BY TIM HINELY
Ok, I’m the guy who’s still kicking himself for missing that first Jesus and Mary Chain tour . They played the Chestnut Cabaret in Philly and a buncha pals went and I had to work. I think it was 1985. Apparently they play for about 20 minutes with their backs to the crowd, a total squall of feedback and bad vibes. Damn I wish I was there.
Ok, so I did see the band in the 1994 tour with Mazzy Star and Velvet Crush opening (the Fillmore in San Francisco). That show was good, don’t get me wrong, but….
Ok, so their classic debut, Psychocandy is easily my favorite record by them so when I heard they were touring said record, I began saving my allowance. I had to go. I missed openers The Black Rider (from Australia) but heard from reliable sources that they were real good.
The Mary Chain came out at 9:15 (love these early gigs!) and, before they kicked into “Just Like Honey’ they played an opening set of about 20 minutes worth of other tunes including “April Skies,” “Head On,” “Upside Down” and “Some Candy Talking” among others (would have loved to have heard their cover of “Vegetable Man,” from their first single, but no such luck)
They took a quick break and came back out, smoke machine going off like an old ladies bingo hall, and we heard that classic drumbeat (Phil Spector anyone) and “Just Like Honey” was born (or reborn) and I mist say, it sounded great (kudos to the Ogden’s sound guy). So from that cut all the way through “It’s So Hard” we oldsters (and the few youngsters) got out wish. Especially tasty was the revved up “The Living End” and the dizzying “You Trip Me Up.”
Admittedly, the Reid Brothers (and band) didn’t do a ton of moving around on stage (vocalist Jim, at the mic, uttered a few thank yous while William stayed in the back, head down, and coaxed noise out of his guitar). The crowd, many older than I (yeah!) were certainly into it as they hung on ever word most of them wore their 80’ best, too. We all expected even more after the end of Psychocandy’s final song, but no such luck, the house lights came on, we all looked at each other, recoiled in horror and walked out.