Review by Jonathan Taylor
Over 30 years since its original release, The Jesus and Mary Chain head out on a European tour to celebrate their iconic second album ‘Darklands’ playing the record in its entirety.
On the first of two nights, we join the brothers from East Kilbride in the beautiful surroundings of the Albert Hall in Manchester.
The audience in Manchester spans the generations which is testament to The Jesus and Mary Chain, the impact of their fuzzy guitars and distorted feedback soundscapes and its ability to resonate way beyond their original fan base.
On arrival to the stage, the Reid brothers are greeted with a wave of appreciation. The set opens with the brooding guitars of album title track ‘Darklands’ which sounds beautifully wistful and nostalgic, whilst country inspired ‘Deep One Perfect Morning’ is as brooding and atmospheric in equal measure. Hit singles off the album ‘Happy When It Rains’ and ‘April Skies’ are indicative of the bands more celebratory pop sound and still sound incredible live regardless of the passage of time. ‘Nine Million Rainy Days’ is dark and melodic, whilst ‘Fall’ is laden with beats, brazen guitars and tumultuous vocals. Set one ends with the closing track on the album ‘About You’.
After a brief break in proceedings, The Jesus and Mary Chain return to the stage for the second set of the evening. The set incorporates tracks from pre ‘Darklands’ through to tracks from ‘Damage and Joy’, with the likes of ‘Happy Place’, ‘I Love rock n Roll’, ‘Up too High’ and ‘Kill Surf City’.
Throughout their musical career, The Jesus and Mary Chain have always continued to evolve and experiment musically but have always kept the traditions of Rock and Roll the primary focus and foundation of their music. To hear ‘Darklands’ played in its entirety was beautifully nostalgic and reminiscent of years gone by. The two sets tonight, beginning with ‘Darklands’, transcending into their back catalogue was an incredible journey of music and proved without question that The Jesus and Mary Chain are one of the most cherished UK acts of recent decades.
Full Set List:
Set One (Darklands played in full)
Deep One Perfect Morning
Happy When It Rains
Down On Me
Nine Million Rainy Days
Chery came Too
On The Wall
Everything’s Alright When You’re Down
Can’t Stop The Rock
God Help Me
I Love Rock n Roll
Up Too High
Kill Surf City