Live review: Friday at Barrowlands, BBC 6 Music Festival 2017 (3 stars)

Live review: BBC 6 Music Festival, Friday at Barrowlands

The Jesus and Mary Chain / credit: BBC/Sarah Jeynes

The Jesus and Mary Chain and Ride bring a thick dose of nostalgia

The Barrowlands is in indie nostalgia mode this evening, as the tribes gather to hear their reformed faves. Both headliners come with new material, but there's little sense of them having updated their sound.

All hail Sleaford Mods, then. Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn are no spring chickens, but their electronic-punk rants are all the more vital in this grim era of May and Trump. Even at 5pm, maximum sonic agitation ensues.

There's a lot to like about Warpaint's reverb-drenched Los Angeles post-punk, with Jenny Lee Lindberg's Jah Wobble-influenced basslines grooving away under Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman's goth Stevie Nicks vocals. It's the streamlined modern indie elements that hold them back: that disco-punk beat sounds a little played out in 2017, while the weirder, dubbier elements don't always get a chance to breathe.

Good stuff all the same, and a damned sight more interesting than Ride's stadium shoegaze. The Oxford band's mix of sing-song melodies and noise-rock guitars fails to kiss the sky. There's none of My Bloody Valentine's woozy sensuality, or Loop's cosmic heaviness. And the new songs sound like the Bluetones with effects pedals.

The best songs on Damage and Joy, Jesus and Mary Chain's first album in nineteen years, are the dreamy ballads. But tonight, the warring brothers from East Kilbride mostly play the album's rockers, insouciant two-chord affairs that chug away effectively enough, without ever being stretched into freakier shapes. Classics like 'April Skies' and 'Just Like Honey' are given solid readings, but lack wonder.

BBC 6 Music Festival 2017 can be watched on BBC iPlayer.


Harmonic femme rock four-piece from LA.

The Jesus & Mary Chain

Psychedelic noise rock from the Scottish band formed by brothers Jim and William Reid.


Fuzzy indie from the reformed shoegaze pioneers.

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