Vegetable Man – The Jesus and Mary Chain

After a while we were playing regular gigs at Alan McGee’s Living Room supporting all sorts of artists from Nikki Sudden to Del Amitri. Then we began playing headline gigs and one of the first groups to support us was The Jesus and Mary Chain. We played The Roebuck pub with them, then a few more in London including Gossips in Soho and a pub in Camden Town (I forget the name). They were memorable from the start. Alan was really struck with them and could see potential. I could see immediately that they were going to cause controversy and that they were way above us in that stakes. We’d occasionally play while out of our heads but we were pretty tame, even then. But Jim Reid would puke up after downing a bottle of wine and it made for a great spectacle. Their cover versions were particularly memorable. I loved them doing Somebody to Love and Vegetable Man. Noone else could get away with covering hippy songs but they managed it brilliantly! We went on tour with them (and Biff Bang Pow) to Germany and toured the country in VW campervans, delighting audiences with their howling guitar pop show (in fact I remember playing a basement squat gig one night where we played as our gig that night was cancelled and they couldn’t get feedback in the small brick room and even then they commanded the audience like no band I’ve seen). When we got back from Germany, their first single had been played every night on John Peel and sales went through the roof. We played one last gig with them which was the notorious riot at the North London Poly Students Union. What a way to end our gigs with them. We were just lucky to get out alive I suppose! Anyway, we toughened up our sound for a while (as did all the Creation bands) and this was all down to JAMC’s totally original onslaught on guitar pop.

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