Boris Williams

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Boris Williams
Birth name Boris Peter Bransby Williams
Born (1957-04-24) 24 April 1957 (age 59)
Origin Versailles, France
Genres Punk rock, post punk, gothic rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion
Associated acts The Cure, Thompson Twins, Strawberry Switchblade, Shelleyan Orphan, Babacar

Boris Peter Bransby-Williams (born 24 April 1957) is an English drummer best known for his extensive work with The Cure (1984–1994).


Born in Versailles, France, he had previously worked with various artists, including Thompson Twins, Kim Wilde, Strawberry Switchblade and Tomato City. Williams is one of seven children; he has two brothers - Michael and Morgan - and four sisters - Juliet, Caroline, Mira, and Sarah. Williams dated Caroline Crawley, lead singer of Shelleyan Orphan.

Williams first joined The Cure in 1984 (first gig on 7 November in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA), replacing Andy Anderson, who was fired for destroying a hotel room. During his tenure, Williams helped The Cure reach their critical and commercial peak recording the studio albums The Head on the Door, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Disintegration, and Wish. He also appeared on the live albums Entreat, Paris, and Show as well as the videos for Staring at the Sea, The Cure in Orange, Picture Show, Galore and Greatest Hits. He also helped record the re-remixes album Mixed Up.

Boris Williams drumming style is often referred to by drummers as 'Linear' as it follows regular cycles with repetitive rhythmic themes, patterns and fills. This style creates a solid foundation around which the music is structured. Current Cure drummer Jason Cooper also commented on this in the live Cure DVD "Trilogy" recorded in Berlin. Cooper recreates all of the classic Williams drum parts for the songs just as they were written for this very reason.

Williams, like all other Cure drummers, also very rarely used a ride cymbal in his work with the band, which is most unusual for a modern drum kit player. A second pair of hi-hats was instead used in the usual ride cymbal position so that open handed/un-crossed arm playing was possible. This arrangement also made for interesting pattern variations a crossed-handed player would normally find very difficult to play. In between the tenure of Andy Anderson and Boris Williams, Vince Ely (Psychedelic Furs) sat in temporarily on the 1984 tour. It was in fact Vince who had used the second hi-hat in the ride position. Boris liked the idea and used this method after Vince.

His use of electronic percussion triggers, pads and samplers played live from the kit was also a fundamental part of his sound as he triggered many different analog snares, clap sounds, glass smashes ("Disintegration"), Chimes ("Plainsong") in order to re-create albums live. See The Cure in Orange concert for some good shots and application of his trigger pad and sampler usage for "Play for Today" among other tracks.

Some of his most innovative drumming can be heard on the songs "Six Different Ways" and "Sinking" from The Head on the Door, "Icing Sugar", "The Kiss", "Torture" and "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, "Closedown", "Fascination Street", "Prayers for Rain" and "Last Dance" from Disintegration, "Open" "Cut" and "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" from Wish.

Notable Williams fills that are instantly identifiable and set up the rhythmic theme for the song can be easily heard in the reoccurring fills in "In Between Days" from The Head on the Door, "Just Like Heaven" from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

Williams left the band in 1994. His last concert was on 13 June of 1993 in Finsbury Park at a benefit concert for London's XFM radio station. Williams then started another band called Babacar with his then girlfriend Caroline Crawley. He briefly reunited with The Cure for the acoustic recording of their Greatest Hits compilation in 2001, but he did not rejoin them officially. He was also present at some of the sessions for the Cure's 2004 album, simply titled The Cure.


The Cure
Thompson Twins
Strawberry Switchblade
  • Strawberry Switchblade (1985)[2]
Robbie Nevil
Ian McCulloch

Drums on "The White Hotel" and "Proud to Fall"

Shelleyan Orphan
  • Humroot (1992)[4]
  • We Have Everything We Need (2008)[5]


  1. ^ "Quick Step and Side Kick". Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  2. ^ "Strawberry Switchblade". Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  3. ^ Candleland
  4. ^ "Humroot". Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  5. ^ "We Have Everything We Need Credits". Allmusic. All Media Guide (Roviallflower). Retrieved 16 January 2013. 

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