Presence was a short-lived British new wave band started by Gary Biddles, Lol Tolhurst, and Michael Dempsey. Dempsey and Tolhurst were founding members of The Cure, and Biddles was a former Cure roadie who previously played in Fools Dance with Simon Gallup. In their brief existence, Presence released only one album, called Inside through Smash Records, a subsidiary of Island Records.


In 1990, Dempsey, Tolhurst and Biddles were recording demos together with a view to forming a new band following Tolhurst's departure from The Cure. With the addition of keyboardist Chris Youdell (of Then Jerico) and drummer Alan Burgess the band emerged in 1991 as Presence with the singles, "In Wonder" and "All I See". Dempsey received co-writing credit for "Amazed"; the b-side of "All I See", but took a background role as a session bassist, and did not appear in the band's photos or press releases. Porl Thompson also made guest appearances on guitar for some of these recordings, but by 1992 both Dempsey and Thompson were officially replaced by bassist Roberto Soave (formerly of The Associates and Shelleyan Orphan) and guitarist Rob Steen respectively. However, Dempsey received co-writing credits for two tracks on Inside. Although Inside was well-received by critics, the album was a commercial failure, and led to the dissolution of the band.

When Presence were formed, there was another band with the same name. Because of Tolhurst's fame, the other band had to change their name to Puressence. Another outfit named Presence placed two singles ("Sense of Danger" and "Future Love") in the UK Singles Chart in 1998 and 1999.

Since the breakup of Presence, Roberto Soave and Rob Steen have played in another band called Babacar along with Boris Williams of The Cure and Caroline Crawley of Shelleyan Orphan. Soave has also played a brief stint with The Cure. When Simon Gallup fell ill during the European leg of the Wish tour, Soave filled in for him on bass.

Tolhurst confirmed in an interview several years later that Presence had recorded a second album, which was produced by former Smiths producer John Porter. He said it is unlikely this second album will ever be released, and that he felt the band "was really too much too soon I felt for me". But he also said in another interview that he does not discount his experience with Presence either, and according to another interviewer, this band does spark interest among some Cure fans. Tolhurst is focusing on his current project Levinhurst, a portmanteau of Tolhurst and his wife's (vocalist Cindy Levinson) surnames.

In 2007, Biddles started a MySpace page for Presence.

Presence first album "Inside" was re-released in December 2011.


Gary Biddles -- vocals,

Alan Burgess -- drums,

Roberto Soave -- bass guitar,

Rob Steen -- guitar,

Lol Tolhurst -- keyboards,

Chris Youdell -- keyboards