Posts Tagged ‘grunge’

The Jesus and Mary Chain Newcastle Mayfair 9 September 1987

jesus 1So, the conversation went like this. Laura: “Dad I thought you said you saw The Jesus and Mary Chain?” Me: “Yes. I’m sure I saw them at Newcastle Mayfair.” Laura: “Well it is not on your blog.” Me: “I must’ve forgotten about it. I shall add it!”

Now when I wrote my blog I took it from tickets, programmes and my memory. And somehow, I had forgotten this one. Not surprising; my memory is not great. I went straight to eBay and what did I find, but a ticket for the show which I quickly purchased. I had no ticket so presumably must’ve handed it in on the night. I heard a lot about this band and how legendary they were. I read the following on their official site:

“Few bands have had such a huge effect on musical culture, as The Jesus And Mary Chain. Their attitude alone, dressed in black, angry with the world, playing short sets drenched in feedback, set the bench mark in the post-Sex Pistols music scene of London. Their seminal debut album Psychocandy would go on to change the course of popular music, channeling the sneering angst and noise distortion of the live shows into hypnotic sweet melodies layered with dark lyrics that would beguile and bewilder. Released into the world, The Jesus And Mary Chain became the darlings of British press, as they searched to find the owner of the post punk crown in the mid 80’s.”

Pretty impressive! Now did my memories live up to this?

It was a Wednesday night and I had heard quite a lot about The Jesus and Mary Chain. So, I decided to go along, by myself, to the Mayfair to see what they were like. I recall stark black-and-white lighting and lots and lots of drums and noise. I would like to say I was blown away by the birth of grunge, but the truth is my memory of the concert is quite sketchy. I remember thinking that they were different, loud, stark, very “in your face” and quite scary in a way. I wasn’t familiar with the material but enjoyed the show and came away quite impressed. I have since watched some of their material on YouTube, such as “Kill Surf City“, which completely drags the Jan and Dean classic through punk into grunge and wish I could go back and watch the gig again!

Setlist: In a Hole; Fall; You Trip Me Up; Happy When It Rains; Cherry Came Too; Nine Million Rainy Days; Just Like Honey; The Hardest Walk; April Skies; The Living End; Taste of Cindy; Everything’s Alright When You’re Down. Encore: Kill Surf City; Never Understand

Pearl Jam Leeds Arena 8th July 2014

Pearl Jam Leeds Arena 8th July 2014
pearljamtixThis was my initiation to Pearl Jam. I’ve been meaning to go and see them for some time and finally did so last night in Leeds. The closest I got until now was seeing singer Eddie Vedder guest with The Who at the Albert Hall a couple of years ago.
My evening started shortly after 5pm, as I set off down the A1. I had am uneventful journey south into Yorkshire and was parked up in a multi- storey car park in Leeds by 7pm. It was then a short walk to the First Direct Arena, before I took my seat in the first tier, just to the left of the stage. Pearl Jam came on just before 8.30pm; there was no support act. This was one of only two UK dates which they are playing this time around, the other being a massive open air show at Milton Keynes bowl.
Leeds First Direct Arena is a fine venue, which holds around 10,000 people, but somehow has the feel of a much smaller hall. This is my second visit, having seen Springsteen there last year.
I’m familiar with very little of Pearl Jam’s material, but I’ve read a lot about them, and was really looking forward to this gig.
Got home late last night. This was an epic 3+ hours, 30+ songs, set from the band, and they exceeded all my expectations. Few bands connect with the audience in the way Pearl Jam did last night. At times I felt like I was the only one in the entire arena who didn’t know all the words to every song as the whole crowd sang along, arms waving. It was like being an observer at someone else’s massive party. The band were very clearly having a great time, and made several references to being pleased to be playing in Leeds, where The Who recorded their famous live album. The encores included covers of two Who classics: The Real Me and Baba O’Reilly. I find Pearl Jam’s music difficult to categorise; although they grew out of the grunge movement, their songs reflect their classic 70s rock roots. You can hear The Who, punk, The Ramones all mashed in there somewhere. In some ways the epic, lengthy nature of the set, and the loyalty of the fans reminded me of seeing the Grateful Dead back in the day. Perhaps that’s a strange comparison, as the music of the two bands is so different. However, I am not alone in making it: “Is Pearl Jam a Modern Grateful Dead? Pearl Jam has long been linked to flannel, but what about tie-dye? As the band closes in on its second decade making music, Pearl Jam and its follow-them-anywhere fans have slowly become one of the tightest communities in rock ’n’ roll, complete with a vibrant bootleg trade centered around the band’s ever-changing, much-lauded live show that many claim transcends the pomp and circumstance of normal rock shows for something more human. Sound like a mouthful? Sure. Sound like the Grateful Dead? Absolutely.” (You can read the full article by Justin Jacobs at )
Last night what I witnessed was a classic rock act who transcend genres, were obviously enjoying themselves and unquestionably playing on top form. Many fans are already proclaiming it the best Pearl Jam gig they have attended.
Setlist: Pendulum; Of The Girl; Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town; Breakerfall; Hail Hail; Once; Mind Your Manners; Lightning Bolt; Tremor Christ; Wishlist; Who You Are; Ghost; Even Flow; Sirens; Push Me, Pull Me; Do The Evolution; Don’t Gimme No Lip; Army Reserve; Present Tense; Given To Fly; Setting Forth; Rearviewmirror.
Encore 1: Man Of The Hour; All Or None; Fatal; The Real Me (The Who cover); Porch.
Encore 2: Smile; Leaving Here; Black; Jeremy; State Of Love And Trust; Alive; Baba O’Riley (The Who cover); All Along The Watchtower (Dylan cover); Indifference