The Jesus and Mary Chain might have started off their Newcastle show last night with new song Always Sad, but the near-capacity crowd there to see them at the Riverside were anything but sad to have them back.
It was one of five songs from their new album Damage and Joy, out today, to be given an airing, the others being Amputation, Song For a Secret, War on Peace and All Things Pass, a revised and slightly-retitled version of their 2008 single All Things Must Pass.
All five fitted nicely into their 19-song set, being much of a piece with the Scots’ back catalogue despite the 19-year gap between the new LP and its predecessor, 1998’s Munki.
The loudest cheers of the night, however, were reserved for classics such as April Skies, their biggest hit, having reached No 8 in 1987, and 1992’s Reverence, their only other top 10 single.
The four tracks they played from Psychocandy – Just Like Honey, Taste of Cindy, The Living End and You Trip Me Up – during their five-song encore were given an especially warm welcome as it wasn’t until then that their 1985 debut album got a look-in, although 1986 EP title track Some Candy Talking, included on later versions of the LP, did feature earlier on.
This was the first night of a 12-date British tour to plug Damage and Joy, so that might explain some teething troubles they appeared to be experiencing with their sound early on, leaving Jim Reid’s vocals sounding muffled and the guitar-playing of his brother William, sporting the best Sideshow Bob hairstyle seen in the city since the departure of Newcastle United defender Fabricio Coloccini last year, overshadowed by Brian Young’s drums, but they were largely ironed out within the first half-hour of a fine hour-and-a-half set, their first here since a 2015 show at the O2 Academy to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Psychocandy.
n The Jesus and Mary Chain played at Barrowland in Glasgow the night after their Newcastle show as part of this year’s BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, and footage from that set can be seen online until Sunday, April 23, at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04wtm27/the-6-music-festival-the-jesus-and-mary-chain