As Jim Reid stands just visible within a cloud of dry ice silhouetted by stained glass windows, I can’t think of a more fitting (if not ironic) venue than The Church in Leeds to host a much awaited return from The Jesus and Mary Chain.
This is The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first tour in two years following the release of new album Damage and Joy, and after performing at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Glasgow only a couple of days previous, the band did not falter in delivering a blistering set. Kicking off with the opening track from their first released record in 18 years, the punchy ‘Amputation’ was the first of many new tracks eagerly received by a crowd of all ages.
Witnessing live performances of songs that herald The Jesus and Mary Chain as being one of the most important and influential bands of all time was a privilege. These included classics from their seminal album Psychocandy, such as ‘April Skies’ and ‘Taste of Cindy’ also the iconic ‘Just like Honey’. Although Jim Reid provided little on stage banter, this was by no means necessary as The Jesus and Mary Chain effortlessly moved from track to track. The band provided the perfect contrast between the 80s indie disco tunes, rock, noise pop and post- punk numbers that demonstrate the versatility of the talented Scottish band.
Following the cry of the encore it was apparent that the premiering of the excellent Damage and Joy was integral to this concert. The Jesus and Mary Chain even finished on new track ‘War on Peace’ as Jim Reid stated that to be fair, it is a pretty good song. This suitably concluded a reminiscent but equally refreshing gig from one of the greatest and most poignant bands to emerge from the 80s.