Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Liverpool 02 Academy

“I’ve loved Liverpool since before I came to Liverpool” – Anton Newcombe.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre bring complex psych rock and controversy with a three hour epic show.

Bringing their special brand of psych rock to the Academy, frontman Anton Newcombe also brought his musings and opinions too. Going to see Brian Jonestown Massacre is like going to a family party, you don’t really recognise most of the people but everyone acts like friends. BJM fans are like a cult, that’s what they are, they bring the fun for everybody, which is ironic considering the name.

Before the band took to the stage, Echo & The Bunnymen‘s guitarist Will Sargent played an iffy special DJ set, playing some of his favourites (thanks for “Peace Frog” Will!). This lasted roughly 40 mins until BJM hit the stage at 8pm and largely, wasn’t anything special.

Firstly, they hit the stage at 8pm approximately and played straight for three hours, ending at 11:07pm. I heard people on the Ormskirk train afterwards talking about the gig itself and how it was mad that Anton didn’t leave the stage at all (he did once, for less than a minute as the song ended).

Anton had the crowd in the palm of his hand’s, like a preacher as-well as an excellent musician. He kept the crowd on his side with moments like calling the Tories “pigfuckers” and that he wouldn’t want to be ran by men who “fuck pig’s in the mouth” (of course).

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Photography by James Ainsworth

Anton joked near the first hour mark, that they’ll play for three hours and “imagine seeing Razorlight play for three hours”. That wasn’t all Anton said, it got a little worse (a lot). Anton seemed agitated from the moment he stepped on stage, after their opening number “Never, Ever!” Anton was quick to thank the city of Liverpool and give a sly dig at Sir Paul McCartney along the way. Not so-long later, Anton thanked Echo‘s Will Sargent for showing that anyone can make music “Paul never showed anyhow how to be Paul McCartney“.

Anton also seemed to have an issue with Nirvana related things throughout the night, spouting quickly after an early number “fuck Dave Grohl” and stating that Grohl must live a “boring life”, adding later on that “Kurt Cobain only killed himself cause he surrounded himself with boring people like Dave Grohl“.

Anton consistently proves why he’s one of rock’s oddest and greatest figures, with the BJM fanbase following his every word like a cult worshipping him like a Charles Manson type figure. “I didn’t listen to some fat ass record exec who wanted to turn us into the next Nirvana, I told them to fuck off.” while later confirming “that was about Seymour Stein by the way”

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Photography by James Ainsworth

Apart from Anton‘s rants, which he’s known for, the band played through 23 songs over three straight hours showing off their skill of creating a world of sound that you can instantly fall into a trace with. Along with the hits, “Anemone”, “Vad Hande Med Dem?” etc. BJM also played some new songs throughout the night with frontman Anton confirming that two albums will be released very soon, playing “Government Beard” off the first of the two and and “Groove Is In The Heart” presumably off the latter.

To the sounds of the final song of the night, the iconic “She’s Gone” of BJM‘s debut album Methodrone (Bomp!, 1995) which echoed around the Academy as the tired and seemingly changed audience piled out into the street to awake their senses back up and take that fateful ride home. Almost 24 hours later, the gig is still on our mind, we can hear the music and see the sounds. We just hope you didn’t miss it, because it may be a while before the Brian Jonestown Massacre return to Liverpool.

Setlist: 

  • “Never, Ever!”
  • “Geezers”
  • “Vad Hande Med Dem?”
  • “Who?”
  • “That Girl Suicide”
  • “Nevertheless”
  • “Jennifer”
  • “Here Comes Waiting for the Sun”
  • “Leave It Alone”
  • “Groove Is In The Heart”
  • “Anenome”
  • “Whatever Hippie Bitch”
  • “Days, Weeks and Moths”
  • “Down” (Jam beforehand)
  • “When Jokers Attack”
  • “Sailor”
  • “The Devil May Care (Mom & Dad Don’t)”
  • “Servo”
  • “Pish”
  • “Open Heart Surgery”
  • “Yeah Yeah”
  • “Government Beard”
  • “She’s Gone”

 

Words by Jack Cinnamond, Photography by James Ainsworth.

 

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