Best Of '99: Hard-Rockers The Cult Reunite For U.S. Club Tour

Singer Ian Astbury, guitarist Billy Duffy to team with former Guns n' Roses, Porno for Pyros members on 27 dates.

[Editor's note: Over the holiday season, SonicNet is looking back at 1999's top stories, chosen by our editors and writers. This story originally ran on Monday, June 7.]

Hard-rockers the Cult, who had their heyday in the '80s, will hit the

road for a 27-date summer tour as the band's mysticism-obsessed singer

Ian Astbury reteams with guitarist Billy Duffy alongside ex-members of

Guns n' Roses and Porno for Pyros.

The tour will kick off July 15 at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco

and end a month later with a four-night stand at the House of Blues in

Los Angeles. Joining Astbury and Duffy on the trip will be onetime Cult

drummer and former Guns n' Roses member Matt Sorum, as well as ex-Porno

for Pyros bassist Martyn LeNoble. The group will get its feet wet with an

appearance at next Sunday's Tibetan Freedom Concert in East Troy, Wis.

Duffy and Astbury reconnected onstage for the first time in four years

on Apr. 5 at Los Angeles' intimate Viper Room club. The pair, joined by

Sorum and members of his side project the Neurotic Outsiders, performed

two popular Cult songs, "Wild Flower" and "Love Removal Machine"

(RealAudio

excerpt), as well as a cover of "Bodies," a song by proto-punk

rockers the Sex Pistols.

According to a spokesperson from their management, the Cult plan to reignite

their recording career after the tour. "They just took a hiatus. They

didn't break up," said the source who requested anonymity. "Now that they're

back together they're going to put on a rocking tour and make a new studio

album when they get back [from the road]."

The Cult originated from the ashes of goth-rock band Southern Death Cult,

which formed in Yorkshire, England, in 1981. Despite some success and an

opening slot on tour with goth-rockers Bauhaus, Astbury disbanded Southern

Death Cult after three years and launched the Cult in 1984 with guitarist

Duffy, drummer Ray Mondo and bassist Jamie Stewart.

Charting several mid-to-late-'80s hits in England and the U.S., the group staked its claim with songs that combined Astbury's brooding vocals and his love of mysticism and Native American imagery with a hard-rock backbeat.

Among their hits were such crunching tunes as 1985's "She Sells Sanctuary" (RealAudio excerpt), 1987's "Love Removal Machine" and 1988's "Fire Woman." The Cult, whose rhythm section was a revolving door throughout the '80s, began to have personnel problems during the tour to promote 1987's Electric. As a result, drummer Sorum left to join Guns N' Roses.

Following the release of 1991's Ceremony, the group took a

three-year break until the release of The Cult, a poorly received

1994 album that was followed by the group's four-year hiatus.

The Cult Tour Dates:

July 15; San Francisco, Calif.; Warfield Theater

July 17; Seattle, Wash.; Paramount Theatre

July 18; Portland, Ore.; Roseland Ballroom

July 20; Salt Lake City, Utah; Kingsbury Hall

July 21; Denver, Colo.; The Fillmore

July 23; Kansas City, Mo.; Uptown Theatre

July 24; Minneapolis, Minn.; The Quest

July 26; Chicago, Ill.; House of Blues

July 27; Columbus, Ohio; Newport Music Hall

July 29; Detroit, Mich.; Clutch Cargo

July 30; Toronto, Ontario; The Warehouse

July 31; Cleveland, Ohio; Agora Theater

Aug. 2; Boston, Mass.; Avalon Ballroom

Aug. 3; New York, N.Y.; Roseland Ballroom

Aug. 4; Washington, D.C.; 9:30 Club

Aug. 6; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; House of Blues

Aug. 7; Atlanta, Ga.; The Tabernacle

Aug. 9; New Orleans, La.; House of Blues

Aug. 10; Houston, Texas; Ariel Theater at Bayou Place

Aug. 11; Dallas, Texas; Bronco Bowl

Aug. 13; Phoenix, Ariz.; Celebrity Theatre

Aug. 14; Las Vegas, Nev.; The Joint

Aug. 15; San Diego, Calif.; 4th & B

Aug. 19-22; Los Angeles, Calif.; House of Blues