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The Jesus and Mary Chain

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East Kilbride, Glasgow, Scotland (1983 – 1998, 2007 – present)

The Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish band that revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim Reid and William Reid. From East Kilbride, Glasgow, Scotland , the JAMC released a constant string of albums, singles and EPs until their demise in 1998. The band reunited in 2007.

The initial line-up, formed in 1983, was augmented by bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Bobby Gillespie. Gillespie played standing up in the manner of The Velvet Underground’s Maureen “Moe” Tucker.

The Mary Chain’s early gigs have become the stuff of legend in underground circles. Playing in front of small audiences, the Mary Chain earned their notoriety by playing very short gigs, some lasting no more than 10 minutes and consisting of a constant wall of feedback and distortion, as well as playing with their backs to the audience and refusing to speak to them. Many shows culminated with the Reids trashing their equipment, which was often followed by the audience rioting. All of this delighted manager and Creation Records boss Alan McGee, who obviously found it very easy to get attention for the band.

Their debut single Upside Down in 1984 was on Creation, but the following year they signed to the WEA-backed Blanco Y Negro. Who released their debut album, Psychocandy, which fused together the Reid’s two primary influences, the guitar noise of The Velvet Underground with the ’60s pop leanings of Phil Spector and The Beach Boys. The record received positive reviews and is now considered a landmark recording.

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