On Monday night, Far Out had the pleasure of witnessing shoegaze architects The Jesus and Mary Chain live, who thrilled The Foundry in Sheffield with a stunning career spanning set.
The Mary Chain, who are made up of brothers Jim and William Reid alongside touring members, put on a special live show and it’s hard not to think just how under-appreciated they are in Britain, with an arsenal of incredible material built up over the past 30 years, I can only feel as if they should be playing to more than 600 odd people in a student’s union.
The venue’s intimacy did help create a warm atmosphere, with the band visibly enjoying themselves which was a feeling that was reciprocated with the audience who the Scottish band’s music had no doubt sound-tracked their lives and evoked memories.
The band burst straight into the lead single from new record Damage and Joy ‘Amputation’. The furious song sees Reid sing about his frustrations with how the music industry has treated them, stating he is “a rock and roll amputation.”
Six songs from the new record made up the 22-song set and were greeted in a positive fashion from the audience who no doubt have been desperate to hear new material over the last 19 years since they released their previous album 1998’s Munki. It was a beautiful moment when William Reid brought out his partner Bernadette Denning – who sings on the record – to join him on vocal duty for ‘Always Sad’.
Psychocandy will always be synonymous with The Jesus and Mary Chain, but the band surprisingly only treated the audience’s sweet tooth to three pieces of from the iconic album. ‘In a Hole’ and ‘Some Candy Talking’ both sounded breath-taking and the audience were loving every second of them.
They ended their main set in killer fashion with the beautifully sinful ‘Reverence’ into the epic finale of ‘Darklands’ taken from the 1994 album with the same name, frontman Jim Reid told the audience before they left the “this is our last song but you know what to do if you want more.”
Moments later they were back on stage accompanied by Bernadette once more and into the fuzzy genius of ‘Just Like Honey’ kicking off a four-song encore, with every person in the building singing along, showcasing the ability music has in bringing people together.
Finishing the encore on another track from Damage and Joy, the dreamy ‘War on Peace’ before briefly leaving the stage again then coming back to delight the crowd with a second encore. The final song of the night came in the shape of ‘I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll’ which brought the performance full circle with Reid singing about his contempt for the industry just like in opener ‘Amputation’.
The Reid brothers proved that there is life in the old-dog yet and their new songs sound immaculate in a live setting. Hopefully it won’t be another 19 years till the next record as the Scottish shoegaze legends certainly still have it.