Live Review: The Jesus & Mary Chain, Flyying Colours

13 March 2019 | 1:13 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"The Jesus & Mary Chain blow our heads off."

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Flyying Colours frontman Brodie Brümmer definitely has Bobby Gillespie hair goals. Melanie Barbaro, the band's nonchalant, metronomic bassist has a bit of a twangy, Flea-esque playing style (in a pleasing way) and Flyying Colours' instrumental freakouts are excellent. Andy Lloyd-Russell's decorative drum head is trippy beyond belief! Someone’s obviously had a crafty night in on the shrooms. One of their songs calls to mind The Cure’s Pictures Of You. If we’d had a compression session prior to entry they’d be the best band ever. Then after an extended squall of feedback, they’re gone. Great choice of support. If The Jesus & Mary Chain’s own merch wasn’t so strong their fans would probably pick up a Flyying Colours CD on the way out. 

We appreciate The Jesus & Mary Chain’s consistent fonts with their band name emblazoned across the backdrop, Orange amps and drum head. They open with Amputation and those without earplugs immediately fear that dreaded post-gig ringing sensation (actually, a guitar effect that evokes standing inside a wind tunnel gives us a preview). Australian-born, LA-based guitarist Scott Von Ryper (The Morning After Girls, The Black Ryder) looks like something out of an '80s hair metal video clip with his long, jet-black hair blowing around violently thanks to a close proximity Beyoncé fan.

Some fancy moving lights create swirls on the stage surface while vivid colours slicing through darkness. Halfway To Crazy swaggers into the mix and the band's famously shy lead singer Jim Reid doesn't utter a single word in between songs. The way Reid cradles the mic in both hands and hunches forward – often in profile – gives the appearance that he’s playing harmonica. All Things Pass is a rollicking delight and those meticulously layered guitars hypnotise. "Is everybody alright out there?” Reid finally speaks in that fine Scottish brogue. The way Some Candy Talking spirals into an extended instrumental dervish to close is inspired beyond belief. Before their main set closer, Reid quietly announces "it doesn’t have to be” their last song 'cause if we “make some noise” they’ll come back out. Reverence is so wonderfully angst-ridden and feedback-drenched that we'd need our pulses checked if we made no noise after that one!

For their encore, Gemma O'Connor from Flyying Colours is welcomed to the stage to supply additional vocals on Just Like Honey and does a tremendous job despite looking like she’s desperately trying not to lose her shit with excitement. Mark Crozer's insistent bass opens Cracking Up and layered vocals give the impression of hearing voices in your own head: "Some said I was a freak/am a freak..." – stirring stuff. 

“Thank you for coming along tonight, it’s been a blast,” Reid concludes and then The Jesus & Mary Chain blow our heads off with the blistering I Hate Rock 'n' Roll, during which Reid's brother William absolutely unleashes on guitar, making the instrument howl like a trapped demon. The Jesus & Mary Chain hit The Croxton stage this Thursday night and you'd have to be a loony to miss out.