Scottish shoegaze pioneer The Jesus and Mary Chain put an intense show at Studio Coast in Tokyo last Sunday and Japanese diehard fans welcomed them with enthusiasm.
It’s been three years since their last appearance in Japan. The last time they came here was in 2016 as part of the world tour featuring their first album ‘Psychocandy’.
This time, they played a perfect set spanning their entire history.
The Jesus and Mary Chain are formed in East Kilbride near Glasgow in 1983 mainly by The Reid brothers, Jim and William Reid.
They are highly regarded as the originators of shoegaze and have been a big influence on shoegaze, alternative, noise, grunge, and many music genres.
They have been through ups and downs over the last 35 years. After the releases of six studio albums, they had been in a state of breaking up since 1999. Then they reunited in 2007 and released the seventh album ‘Damage and Joy’ in 2017. It was for the first time in 19 years.
Your wait is over. The light dimmed and lots of smoke started to fill the house. I thought this shooting would be tough as expected… Anyway, the hazy air and the very dark back lighting created a surreal atmosphere throughout the show and this dramatic stage setting suited their music style perfectly.
They started with ‘Amputation’, the opening track of their last album and immediately got the Japanese audience into frenzy. ‘April Skies’ from their second album ‘Dark Lands’ followed. We got carried away surrounded by the loud feedback and the droning noise.
They were mostly viewed as silhouettes in the back lighting and the dense fog.
Jim Reid seemed not to have much interest in pleasing the audience. He didn’t talk and move much on stage and leaned on the microphone stand most of the time. But we all know his bashful attitude very well… That’s him and we love him.
Meanwhile, William preferred to be back of the stage surrounded by his amps, kept on creating sonic wall of sound, and never came front of the stage.
When reticent Jim introduced ‘Reverence’ as the last song of the main set, the audience raised their voices with disappointment. It was quite obvious that they didn’t want to close this precious moment.
After a while, they got back on the stage and played five more songs. Starting the encore with our favorite ‘Just Like Honey’ from the first track of their debut album ‘Psychocandy’ , they wrapped up the show with ‘I Hate Rock ‘n’ roll’ which has been the standard last tune of their show. The audience started dancing with maniacal pleasure. That was definitely the climax of this special night. We were able to soak in the ambience of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s world.
Now they have already left Japan and we have to return from the fantastic world to mundane reality. We do hope they get back to Japan and play loud again soon.
Jim Reid -vocals, guitar
William Reid – guitar, vocals
Scott Von Ryper – guitar
Mark Crozer – guitar
Brian Young – drums
2. April Skies
3. Head On
4. Blues From A Gun
5. Mood Rider
6. Black and Blues
7. Far Gone and Out
8. Between Planets
9. Taste of Cindy
10. The Living End
11. Teenage Lust
12. All Things Pass
13. Some Candy Talking
14. Halfway to Crazy
16.Just Like Honey
19.War On Peace
20.I Hate Rock ‘n’ roll
Words and photos by Aki Fujita Taguchi: https://www.aftphotography.tokyo
Proofreading by Yosuke Taguchi