The Jesus & Mary Chain (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

The Jesus & Mary Chain

credit: Steven Gullick

One of Scotland's most iconic bands bring their best to Leith

Spinning Coin make a laid back entrance onto the Leith Theatre stage, but you couldn't accuse them of not giving a fuck. Less than a year after the release of their debut full-length Permo (a peculiar omission from the recently announced SAY Award longlist) they perform a set of mostly new songs tonight, evidence the four-piece have no desire to stand still. Amongst the fresh material there are some indie guitar anthems in waiting.

It's a hometown show for Honeyblood and, with the crowd filling up, they rise to the occasion. This is a performance full of focus from Stina Tweeddale and Cat Myers. The charisma of the former is undeniable, and the latter's rhythmic mastery goes beyond the drum kit; she provides vocal harmonies throughout and - on 'Love Is A Disease' - plays the beat with one hand and a synth riff on a pad with the other. A double header of 'Super Rat' and 'All Dragged Up' has a furious edge, and - as Myers makes a show of sinking her beer before the closing flourish of 'Ready For The Magic' - you take your hat off to the duo.

Expectations are high for The Jesus & Mary Chain and it's a blistering set from one of Scotland's best and most influential guitar bands, punishingly loud but undeniably melodic. Opening with 'Amputation' from their most recent album, 2017's Damage and Joy, they play 'April Skies' and 'Head On' early doors, with the light show making an early impression, a frantic flurry of blinding white. There's no messing about here, a mumbled 'thank you' is about all the chat Jim Reid has to offer, with the focus on firing through an excellent back catalogue. 'Teenage Lust' and 'Reverence' bring serious swagger, 'Just Like Honey' has everyone getting their phones out to document the moment and from the new tracks 'All Things Pass' is a stand out, followed by 'Some Candy Talking' it holds up well. The closing 'I Hate Rock'n'Roll' rounds off what is a triumphant night for Scottish guitar groups. Who could hate this?

Reviewed at Leith Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 14 Aug.

Hidden Door present The Jesus and Mary Chain

  • 4 stars

Edinburgh multi-arts festival Hidden Door was instrumental in getting the long out-of-action Leith Theatre open to the public again, after years of being used as a council storage facility. So it seems only fitting that the organisers do their own one-night takeover of the magnificent venue, filling the space with film…