most money and get the first overall pick of alumni!

On Friday, March 27th teams will skate with their pros during a friendly round robin tournament. Points will be awarded for wins, fundraising and fair play.

Lace ‘Em up and Play for a Cure Play for a Cure Pro-Am is a unique opportunity for hockey enthusiasts to play along side and against some of the stars they grew up watching on TV. Players will ]]>