The Cult returning to North East venue for first time since 1987

The Cult frontman Ian Astbury, left, and guitarist Billy Duffy.
The Cult frontman Ian Astbury, left, and guitarist Billy Duffy.

Newcastle City Hall isn’t exactly hidden away, being just off the North East’s biggest shopping thoroughfare, but it is set to become a Hidden City for one night only.

Rock giants the Cult release their 10th album, titled Hidden City, the month after next, and they’ll be playing at the Northumberland Road venue in March to promote it.

Their Newcastle show, on Wednesday, March 9, is part of a 10-date British tour announced this week also taking in London, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Norwich and Manchester.

It will be their third show at the venue and their first for almost 30 years, following previous visits in 1985 and 1987.

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

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“We’re thrilled to announce our first dates for 2016, starting in the UK,” said band frontman Ian Astbury.

Explaining the inspiration for the new LP, he added: “I find today’s gurus are trying to peddle some cure, product or insight as if it’s a new phenomenon.

“My place is to respond, not react, to observe, participate and share through words and music. There is no higher authority than the heart.”

Hidden City will be released just over a month prior to the tour, on Friday, February 5, on the Cooking Vinyl label.

Like the Cult’s last 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 – the 12-track set has been produced by Bob Rock.

Cheshire-born Astbury, 53, and guitarist Billy Duffy are the only two founder members of the band left, and they are joined on the new LP by drummer John Tempesta and, making his debut, bassist Grant Fitzpatrick.

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.

That greatest-hits set was one of four Cult 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.