The Jesus and Mary Chain
And on tour, Europe/USA
Even before the first fuzz of feedback is played, the air in Komedia is charged. “We love you Jimmy!” someone shouts as the vocalist takes his place at the mic and his curly-mopped sibling lifts his guitar. The affection for this band is palpable. The Jesus and Mary Chain have earnt their loyal fans by releasing consistency catchy songs that strike the right balance of melody and feedback-riven rock with a brief nod to 60s pop.
Amputation, the first song on their 2017 album, Damage and Joy, sets the scene for the concert. This is not a gig just for promoting their latest album though, as Happy When it Rains follows, and is greeted with fond cheers. The buoyant crowd tonight is mostly older fans, and the mixture of new songs combined with old favourites from their extensive back catalogue is received enthusiastically. Darklands and Some Candy Talking are like homecomings – warm, welcoming reminders of times past. The controlled feedback and psychedelic rock of Just Like Honey stills feel fresh and relevant tonight.
For a couple of songs, they are joined on stage by Bernadette, who provides a perfectly understated female counterpoint to Jim’s vocals. Always Sad, a song about looking back with longing at a doomed relationship, is sung wistfully by both singers. This song, alongside All Things Pass and others on the Damage and Joy album, suggests some maturing of lyrics as well as changing perspectives on life.
The interplay between the brothers still rivets, although nowadays it seems much more light-hearted. William’s superb musicianship supports Jim’s idiosyncratic microphone-hugging vocals. The band give good value for money. After sixteen songs, they retire, coming back for an encore of a further four songs.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – a band that is well worth staying out late for (and missing the bus) on a Monday night.