London Covent Garden Rough Trade Shop

Two [B]William Reids[/B] show up today....

Two William Reids show up today. First, the grizzled old Blind Willie McReid, wheezing out cranked-up [a]Jesus & Mary Chain[/a] favourites like ‘Reverence’ and ‘Cracking Up’, the second, a shy teenager playing clumsy guitar in his bedroom to impress the girls. The third William, the lecherous dog of legend, thankfully only comes out at night.

Right now it’s Saturday, noon, and in a record shop not much larger than a bedsit, it’s time to wake up and feel the stubble. William, we infer, is no early riser, and he sings like he’s just surfaced, probably from a deep pool of lager on the bathroom floor. And given the circumstances, that’s just about perfect.

That he’s gone acoustic undoubtedly helps. Outgrown, for the present, are the shock tactics. In place of the leather jacket, there is a leather-upholstered stool. In place of the feedback, a three-chord singalong. But those three chords, after all this time, are pretty much all you need.

The [a]Jesus & Mary Chain[/a] may have gobbed on for far too long, but minus the white noise, and even minus one brother (skulking in the audience today), the Idea still works. And so with a crowd-pleasing ‘Darklands’, it’s down from the stool and away tae fuck with a man no longer deemed essential, but who still can’t help getting away with it.