Jesus and Mary Chain set for Glasgow gig
- Malcolm Jack
- 6 November 2014
Band will play classic album Psychocandy in full at Barrowland
It’s possible to identify only a few true Big Bang moments in British music and Psychocandy was one. With an echoey boom-thwack of Bobby Gillespie’s rudimentary drum kit, a beautiful hiss of guitar fuzz and feedback, and a shy drawl of Jim Reid’s sublimely pained vocals, a whole universe of incredible music was born and still grows.
The Jesus and Mary Chain’s 1985 debut album in many ways cast the die for the next ten years of indie, put Creation Records on its path to glory and notoriety (Psychocandy came out on Blanco y Negro, but JAMC were still managed by Alan McGee), and effectively marked the end of post-punk by reimagining the Velvet Underground as produced by Phil Spector, ushering in a new era of impassioned pop reconstructivism (record collection rock as others have less kindly called it). The Mary Chain arguably never made another truly great album in five attempts, but hey, who cares?
It’s debatable how much of Psychocandy’s awesome romance will be captured by these two classic-album-in-full shows at the Barrowland, as it’s toured in its entirety for the first time almost 30 years on. The Reids of 1985 – East Kilbride brothers Jim and William, the band’s violently volatile nucleus – would probably throw up at the idea of their three decades older selves, heads of once straggly-wild black hair now shorn, greyed and thinning, doing these inherently youthful songs of love, lust, rage and stoned confusion for a politely reverent adult audience. But then, such was the fighty infamy of their mid-80s gigs, thanks to Alan McGee’s Malcolm McLaren-cribbed love of flash-bang publicity, the record’s release was rather drowned in a torrent of hype, drugs, drink and riots. If the Mary Chain of today can do careful justice to Psychocandy’s more fragile, lesser-recognised gems like ‘Cut Dead’, never mind noisy marquee numbers like ‘Just Like Honey’ and ‘Never Understand’, then rock history might just be momentarily reconstructed once again.
Barrowland, Glasgow, Fri 21 & Sun 23 Nov.