Monday, 24 November 2014

Jesus and Marychain at Glasgow Barrowland

The Jesus and Marychain brought Psychocandy to the world famous Glasgow Barrowland last night, creating a show akin to a psychedelic 60's happening - the light show was incredible and the films playing in the background felt perfect for the throbbing punk rock white noise coming from William Reid's electric guitar.

Reid's guitar growled, howled and scowled, it squealed and we could feel it, vibrating through our ears. This was a loud rock n roll show, a legendary band playing a seminal album.

Sunday was the second of two sold out nights the Marychain were playing in Glasgow. Dry ice filled the stage as the band came on at 9.30pm sharp. Jim Reid told us they would be playing their encore first, going off for a couple of minutes and then coming on to play Psychocandy. He was true to his word.

April Skies kicked in, opening proceedings in style, surging and flowing superbly. The band didn't waste any time with chat between songs. Head On was one of the best songs of the night, Jim stood at the front commanding attention while William stood by his amp, seemingly as enthralled by the sound he was generating from his guitar as the crowd.

Some Candy Talking is indie guitar perfection - the Velvets reimagined post punk in East Kilbride. Reverence was simply outstanding, William Reid given free reign to let rip over the groove as his brother told us he wanted to die just like Jesus Christ.

Upside Down was as wild and free live as it was when it was first recorded. Psychocandy and Up Too High were also played during this initial short set/encore. It whetted the appetite for a Marychain Greatest Hits set when they finish touring this album... that may take a while.

And so on to Psychocandy. The performance was spellbinding and spine tingling - and it certainly cleared my ears; leaving them ringing until the small hours of the morning.

The light show pulsed and flashed in time to the music, the projections on the big screen behind the stage added to the whole feel and the music was raw and powerful. Reid's guitar channelled everything from surf, to punk, to 60's riffs and the raw power of the Stooges. There was a least two occasions when I thought of I Wanna Be Your Dog.

The power of Psychocandy live in 2014 put the production of the album back in the 80's (admittedly very cheap production) to shame. I wouldn't bet against the Marychain releasing a live version.

The set went by in a psychedelic blur; Just Like Honey was suitably gorgeous and You Trip Me Up was the highlight of the night for me alongside the earlier Head On.

The audience reaction was as impressive as the performance. Young kids crowd surfed, pogo-d and got up on their mates shoulders and it was fantastic to witness - psychedelic garage punk pop created 30-years ago still generating a reaction.

The Marychain powered through the album leaving little if any gaps between songs, leaving the stage after It's So Hard, the feedback still echoing round the venue.

Psychocandy isn't my favourite Marychain album, I much prefer the more melodic and popper sounds of Darklands and Honey's Dead; but I gained a new respect and understanding for Psychocandy last night. The power, rawness and urgency blurred and combined with melodies, punk and pop was and is unique. It has stood the test of time - it is one of those albums that caused people to pick up guitars and form bands. 30-years on it might just do so again.

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