"Two days later, though, we played St Wilfrid's with Marc's new band, Amulet. I told the headmaster Malice were a pop group without telling him I was a member because he hated me! We got in this singer, Martin, a journalist with The Crawley Observer with whom we hadn't had a single rehearsal, and he turned up in three piece suit, a Manchester united scarf and a motorbike helmet which he refused to part with because he was scared someone would steal it! He turned out to be a cabaret singer... did good impersonations of David Cassidy. We started playing; Jailbreak, Suffragette City, Foxy Lady... but no-one could distinguish anything! It was just a screaming wall of feedback!
"Three hundred people came, 200 left, and the rest got up on stage! Lol started singing Wild Thing, Porl left so humiliated he hit him and Martin fled with the words 'This is shit!' No-one's seen him since... We immediately broke up the group!" Robert Smith (Ten Imaginary Years, 1988)
"We pretend there was this jazz group and a choral quintet and sold about 150 tickets at 25p each. It turned into a riot." Robert Smith (A Visual Documentary, 1988)
"20TH DECEMBER 1976 - MALICE!!! ROBERT'S FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE. ST WILFRIDS SCHOOL HALL IN CRAWLEY... PORL AND LOL AND MICHAEL WERE ONSTAGE TOO... 25 YEARS AGO TODAY!!! AND YET IT FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY... THANKS TO PORL FOR THE POSTER!!!" Robert Smith (the official website, 2001)
"Second errrr "gig"..... St. Wilfrids School Hall, Crawley 20th December 1976. Artwork by Porl Thompson Malice was The Cure's early provocative incarnation. "Three hundred people came, 200 left, and the rest got up on stage! Lol started singing "Wild Thing", Porl felt so humiliated he hit him............" Nobody present seems to remember "Bootleg" - it may have been a ruse to inflate the entrance fee to .30p. Amulet were characterised as a Jazz Rock Combo." Michael Dempsey (MDM website, 2002)
"It was pretty chaotic. I don't particularly remember an audience, though feel sure there was one. It was probably a shambolic wall of noise. None of us felt confident in our singer and feeling was most likely nutual. We had our own songs as well as Rebel Rebel. I think we had a song called Malice Is In Love.
"Playing in Malice was slightly more serious; being in a band wasn't the career opportunity it is seen as today. It was more a mixture of shared interest, camaraderie and something to do. You have to recognise that the sound we came up with was defined not, as is typical, by listening to other bands and waiting to emulate their sound. It was shaped more by the negative than the positive. By the time we had stripped away all that we mutually detested in music - this was what we were left with. Our sound was what was left. We weren't blisteringly good musicians either, so this economy in sound was a convenient cover for our deficiencies." Michael Dempsey (Clinical Prescriptions, 2003)
More stories from Martin Creasy and Vincent Rees at The Cure Concerts Guide.