The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Soundcarriers, The Magic Mod
The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Soundcarriers @ Rock City, Nottingham, UK, 12th February 2023,
February 14, 2023
Photography by Juliana Loveluck
With a career spanning three decades and over twenty studio albums to their name, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and in particular founding member Anton Newcombe, are living proof that hard work and dedication to the cause finally pays off. fruits. Three quarters of his biggest UK tour to date, which has sold out every show including tonight’s event at the 2100 capacity Rock City, showing how many years Newcombe has spent honing his craft while creating an invaluable catalogue. some of the best compositions recorded on tape during the same period of time. It is their prolific nature that certainly helps keep the flame burning for BJM, as they are affectionately known. Last years Fire does not grow on trees long player announced to an overwhelming round of applause from fans and publications alike, while the latest long player your future is your past – released last Friday (February 10) – will almost reach similar levels of acclaim in the weeks and months ahead. So your understandable anticipation levels are already at an all-time high for The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s first show in Nottingham since July 2014.
For this tour, they have taken the unconventional step of having a magician open for them every night. So without further ado, meet Ben Taylor, aka The Magic Mod. Hailing from the Sussex town of Crawley, just a short drive from Brighton. Taylor has already opened for acts like The Libertines and Paul Weller, so this tour hasn’t been as overwhelming as many might hope. In fact here, he has the audience in the palm of his hands in a matter of minutes. Charming, funny and indeed a solid gold carpenter. Interacting and encouraging participation from the crowd, he invites a girl on stage named Lola to help him perform a card trick that seems as painful to perform as it is seductive in the end result. However, the enthusiastic applause he receives at the end along with shouts of “We want more!” suggests that he will return, possibly as a main act in the not too distant future.
Local quartet The Soundcarriers have been one of Nottingham’s best kept secrets for far too long. However, having released his fifth album wildcards With an outpouring of critical acclaim last year, recognition has been a long time coming for The Soundcarriers. It’s fully deserved, though, so it’s no surprise that their masterful presence on one of the biggest stages in the foursome’s hometown is incredibly well received by everyone, including Anton Newcombe, who gives a personal thank you at the end of the set of The Soundcarriers. . Fusing elements of psychedelic pop with experimental electronic passages (think Jefferson Airplane and Broadcast without managing to sound like either). Songs like “Waves” and “Low Light” glow with effervescence under Rock City’s hallowed spotlight. The delicious harmonies of Leonore Wheatley and Dorian Conway that perpetuate their own dream states. Without sounding or sounding out of place, it’s probably fair to say that The Soundcarriers were built for scenarios like this all the time, even if it took the rest of the world a while to catch on.
Arriving on stage a bit later than scheduled, The Brian Jonestown Massacre has become one of the most instantly recognizable bands around. With Newcombe and tambourine player Joel Gion the most obvious focal points left and center stage respectively, along with a cast of musicians who have played with the band for some time, including guitarists Ricky Maymi and Hákon Aðalsteinsson, bassist Collin Hegna and multiple instrumentalist Ryan Van Kriedt represents arguably the most stable BJM lineup for some time. With the help of new drummer addition Uri Rennert, who even gets his own football-style singing (“Here we go/Uri!”). So it goes without saying that every song they play is feverishly devoured by those up front. That’s not to say there aren’t a few glitches, causing the odd lag between songs, such is the way Newcombe and BJM strive for perfection. But when the band gets into the groove, as on the majestic “Do Rainbows Have Ends?” off his most recent long player or “Do you think I’m kidding?” from the 2022 predecessor are untouchable. Sublime in every way imaginable. With curfew fast approaching, rigidly sticking to the set list goes out the window and it’s these moments of offbeat improvisation that set The Brian Jonestown Massacre apart from all its peers and contemporaries.
May it continue for a long time.