Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Fri 15 Mar.
It’s a Friday night, the Adelaide Fringe is at its peak, and there are entertainment options spanning the city. Despite all of that, The Gov is packed. This is no mean feat. What with everything else that is going on, it is clear that The Jesus and Mary Chain are a popular choice indeed. Impressive. The faithful are out in force. The Reid brothers emerge, along with their cohorts, and kick things off with Amputation, a song from the 2017 release Damage and Joy. And away we go…
The gig has a fluency that runs throughout. There’s little dynamic change within or between the simply constructed songs, but this is The Jesus and Mary Chain. You know what you are going to get. The entire ninety-minute performance is veiled in smoke, but it’s safe to assume that the hazy figures supplying the music along with the Reids are indeed Scott Von Ryper, (guitar), Brian Young (drums) and Mark Crozer (bass). The mix is pretty good and, as expected, the assault on the eardrums has a cumulative effect. There’s almost no talking between the minimal gaps between songs, so it’s relentless. On the rare occasion that Jim Reid says anything, it’s just about impossible to discern. All of this only serves to accentuate the focus on the sound over everything else and, if you are into it, all is good. Guitars, guitars and more guitars. The show highlights songs from all points of the JAMC canon, going back as far as the mid-Eighties with Some Candy Talking, right up to a selection of numbers from the latest album.
Two of the highpoints, song-wise, are quite possibly Reverence (from the 1992 Honey’s Dead album) which closes the show proper, and 1985’s Just Like Honey, which begins the lengthy encore.
At the end of the night, the audience spills out into the relatively quiet and clean air of the city streets. The Jesus and Mary Chain have uncompromisingly done their thing, and the masses have enjoyed an assured performance that they won’t forget in quite a while.
Image courtesy of David Robinson