The age-old association between beauty and violence has been played out by countless musicians and artists, but few so well as the Reid brothers of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The infamous East Kilbride natives are back in Glasgow this week for the UK leg of their ‘Damage and Joy’ tour, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more astonishing live combination of ear-splitting feedback and romantic melodies. The band has been battering audiences with sonic fury and sullen insolence since the release of their innovative 1985 debut Psychocandy, spawning many imitators, from the first wave of shoegaze to The Stone Roses and subsequent indie-rock acts. None have quite matched the simple but unique blend of pop-rock big hooks and squalling distortion of songs like ‘Never Understand’ and ‘Just Like Honey’, in which the live ethos lies more in the overall sound and feel than in razor-sharp replication of the record.
March saw the release of Damage and Joy, the band’s first album in nineteen years and a triumphant return, the songs of which will sit nicely with the old staples of Psychocandy, Darklands and Munki when played at the O2 ABC. To witness the best thing ever to happen to a Shin Ei pedal, grab some tickets and head down to see these legendary havoc-wreakers this Saturday the 13th.
Image: Steve Gullick