As The Jesus and Mary Chain took to the stage at London’s Troxy, it was evident that a great deal has changed for the brothers Reid since the release of their truly landmark debut, ‘Psychocandy’. With the crowd a mixture of those who were there and those who wish they had been, the former category may well have missed the big hair and the riotous reputation of near 30 years ago. While this blood-free environment was much safer than Camden’s Electric Ballroom in 1985, it certainly wasn’t sterile, emphatically affirmed by the chugging guitar of the nights opener, ‘April Skies’.
Following their top 10 hit was ‘Head On’, a Pixies favourite, but it was with the soft sixties cadence of ‘Some Candy Talking’ that the East Kilbridian cool really captivated. Effortlessly, with a look of pacific disobedience, Jim Reid led us through a smattering of post-Psychocandy Jesus and Mary Chain, serving to further widen eyes and expectation. Through airing these latter day tracks first, the legacy of the bedroom-built masterpiece they sat atop became less obvious and more simple truth.
And then it came – Psychocandy in full, 30 years later. As the famous Ronettes’ drumbeat met the fuzz-filled guitar, ‘Just Like Honey’ bewitched and beguiled, amplifying the room. Through further marriages of Phil Spector and cacophonous reverb they went; and three decades on it still retains its ingenuity. Though by ‘Sowing Seeds’ and ‘Something’s Wrong’ Psychocandy’s formulaic nature does reveal itself almost completely, it does not matter. Its genesis will always be in a Scottish bedroom and it will never work so well. As ‘It’s So Hard’ comes to an end, Psychocandy, coal and ice, remains as pertinent as ever.
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Review by Adam Steel | @AdamSteeeel