The Jesus and Mary Chain at The Barrowlands, 21/11/14

The Jesus and Mary Chain return to a sold out Barrowlands for two special nights, celebrating their legendary 1985 album Psychocandy.

Frontman Jim Reid walks on to the stage and greets the crowd by telling them they are going to start with their encore and then with the album in full.

After the opening couple of verses and choruses of ‘April Skies’, from the band’s second album Darklands, it already feels like the crowd are getting their money’s worth.

This is followed by classics such as ‘Head On’, which sends the crowd in to complete euphoria before the band walk off stage at the end of their “encore” only to return moments later to perform Psychocandy.

The sound, the loudest I have ever witnessed, literally blows the crowd away, but they do not seem to care and dance and shout and jump around with their hands in the air.

Pints are tossed back and forth without the blink of an eye, as Reid somehow remains cool and calm on stage amongst the mayhem the band has orchestrated through their fantastic fusion of melody, brutal drum beats and choking basslines.

The roaring piercing and instantly recognisable drum beat and guitar riff for opening track ‘Just Like Honey’ sends the Barrowland in to raptures as the volume is cranked up a notch.

The bright white lights that sit behind the band glow out on to the delighted faces of the Glaswegian crowd as the smoke billows out and around Reid, his voice soothes through the entire song, a moment to cherish for any Mary Chain fanatic.

Jim’s brother, William seems to struggle at times to keep his guitar in tune, but this seems natural for a band as raw and edgy as The Mary Chain, the crowd know what is coming next and therefore are patient until this element is corrected and the band continue.

As more feedback drills in to the souls of the crowd, it seems to energise everybody as fast paced punk edge tracks like ‘The Hardest Walk’ and ‘Cut Dead’ do their best to ensure everyone has a headache in the morning.

The lights dim on stage and as the house lights flicker on there is not a single person who is not left mesmerised and exhausted from an epic display of an album that is timeless, yet in its own right, sincerely 80s, remaining true to its cause.

Words: Chris Flockhart

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