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Revisit The Cure's sensational performance of 'Boys Don't Cry' on French TV from 1996


We are digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to look back at some sensational footage of The Cure performing on French TV. While the British exports are loved across the world, their European fanbase has always been a swollen mass of eyeliner-laden enthusiasts. Here, we get a reason as to why they may be so beloved by those abroad—they have always shown up and delivered some serious performances.

There’s nothing quite like French TV. If you needed any proof then please take a look below and revisit this sensational performance of ‘This Is a Lie’ and ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ on ‘L’Appel de la Couette from 1996. Yes, despite what you may glean from the footage below, it was, in fact, recorded in ’96 not 1976 as the presenter of the show, inexplicably presenting from his bed, may suggest.

In honesty, we can’t really complain about our presenter, after all, we’re sure he didn’t ask to present one of the best bands around in his pyjamas. It also makes for a nice refrain from the impending implosion the modern world has for us by reminding us that at least, in TV-presenting skills, we are advancing! But soon enough, he introduces The Cure and Robert Smith and takes over for nearly ten glorious minutes of unbridled indie-pop charm.

The first song the band perform is a simply gorgeous rendition of ‘This Is a Lie’. Taken from the band’s then-new album Wild Mood Swings, ‘This Is a Lie’ remains a fan favourite to this day. A beautifully composed piece which lurches, retreats, rises and falls, with complete sincerity. In this performance, we can see the connection to the song Smith has, delivering the lyrics with a simple but effective push. It’s a song that captivates the audience.

Those lucky enough to be in attendance were treated to a live performance (not always a guarantee in TV) of the new track and offered up a taste of what The Cure had become. But the band had another treat in store as they also performed their classic hit ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ with the audience notably increasing their excitement levels with Smith’s first strums of his guitar.

The band deliver a unique version of the song, slightly slowing the vocal delivery and arrangement, and it makes for another reason The Cure are so widely adored—they love their art. It means they always want to change and manipulate their songs to suit their new expression of it. While it can be frustrating for some fans, others respect their artistic integrity.

Below, we’re taking a trip back to 1996 and revisiting The Cure’s performance of ‘This Is a Lie’ and ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ live on French TV.