daniel benson

Review: The Jesus and Mary Chain @ Newcastle's o2 Academy

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The Jesus and Mary chain

My ears had taken a beating and I felt like an old man complaining about how loud it was. Some of the music The Jesus and Mary Chain play is classed as ‘noise’ and that’s all it was, noise. Head-splitting, ear bleeding, I don’t understand how anyone is enjoying this enough to jump up and down.

The words Game Over were projected onto the backdrop and I prayed for my hearing they were done. The effects pedals were switched off giving my ears the sweet release of silence; the lights came on and I knew I was going to be ok.

A guy walked out asking his wife if she enjoyed it while wiggling his ear unable to hear her response, another was shouting for the vocals to be turned up as the instruments drowned them out. I only heard two lines of lyrics throughout the whole night, one of them was the repeated statement “I wanna die” which is a phrase I’ll refrain from using to describe my thoughts on the gig. Hearing the lyrics seemed to tie in with the theme of the night – bored performers looking like they’ve been forced to perform their debut album Psychocandy.

When walking onto the stage lead singer Jim Reid announced they would play a couple of hits, go off for a cup of tea then return to play Psychocandy, the audience didn’t react well to this, especially one man who began to hurl abuse at the band; I’ve never understood this, why is there always someone in the crowd hurling abuse at the performers, or others standing completely still and refusing to show any interest in what’s going on in-front of them, using a pint as an excuse not to move.

The Membranes were support due to Eagulls pulling out.  Self-describing their sound as “a bit chaotic but it’s got a groove to it,” the post-punk style was pleasantly different and fun; there was no need to get aggro and start beating the people around me in a violent mosh.

During the closing of The Jesus and the Mary Chain’s set a psychedelic cloud was projected over me, I felt like it was about to start churning out rainbow drops. It’s a shame the atmosphere wasn’t great and everyone looked sad as such a beautiful visual floated above us. If it was a symbol for the reaction I was getting from the crowd it would be a dark grey, the colour the sky gets before absolutely pouring down.


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