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Tolhurst Recovers From Cure, Delves Into Electronica Style

Lol Tolhurst is not bitter. Sure, his break from the Cure - a band he helped create - was ugly.

Sure, he filed a lawsuit against frontman and cult idol Robert Smith - a guy he’d known since childhood.

Sure, he lost the suit.

But now, the 38-year-old Tolhurst has something new to focus on. It’s called Orpheus, a three-piece electronica band he brings to Ichabod’s North Thursday night.

“To me, it feels like when I first started with something I wanted to do, when I started with the Cure, when I started with that kind of energy,” he said during a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.

With his new band, Tolhurst is taking the looping, mixing and sampling skills he learned during 15 years with the techno-tinged Cure and shaping them into a music style that demands dancing.

Electronica, characterized by thumping rhythms and computer-concocted sounds, is quickly becoming the rage. Think the Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers and Crystal Method.

With the Cure, Tolhurst says, “we were trying out some of the earliest programmable sequences. I just became more and more interested in it. Toward the end of my time with the band, that really was my role - to be the programming person.”

In Orpheus, Tolhurst not only creates a web of programmed rhythms and instrumentals, he also plays the keyboards on stage. A vocalist and a percussionist join him. (Tolhurst hopes to have former Cure drummer Andy Anderson on stage for the Spokane show.)

“It’s quite a bit different than going to a rock show,” he says. “There’s no guitars, it’s all done electronically. The thing I really like, is to have something that is machine-made but has a human emotion behind it. That’s what I’m trying to get.”

Tolhurst grew up with Robert Smith in a working-class suburb of London. In the 1970s, the two formed The Easy Cure - later shortened to The Cure.

With lyrics often dark and brooding, the goth-pop band lurked to stardom in the U.K. and later in the U.S. with songs like “Killing An Arab,” “Why Can’t I Be You” and “Love Song.”

Although Smith - with his white-painted face and lipstick-smeared mouth - was the best-known member of the band, Tolhurst helped write most of the songs.

In 1990, he split from the Cure on unfriendly terms.

“A band like that becomes less like a working unit and becomes more like a family,” he says. “I guess we fell out, really, as a family.”

Tolhurst concedes the failed lawsuit against the band’s management and his former friend was a bad idea prompted by hurt feelings.

“To me, now, it’s all water under the bridge. I don’t have any bitterness or animosity towards anybody.”

Tolhurst warns that former fans should not to come to his show expecting the Cure.

But, “if they’ve liked the Cure, they’ll like this,” he says.

Be ready to dance at Ichabod’s Thursday. Show starts at 9:30. Cover is $7.

Rick Derringer

His resume is eclectic - to say the least.

Over the last 20-plus years, Rick Derringer’s musical partnerships have ranged from the legendary to the just-plain-weird.

This singer/guitarist has performed with blues/rock brothers Johnny and Edgar Winter (remember them from the ‘70s?). Derringer has made guest appearances on Barbara Streisand, Alice Cooper and Steely Dan albums. And don’t forget the “weird” Al Yankovic albums he performed on and produced.

Derringer also sang on and produced a single for professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (and wrote the theme song for the World Wrestling Federation.)

Thursday, Derringer will make a stop in Spokane, bringing his rock and blues to the Fort Spokane Brewery.

Derringer was just 13 when he formed ‘60s garage band the McCoys. In 1965 their song “Hang on Sloopy” hit number one and landed Derringer his first taste of popularity.

He went on to perform with and produce for both of the Winter brothers. His first solo album was released in 1973 and featured his best-known composition, “Rock & Roll Hootchie Coo.”

Derringer has continued to perform and tour, turning out numerous - although less-successful - albums.

His 1993 solo album, “Back to the Blues,” marked just what its title says - a return to hard-edged blues. It was followed by his most recent album, “Electra Blues.”

Take in the Derringer sounds Thursday. Show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $14 in advance from the Brewery, $15 the day of.

News from the nightlife front

Ichabod’s will begin offering open mike night on Wednesdays. All would-be poets, musicians and other exhibitionists (the kind who keep their clothes on, please) are welcome.

Plan to be there by 9 p.m. to sign up for your 15 minutes - or maybe more - of fame.

At Ichabod’s tonight, garage band The Ray-Ons from Denver headline. The Pills, Chattanooga and The Stoics join them. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $4.

When Sweet Water headlines at Outback Jack’s tonight it will be a chance to glimpse the band’s future.

Seattle’s power pop rockers have been busily recording a follow-up to their “Superfriends” album.

Expected out in the fall, the new album is produced by Dave Jerden - who not only produced their last release but also has worked with the likes of Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction.

Sweet Water will perform songs off their forthcoming release tonight. Show starts at 9:30. Elizabeth Emblem and Flourish open. Cover is $7 in advance and $8 at the door.

Catch the King Biscuit Blues Review at Mad Daddy’s Blues Club in Coeur d’Alene tonight and Saturday.

Formed in 1964, this four-man band, known for it’s boogie and jump blues, has performed with greats like B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. Tickets are $6 at the door.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos