#1036: 1986, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Some Candy Talking

by George_East on July 31, 2015

A few weekends back Jackie South and I went to see the Jesus and Mary Chain at the Roundhouse performing their seminal 1985 debut album Psychocandy.   The Reid brothers (particularly William) are a bit larger around the waste from their heroin-skinniness back in the day and the drum set up is more than pre-Primals Bobby Gillespie with a couple of floor drums, but my my have they still got it.

The gig consisting of two sets was fantastic through out– a greatest hits package and then Psychocandy had as its highlight  in my view this absolute rock ribbed classic from 1986 (closely followed by an ear splitting version of their debut single, Upside Down – it was the first release after Psychocandy (on a beautiful double vinyl EP, which I still have) and marked a move away from the Phil Spector girl group meets sculpted feedback of that album.   I think it may be the greatest heroin song since, well since Heroin. And it sounded absolutely extraordinary live.

Before the gig the crowd were swapping Jesus and Mary Chain war stories – ‘when I saw them they did one song and played for 20 minutes and then went off’ etc. Indeed to add to that when I first saw them back in 1985 there was a sign up on the way into the gig in felt tip marker which said: ‘The Jesus and Mary Chain play for 30 minutes. The Jesus and Mary Chain don’t do encores’.   That Jesus and Mary Chain – deliberately provocative towards its audience has long gone. And a little bit of me is sad that that is so. However, if they’d stuck to their brief, I wouldn’t have got to hear the genius of Some Candy Talking live that night at all.

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