The Psychedelic Furs & The Jesus and Mary Chain

01oct7:00 pmThe Psychedelic Furs & The Jesus and Mary Chain7:00 pm

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The Psychedelic Furs may not have invented rock & roll per se, but their influence since arriving on the post-punk scorched- earth landscape four decades ago has reverberated and resonated among all those who cherish the sweet-and-sour spot where rawness and romanticism meet. Born out of the UK post-punk scene and led by vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler, and his bass-wielding brother Tim, the Furs quickly developed as one of the premiere bands at college and alternative radio scoring a flurry of major hits with “Love My Way,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Heaven,” “The Ghost In You,” and “Heartbreak Beat” in all releasing eight studio albums, spawning several compilations, a boxed set, a live concert DVD and inspiring one of the most iconic motion picture soundtracks of all time. Decades later, their latest release “Made Of Rain” charted in a multitude of countries and became the Furs’ second highest ranked UK Album ever. It was prominently featured in the end of year “Best Albums” chart roundup in dozens of publications worldwide. But, the Furs especially thrive live in concert having headlined at the U.K.’s famed Glastonbury Festival, and more recently at esteemed venues including the Hollywood Bowl, London’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and Nashville’s Grand ‘Ole Opry among others. With a dazzling live show, they continue to tour quite regularly across the globe.

The Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals); Tim Butler (bass); Rich Good (guitar); Amanda Kramer (keyboards) and Zachary Alford (drums).

One of the most influential bands of their generation and beyond, The Jesus and Mary Chain mark their 40th anniversary in 2024 with a new album, Glasgow Eyes. Released on March 8 by Fuzz Club and distributed worldwide by Cooking Vinyl, this is the band’s first studio album since Damage And Joy (2017).

2024 promises to be a bumper year for devotees of the Reids: the brothers will also unveil their autobiography,* a documentary, and world tour starting in Glasgow on March 19.

The exact point of any band’s inception is hard to pin down, but for Jim, the ‘wish’ crystallised into reality one night in June 1984: “I always think it was the day we played our first show, because up until then the whole idea had been kind of abstract, it didn’t feel real. When we played in London, there were only about six people watching, but I remember thinking, ‘That’s it. The band is born’.”

From the moment the Reids first pressed the record button on their Portastudio in the early 1980s, the intense, sometimes brutal, often darkly romantic music they made has always felt like past, present and future smashed together, alchemising into something startling. Glasgow Eyes might mark a milestone but the Mary Chain are always looking forward. As for what fans can expect from the new release, “hopefully people will expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record,” says Jim, “and that is certainly what it is.”

The new album was recorded at the Scottish band Mogwai’s studio Castle of Doom in Glasgow: “we quite liked the idea of a title that suggested that we were kind of returning home to where it all started,” says Jim. “William had a front cover, a face with fucked up eyes. This seemed to suggest the title of the album: Glasgow Eyes.” As for their creative process, the Reid brothers approach the studio in the way they always have. “It’s remarkably the same as it was in 1984,” says Jim. “Just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it takes its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes. And there’s a telepathy there – we are those weird not-quite twins that finish each other’s sentences.”

The album’s first single, ‘JAMCOD’, blurs dizzying electronica with the immense guitar sound that can only be that of William Reid. Jim’s chant of ‘J A M C O D’ is part incantation, part incitation; this is at once an instant Mary Chain classic and something altogether fresh and radical. While the Reids’s enduring connection with electronic music, via an early love of artists such as Suicide and Kraftwerk, is clear on this album – not in itself new territory for the JAMC – other, more recently embraced and less obvious influences have also left their imprint here. “Don’t expect ‘the Mary Chain goes jazz’,” Jim wryly reassures, “but there are some parts (William) played on the album – and I don’t mean it the way it might sound – but they are just pure jazz. The trouble with jazz is there’s bebop and then there’s smooth jazz, which ruined the whole idea of it for lots of people – it did for me, for years,” Jim continues. “Then I started to listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane and thought, ‘actually there’s a lot more to this than I had ever imagined, and I know William’s the same. It’s the attitude: they just go in with a ‘fuck it, let’s make some music, let’s get together and see what happens, and it’s always interesting.” This anarchic, spontaneous quality relates in turn to the punk attitude so interwoven into the soul of the Mary Chain and the Reids’ creative approach from day on