Canadian Music Week - CMW 2015 - Report Card - The Jesus and Mary Chain

CMW Report Card ’15: The Jesus and Mary Chain @ The Phoenix

Friday, May 1. Noise rock pioneers attract youngster imitators, grey-haired fans in droves.

- May 2, 2015

Background/Composition: Scottish alt rock pioneers The Jesus and Mary Chain celebrate their landmark debut's 30th birthday with the Psychocandy anniversary tour.

Grit: A-

So The Jesus and Mary Chain have been reunited for 8 years; that's longer than the time between Psychocandy and their fourth full-length release, Honey's Dead. I went into this with no concept of what the reconvened JAMC might sound like, only questions: does 8 years of 'just playing the hits' sap your power? Would three decades of time hence mellow that album's devastating noisiness? What about this lineup? Turns out those five 50-somethings on stage are still louder and noisier than most of the youngsters ripping them off today.

Jesus and Mary Chain- The Living End

Endurance: A-

They played two sets — one that pulled from the first decade of their catalogue and then Psychocandy in its entirety. Most dudes their age have to take pills to keep it up that long.

Charisma: B

It's hard to be engaging for two whole hours, especially when despondency is part of your schtick. Perhaps if I were a superfan, I'd have been smitten. The two ahead of me seemed to be. Let's call them Fred and Dougie — a classic gallant and gull combo, both in their mid-40s, one tall and composed, the other stout and obnoxious and probably a bit drunk. At one point, I overheard Fred tell Dougie, "I want to be him," pointing at frontman Jim Reid, but Dougie misunderstood: "Which one would I do? Ah, yeah, I'd do him, too." Later, Fred lamented, "Why didn't we ever start a band? That could be us up there," to which Dougie, his plucky, ever-hopeful sidekick responded, "Why is it too late?"

You hear about legendary concerts where everyone in the audience goes home and starts a band — we might've just witnessed the genesis of Fred & Dougie. That's the power of The Jesus and Mary Chain: they make it look like anyone could do it.


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