Their first show since 2008, The Jesus And Mary Chain were as noisy and belligerent as ever as, both deafening and blinding, sound and light used as weapons against the mesmerised crowd and smoke billowing from the stage, making it more of a strategy to get the crowd to bow down to Pyschocandy. Forming in East Kilbride in 1983, the band announced their arrival on the scene with a series of provocatively short gigs (average length: ten minutes) and here lies the birth of shoe-gazing.
Released in 1985, Psychocandy was a Molotov cocktail of speed and hallucinogens mixed with equal parts Beach Boys’ melody and Velvets’ minimalism, however it is now similar to the likes of The Horrors and Spiritualized. On the 30th anniversary of Psychocandy Reid stated “Psychocandy was meant to be a kick in the teeth to all of those who stood in our way at the time”, and it still is a kick in the teeth – both painful and exciting.
‘Just Like Honey’ was the key to the success of the album in 1985, the drums ring out to the crowd and the heavy distorted guitar beckons them to only sing back to something which crafted their adolescence – showing that they still had it and that their fanbase was still as loyal as it ever had been. Other key successes such as ‘You Trip Me Up’ and ‘Never Understand’ were as fulfilling as they were in the ’80s, the heavy distortion still sounds like a bit of an assault on the ears, however who are we to judge; they are the kings of the generation and of the genre that keeps picking up and falling.
Unfortunately not everything lasts forever, voices drag and become something which it wasn’t before, and it is something that these past bands should understand. Of course, it was a great performance as The Jesus And Mary Chain were something that changed music for the better, and ‘Just Like Honey’ is a tune that is going to stay with many, however the risky comebacks of major bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Cure are something which should maybe stop. They are bands that stomped through the problems of the generations, but maybe it is time for The Mary Chain to take a step back and watch the problems unfold, allowing upcoming artists to have a chance at making a difference like they did.
‘Psychocandy – Barrowlands Live’ is released on 31st July.