The Jesus And Marychain – The Ambulance Station, Old Kent Road, London, SE1 – 25/11/84

In A Hole / Vegetable Man / Taste The Floor / Ambition / You Trip Me Up

From the vaults of Stephen Gillit to whom I am indebted for this recording, the Jesus And Marychain performing in all the glory that a stand alone drum, a bass with hardly any strings on, feedback overload and a snotty vocalist could muster, on a dark cold night in the bandit country that is the Old Kent Road in South London…”Ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated, goodnight”.

It is all great though, is this the gig that got them signed up for bigger things? A decent quality audience recording of this short ‘legendary’ performance that must be heard at least once.

Our very own KYPP Overlord, Tony D’s review of the show printed in Zig Zag magazine January 1985 and his favorites of 1984 for good measure is included in this post as well as a memoroir from Andrew Catlin who took these great photographs that head this post.

Bigger text here

Turkey Bones and the Wild Dogs, Christ on a bike, whatever happened to them? Nuzz, Nic…!

Andrew Catlin: The first time I saw The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Ambulance Station in Old Kent Road, I could tell before they even started playing that they were going to be great. Things were chaotic from the start. I climbed on top of the speakers and spent the gig there. A little unstable, but good bass, good view – close up, and in the big scheme of things, everything else in the room was pretty unstable anyway. I saw gigs that ended in riots; gigs that were stopped by the police, gigs where they had the whole audience in the palm of their hands and didn’t even know it. It always seemed like they just played for themselves and for the music – perhaps the music played them. The audience were just there as witnesses. No pretence of showmanship or crowd-pleasing. More often than not they would find a way to piss someone off, and that would turn into a confrontation, but it was always an amazing spectacle. An overwhelming sound that cut through anything – stage invasions, fights, collapsed drum kits, shit P.A.s or venues. It didn’t matter. Apart from really enjoying the music, as a photographer, there was always an infinity of things to see. (Usually very little light, but we like a challenge. I’ve always been fond of long exposures!) It was very real – something visceral rather than just a “performance.”

The first JAMC interview a month after Tony D’s feature again in Zig Zag magazine – Bigger print here

  1. Carl
    April 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Sorry, I cant help you find Turkey Bones !!, but some of the names on Tony’s list bring back memeries. The Danielle Dax album is a classic and I must now dig it out after a gap of a few years and give it a spin.

    And calling Tony the “KYPP Overlord” does bring to mind Andrew Lloyd Webber on that Search for Nancy on Saturday teatime TV..

    Sorry Tony !

  2. Nuzz
    April 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Turkey Bones and The Wild Dogs, must have seen ’em loads of times, but not out of choice, they always seemed to pop up as support to bands at the clarendon in Hammersmith and other places, always entertaining, (loved their Goldfish single.) as is this JAMC recording, the audacity, arrogance and attitude, they certainly had a way with the audience “you are a bunch of fucking shit” brilliant, as for what’s happened to Turkey Bones and them Wild Dogs I know not. nic? Have we had any Thunders posted here penguin? I know there’s a picture of his plectrum, but…

  3. Final Curtain
    Final Curtain
    April 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Ha ha, that’s Chris P from Silverfish at the front there.

  4. Nic
    April 25, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    The JAMC tape is great – nice one to Stephen Gillit…

    No help on the Turkey Bones front, I’m afraid…they must have vanished back to Perth…
    I have their 2 singles…

  5. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    April 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I’m having to log in tonight for some reason – Doesn’t This Site Know Who I Am? The Overlord! – but it is I.

    Turkey Bones – the guitarist moved to Nashville where last I heard he is a very successful session musician.

    On the night in 1983 when Maggie was re-elected I was at a Turkey Bones gig in the Hope and Anchor.

  6. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    April 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Can I also say, I was there early and heard the JAMC soundcheck. Then they played proper songs, did a whole set.

    The transformation when they played the proper set was remarkable.

  7. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    April 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Nice to hear that about Turkey Bones guitarist back then he used to go by the name ‘Piece’, great guy, great guitarist!. He used to share a house with Razzle from Hanoi Rocks and Nik from the Alien Sex Fiend in Muswell hill. They had had a band back then called Devils Kitchen which was also known as ‘No longer Umpire’ great live band.

  8. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    April 27, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    This recording is now on my phone. I shall be able to carry it with me always.

    If possible it will be my ringtone.

