Music review: The Jesus and Mary Chain, ABC, Glasgow

The Jesus and Mary Chain have been back on the concert trail for a solid decade, almost as dependable now as they were volatile in their younger years. But there was an extra gust in their sails this time, thanks to the release this year of their long-awaited comeback album, Damage and Joy.
The Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim and William ReidThe Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim and William Reid
The Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim and William Reid

The Jesus and Mary Chain ****

ABC, Glasgow

So it was with a renewed sense of purpose that they launched into its fine opening track Amputation at the top of the set and slotted other new numbers seamlessly into a show which darted around their catalogue to showcase both the dynamism and common threads, such as the Duane Eddy guitar twang and uplifting melody of Head On or the Phil Spector drums of Darklands, which have populated their music over the past 30 years.

Not being natural performers, momentum was the key. The Reid brothers were once notorious for their shows’ chaotic brevity. They still don’t hang about – a swift hour into proceedings they rounded off the main set with the acid rock wigout of Reverence, throwing in April Skies and Stooges references, and kept up the chase with the turbocharged Cracking Up and headlong distorted rockabilly of In a Hole.

But curfews must be observed (changed days for this once most punk of bands) and so they bowed out with the well-behaved I Hate Rock’n’Roll.