The Cult back in north east for one of only two UK dates this year

Rock veterans the Cult are returning to the north east in May to play one of only two UK dates they have lined up this year.

Sunday, 24th February 2019, 13:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th February 2019, 13:12 pm
The Cult's Ian Astbury and, right, Billy Duffy.

They’ll pay their first visit to the Sage Gateshead on Sunday, May 26, the day after their only other British date of 2019 announced so far, at Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering festival in Derbyshire alongside Suede, Doves and Editors.

May’s show is the band’s first ever in Gateshead and their first in the region since one at Newcastle City Hall in March 2016 to promote their 10th album, Hidden City.

That was their third show at the Northumberland Road venue and their first for almost 30 years, following previous visits in 1985 and 1987.

They did play at the city’s O2 Academy in the meantime, though – in 2012, 2011 and 2006 – and at North Tyneside’s Whitley Bay Ice Rink, in 1989.

Tickets for their Sage Gateshead gig cost £60. For details, go to or

Like the Cult’s previous two albums, 2007’s Born into This and 2012’s Choice of Weapon, and three previous ones – 1989’s Sonic Temple, 1994’s self-titled LP and 2001’s Beyond Good and Evil – Hidden City was produced by Bob Rock.

Frontman Ian Astbury, 56, and guitarist Billy Duffy, 57, are the only two founder members of the band left, and they are joined these days by drummer John Tempesta, bassist Grant Fitzpatrick and Damon Fox on keyboards.

Choice of Weapon, peaking at No 20, was the first top 20 hit for the group, formed in Bradford in West Yorkshire in 1983 and back together from 1999 to 2002 and from 2005 onwards after splitting up in 1995, since the Pure Cult compilation topped the UK album chart in 1993, and Hidden City went one better, reaching No 19 in 2016.

Pure Cult was one of four of their albums to make the top five, the others being Love, a No 4 in 1985; Electric, a No 4 in 1987; and Sonic Temple, a No 3 in 1989.

They’ve also hit the singles chart’s top 20 six times, with She Sells Sanctuary, a No 15 in 1985 and again in 1993; Rain, a No 17 in 1985; Love Removal Machine, a No 18, and Lil’ Devil, a No 11, both in 1987; and Fire Woman, a No 15 in 1989.

The band have no new material to promote this time round but will be returning to the studio at some point in the future, according to Manchester-born Duffy.

“Ian and I enjoy the process of making new music, and we feel it’s vital to keep the band healthy, even if it’s pretty much in the law of diminishing returns area now,” he told Guitar World last year.

“Who knows if it will be a whole album a series of singles or an EP?

“I can say new Cult music will be forthcoming, but these days we don’t rush it as there’s no point.

“Quality is key. We are past the point of having to release stuff, so if we feel it’s good enough, then we will release it in some shape or another.”