Thursday, 15 May 2014

NWA: Noise with Attitude

Right – this piece is about noise – it’s about recapturing the past and it’s about not having the time to book a ticket at 9am to a concert that I would so like to go to  – because I am at work. Because  I have hinted at this in the past - the changing ways of capitalism and the industry’s way of making a tidy sum – quickly – it accrues interest see –all that money pooled in one day – from your interest…see.  

So McGee announces the JAMC will play Psychocandy – three times – in November – in the two of his favourite cities for music (the other being Liverpool ) – but fuck it – you know London sells – so there’s a show there – I guess you can argue McGee brought these leather clad miscreants to the Smoke in the first place – so why shouldn’t he book a set in London 30 years on? Then it gets announced that Creation Management are up and running again and before you know it were right back there at the start.
Rolling down the hill falling and laughing and all that.

Careful, we might see The Mighty Lemon Drops playing some sort of ‘first’ album anytime soon. It’s like 1985 in 2015 (I think The Legend!’s going to put some 10” flexi out for RSD2015 (that’s record store day  folks) probably a red flexi – or possibly blue – but it will be limited edition -  to kind of sum it up…maaaaaaaaaan)

Now do not get me wrong – the JAMC were an awakening for a fourteen year old lad who’d missed out on that big punk/ plastic explosion – the JAMC were the third coming – an amalgamation of the Pistols, Velvets, Ronnettes and Stooges cool.

Absolutely grand – in so many ways.

And if I’m reaching for some noise it’s those boys I’m going for – all Spector beats – sqwawks and shrieks – rising feedback matching our rising alienation and the feeling that we just wanted to have a party (we’re gonna have real good time together). I recall the Whistle Test – 6pm in the evening and the scowl of Jim – swaying and posturing with his microphone – semi acoustic guitar slipping and a sliding around him – adding to the feedback fizz and William’s hunched guitar play all furious and on fire as Bobby and Douglas gave it that steady backbeat (you can use it) . It was riotous – not North London Poly riot – I mean generally riotous – it was noise on the telly – real noise.

Noise with Attitude (NWA) 

Now I loved The Smiths – they spoke to the insecurities of my teenage years – a confidence  expressing my feeling beyond thuggery – but you know I was never going to articulate that like Johnny Marr on the guitar – and thirteen olds shouldn’t write words to songs – they haven’t done out yet. They haven’t lived. So it was just me and my guitar – and as I said I was certainly no Marr – I’m hardly a Reid – but that cacophony and bluster – that attempt to control the sound yet let it run for itself – I thought I could give that go.

I never said I was a shy retiring teenager.

Those three chords gave you power and the ferocity of the JAMC’s raw power gave you confidence to try it out – in local pubs and clubs – on small stages or spaces with tables pushed aside – tuned up and turned up – irritating locals but not through choice – because you believed these were the best tunes ever written.  The Mary Chain did not set out to annoy – the just picked up the pieces from where rock n roll had fallen and broken. They put it back together. They meant it maaaaaaaan.

So the JAMC were perfect for me ( and you) they just used those basics of rock n roll and turned it into something of their own. This was a band hated by that muso scene – heavy on the muso scene – in their eyes they had no finesse – no grace – but to my eyes they simply had it all. I mean it – they had it all and I could at least emulate those ways – because I love/ hate rock n roll.  I just wanted something that was immediate – and so they were – Paul (my brother) duly purchased the album - we taped sessions from Janice Long, Jenson and Peel and fell in love with the whole fucking thing.

I still have a Jesus and Mary Chain T-shirt – I mentioned in a postway back then – one of the first or so – I still have that t-shirt now – it’s as old as Psychocandy.  I can’t get into it – I’m no lithe teenager now – in canvas and Chelsea boots.

So I probably won’t get to see/hear the JAMC –at the Troxy – because it will sell out – in minutes – faster than the length of ‘Upside Down’. We’re all into noise nostalgia now.  The good people of Shoreditch will lap it up. Perhaps that’s the way it should be - New audiences for old people.

But you know the JAMC are not a postmodern thing. They are the real thing.  That was modernity.  They were a part of my youth on the small streets of Scunthorpe – an alternative from the grind. I could hold my guitar to the amp and hope. As blast furnaces blew smoke to the skies.

Here’s to a wonderful set of concerts. Driven by sound and fury. Signifying something?  Enjoy it – because if they get half as close to that rush of energy from 1985 – then you’ll be in for a treat. 

Here is what I want it to look like . i actually think I have posted this before - but no one read it then (most likely like now) 

The Jesus and Mary Chain on The Whistle Test.