Live Review: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Flyying Colours

18 March 2019 | 3:34 pm | Staff Writer

"Jim Reid's voice sounds just as good as it did on 'Psychocandy'."

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Nearly two years ago, we were graced with a new Jesus & Mary Chain record after nearly 20 years of silence. The brothers Reid and their compatriots had dropped side projects and solo endeavours, but with the release of Damage & Joy we finally got new material from the Scottish alt-rockers, and a chance to see them live.

An ageing band drew an ageing crowd, with most punters pushing north of 40. However, a smattering of youngsters were there to witness a band that is constantly referred to by other artists as a major influence. 

And it was this influence that could be seen in opening act Flyying Colours. This four-piece from Melbourne have a sound that owes greatly to the noise-rock and shoegaze bands that came before them. Equal parts Slowdive, MBV and A Place To Bury Strangers, the band built wall-of-noise tracks with a pop sensibility. Pushed right to the front of the stage with the J&MC gear behind them, they really delivered even with limited stage real estate. 

A quick stage change, and the house lights were brought down, the venue obscured in a haze of smoke. Gone are the days of amphetamine-powered 20-minute sets of violence and aggression. Their audience had aged, and so have they – this The Jesus & Mary Chain is more mellow, more adult, but still 100% tight. They delivered a set that sounded like it came straight off the record. Amazingly after almost 35 years, Jim Reid's voice sounds just as good as it did on Psychocandy. Although this was a tour for the new record, three quarters of the set was classic The Jesus & Mary Chain, with all the crowd faves dropped, including April Skies, Reverence, Halfway To Crazy and many more.

There was limited banter; the band just let the music speak for itself. As the set wound down, Jim Reid threatened to head off stage for “tea and crumpets” unless the crowd made enough noise to bring them back.

A boisterous crowd chanted for more, and we were rewarded with an impressive encore; perennial favourite Just Like Honey, followed by Cracking Up and the tinnitus-inducing In A Hole. Relief came with the more mellow War On Peace, before The Jesus & Mary Chain finished with the anti-music industry thumper I Hate Rock’n’Roll. A truly rollercoaster set that showed why J&MC will forever be etched in the history of alternative rock.

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