Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sometimes I Walk Sideways...

Last weekend saw local heroes The Jesus and Mary Chain return for two nights to their spiritual home at Glasgow Barrowland. I had been eagerly awaiting both nights for months and was hoping they would not disappoint. After reading Swiss Adam's review last week I had a feeling we were in for something pretty special and, thankfully, that turned out to be the case. I know not everyone is a fan of these "one album" gigs but I approve wholeheartedly. I have been to a few over the last few years - Wedding Present, Cowboy Junkies, EATB (less said about that one the better!!) - and on most occasions have really enjoyed them. Yes, you know what you are getting next but that ain't necassarilly a bad thing.

Starting off with the encore was fairly unusual, but if every encore was as good as this maybe it is something other bands should look to do. We were treated to April Skies,  Head On, Some Candy Talking, Psychocandy, Up Too High, Reverance and finishing with the glorious noisefest that is Upside Down.

Then down to the real business of the night, Psychocandy from start to finish. Anyone expecting a cosy nostalgia trip would have left the shows disappointed. Audience interaction was almost non existent with Jim and William just getting on with the job in hand and letting the songs speak for themselves. The main event was wryly introduced by a grainy clip from Town Of Tomorrow, an archive promotional film extolling the virtues of the Mary Chain’s native East Kilbride. The feedback levels were turned up to almost painful levels which did, on occasion, completely drown out the lovely melodies that were so much in evidence on the album, which was a real pity on songs like You Trip Me Up. It worked to great effect on tracks like The Living End and In My Hole, but not so much on the album's more delicate numbers. Despite that, these gigs were a reminder of how important The Mary Chaim were. They could easily have played the album as if they were going through the motions, but this was a band on fire, playing with more fury and urgency than they have for many years. The Mary Chain never had anything to prove about what a great album Psychocandy is, but for any doubters these shows were evidence that they are one of the most important British bands of the last 30 years and that Psychocandy is one of the most important albums of the last 30 years.

You Trip Me Up


  1. Great write up Scott. Glad you enjoyed it too
    Swiss Adam

  2. I will probably regret this, but who are EATB?

  3. Adam - really glad I made the decision to go. Craig over at Plain or Pan ? has written a great review of the Glasgow gig
    George - a wee Scouse band better known as Echo and The Bunnymen...

  4. Hi Scott,
    I won't be posting to The Vintage Song of the Day anymore, in case you want to remove that link.