For ages I have resisted the idea of going to concerts at which (often reformed) bands I grew up with play their greatest hits on their Superannuation Tours, to audiences comprised largely of forty-somethings trying to remember what it was like to be a teenager. I generally try to look forward, so have shunned this kind of exercise in the past.
This week, I’m breaking the duck to see The Jesus and Mary Chain.
I’ve listened to this band non stop for the better part of 20 years. Something about their sound (pop sung husky and quiet over a haze of feedback and power chords) has always struck me as deeply remarkable and an in some small way important part of the evolution of modern music. I’m not alone. The band was the precursor of the shortlived “shoegazer” movement of the early 90s, which is a direct ancestor of much “emo” music, and is considered “influential.”
I listen to them cos I like them, tho, not because they demand listening to in the way that one needs to pull out some Hendrix or Led Zep from time to time, just to get back to ground zero and remind oneself of what others have built on those foundations.
Yet here J&MC are now, towed along behind the V Festival and doing some solo shows that have utterly failed to score even a paragraph in the mainstream entertainment media, thanks to Duran Duran’s presence on the same festival bill being deemed far more important (Which, okay, it probably is). Those of us who go to see them this week know their last album of any worth came out more than a decade ago. So this is pure nostalgia.
A mate saw them at the festival, tells me they played all their Greatest Hits and, frankly, has be boyishly a-quiver with anticipation at seeing the band.
This now makes me just the kind of backward-looking, overly nostalgiac and/or sentimental oldster I rail against.
At least I am doing it before I turn forty (just).