Photos by Maclay Heriot
On Saturday night, as part of the Spectrum Now festival at the Domain in Sydney, the legendary Jesus and Mary Chain celebrated the 30th anniversary of their seminal debut album, Psychocandy, by playing the entire record live.
A couple things to take into consideration. Psychocandy came out in 1985. In 1985, the median age of the band was about 25 years old. Now Jim Reid can buy a seniors movie ticket and ride the bus for free. Also, as the album turned the big three oh last year, JMC have already been touring it for close to ten months. So, when the set time is listed for 9.40pm, but the band is ready to play at 9.25pm, the band goes on at 9.25pm. Which means at 9.26pm, there is mass hysteria at the entrance of the Big Top as die-hard fans rush to get their ticket scanned before they miss the opening chords of “You Trip Me Up” without spilling any of their beer.
Once inside, we’re all treated to the loudest play-through of the album we’ve ever heard. And that’s really what it is. Not a single vocal or chord differed from the recording. Which isn’t a bad thing—it’s actually exactly what everyone came to see. I was still in utero when Psychocandy came out, and due to my inability to walk or use the bathroom on my own in the immediate years that followed my birth, was unable to ever see it played live at the time of its release. The crowd was pretty split age-wise, so I’d confidently say 50% of the crowd shared my sentiment, which was pretty simple: I was just happy to be there.