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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. Having influenced many and bands, the group finally 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.

JAMC’s early gigs have become the stuff of legend in underground circles. Playing in front of small audiences, the band earned their notoriety by playing very short gigs, some lasting no more than ten minutes and consisting of a constant wall of feedback and distortion. The group became know as well for 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, as well as aliened more commercially-minded music business figures.

Their debut single, “Upside Down”, came out in 1984 on Creation, but they signed to the WEA-backed Blanco Y Negro the following year. Said label released their debut album, titled ‘Psychocandy’, which fused together the Reid’s two primary influences, the guitar noise and avant-garde of The Velvet Underground with the leanings of Phil Spector and The Beach Boys.

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