  9. dirk
    April 29, 2008 at 12:43 am

    this is sooooooo goood used to have cutmedeadkickmedownandnailmyhead boot then they were playing liverpool so got my tickets(so fuckin excited),went on the train from wrexham got pissed went in the royal court,soundcheck,they launched into i think it was never understand and during a good mosh/pogo at the front got head butted by this scally skin and spent the rest of the gig in the shitter covered in blood……..i drive buses 4 a living and when those hooded scrots play the smurfs dance tunes i give em a blast of the raw early mary chain.

  10. Chris P.
    Chris P.
    May 7, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Ha,ha,ha I’m Chris P.(ex silverfish) sorry I wasn’t in Turkey Bones.
    Vaguely remember the JAMC gig. Went with Emma(who ended up being in Lush).She wanted to see the the support band, the June Brides.
    I always thought it was a challennge to get more pissed than JAMC. Swaggered home down the ol’ Kent Rd afterwards. It’s something to hear what they actually played, after all this time.
    Chris P.

  11. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    May 31, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I met John Moore who used to play guitar for J&MC at the Camp Idle at Dial House a few years ago – he was up a tree in a white suit and sun hat in a hammock playing acoustic guitar – very laid back chap – goes by the ‘stage name’ of Black Box Recorder nowadays apparently.

    Last year he was staying at Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson’s house when me and the family called in to visit – didn’t get to meet him on that occasion however as he couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. Did meet Pete Loveday, the bloke who does the ‘Russell’ & ‘Big Trip’ comic strips thouigh, and we borrowed his folding table (the very one he uses for drawing his comics!!) to eat our dinners off whilst camping.

  12. bryce
    August 5, 2008 at 12:08 am

    any one know anything of what happend to the painters / sculptors from old kent rd ambo studio 82 – 84 ? tuff little fuckers, good gigs.

  13. Stevo
    April 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I suggested to Joe Foster that he do a Turkey Bones & The Wild Dogs compi when he was looking for ideas for Rev-Ola a couple years back. Sort of sounded like something he’d follow up, said he knew the band and all. Unfortunately nothing’s appeared so far. Was also thinking of suggesting to Overground records a few years back cos they seemed to be covering somewhat similar territory.
    Hoped that some of the video footage they took at the time survived and sound could be dubbed from that. don’t think anything studio quite matched up to them live. No Way Before the Weekend particularly is way too clean/contained. Purple Noise Sandwich is getting there. Do remember seeing tapes by them on bootleg stalls so have been hoping that something by them would appear on Dime or somewhere. Again no luck so far.
    Loved them live, harmolodic improvisatory mess, but beautiful with it. Somebody said they never practised, only looked back at the videos to see where they were going wrong.
    Piece became a Weather Prophet. Scott/Turkey went onto Groovy Chainsaws then studio engineering for Che/Cheree records amongst others & live sound.

  14. julie_t
    May 3, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Just randomly nostalgia surfing. Good to hear news of what happened to Turkey Bones & Wild Dogs. Shame no visual footage available. I was one of the backing vocalists on the Mad Bad Missouri’s single and a *ahem* groupie. I thought they were just great! Come on boys – it’s time for a revival – get it together! I agree they that the studio never captured the full mayhem. Which is a shame. Great times, great parties…Hope and Anchor, Buffalo Mansions, Perth Road…

  15. turkey
    October 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm


  16. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    October 15, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Hey Turkey – thanks for all the good times.

    Any news on Turkey re-issues?

  17. Rob
    October 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I have a Mad Bad Missouri (..Buffalo & the Everglade Aligators??) single hidden away somewhere….Dog Pound? I vaguely knew Arab & Piece thru an old girlfriend..Charlie. Bumped into Piece doing a Weather Prophet gig in Copenhagen some time around ’88.

  18. Nick Hydra
    Nick Hydra
    November 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Sorry – Turkey Bones Demo tracklist: Goldfish/ The Wheel’s Aren’t Coming Down/ Raymond/ These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things.

  19. Richard Scott
    Richard Scott
    December 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    There was a lot of anticipation for something to happen that night. The guy at the centre in the bottom picture was looming around the stage, as were a couple of others, looking to get something going. The gig itself, had it been any other band, would have passed unnoticed. Decades on, it is fascinating to hear this. Personally, I hated them that night, but my buddy summed it up well: “They have the look in their eyes.”

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