Joyous and ferocious - The Jesus and Mary Chain at the De La Warr Pavilion
To true believers, pop music has never sounded better than through the distortion-heavy sweet melodies of The Jesus and Mary Chain.
When the once wild-haired Reid brothers curtailed the band in 1999 amid rapidly worsening sibling relations and an apparently indifferent public, they looked set to become a fuzzy memory of noisier times.
But following a tentative reformation in 2007 and a few years schlepping around the US and Europe for lucrative festival appearances, they appeared to be in better shape in 2015 when they toured their first classic album Psychocandy.
Now they’re back, not so much with a bang but more of howl, with an album of new material, swooning national radio interest, and a big fat UK tour.
They took to the DLWP stage like the sound of not-so-distant thunder with their recent single Amputation.
A tough, tight version of April Skies was followed by Head On, whose screaming rampaging riffs made the Pixies cover version of the same song sound like One Direction.
Their infamous feedback-tinged and guitar effects-driven sound is still as wild and exciting as it ever was, which goes to show if you base your style on a mix of the Velvet Underground, the Stooges and the Shangri-Las you’ll never go far wrong.
The main difference is the previously moody, mumbling frontman Jim, is now charm itself and in great voice.
He sipped from a bottle of water throughout and gently reassured the audience that a barrage of encores were on the way.
Another welcome sight was the number of teens mingling among the sweating, puffing, old duffers in the mini mosh pit. Something that bodes well for the band as a going concern.
A slew of joyous and ferocious early tracks and one newbie brought proceedings to an end, leaving in their wake many dewy-eyed middle-aged men, happy but wondering if their backs would be ok in the morning.
By Steve Holloway