Three decades after The Jesus and Mary Chain first appeared on the scene in an explosion of noise, leather and attitude, it was announced that one of the most turbulent bands in pop history would be performing their classic debut album, ‘Psychocandy’ live for the first time in its entirety to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release. No surprises then, that this celebration was recorded for release by Demon Records. The Jesus and Mary Chain ‘Live at Barrowlands’, a 10”, LP and CD deluxe edition which chronicles the band’s homecoming gig at Glasgow’s legendary Barrowlands in November 2014.
JAMC were there from my whipper-snapper days as I started out on my music love ram-shackled journey, the Scottish band featured heavily on me throughout early formative years. Now it’s three decades later, and as their homecoming show kicks in, many I feel would swoon at hearing much treasured favourite songs, delivered with gusto and passion, if not to the sound of ruffling flags or plastic party poppers, suffice to hear the odd cheer of recognition coupled with rapturous cheer and applause greeting the last bars of the many songs. Freely admit a natural desktop nodding head pose during the lush ‘Some Candy Talking’ breaks into a cheshire cat sized grin hearing ‘Head On’ as well as just about everything else here in truth. Jesus and The Mary Chain are a great band, ‘Psychocandy’ one of their finest moments, played in one of Scotland’s best loved venues – very little could go wrong, pleasing to report, early doors no bad or half-arsed omens at all. indeed the whole concert is well recorded.
All of the singles, for instance, like the afore-mentioned ‘April Skies’ to to a king-sized ‘Some Candy Talking’, are note perfect, I am bias though, even amongst the deluxe tracks it’s all firmly on the mark, just hear ‘Just Like Honey’ or . What is pleasing to hear are tracks like ‘Up To High’ or ‘Reverence’ (Live At Barrowlands) which heavier a timely dose of of what JAMC can do to bewitch yet another horde of fans.
Speaking of fans, the deluxe rendition is noteworthy for the 40-page hardback book including unseen photography, the words alone sure to bring any newer fan up to speed as it were. distortion to dysfunction carried with a creative edge and fine song writing. Musically it doesn’t get that much better than this. 9/10
As part of the ATP Season at the Roundhouse, Camden, the band will perform ‘Psychocandy’ in full on the 5th July for only the second time in the capital since their reformation.