Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Alex Neilson, Jandek & Richard Youngs


What we wrote at the time…


The work of Jandek is one of the most incomparable, deeply personal and affecting bodies of music of all time, to date spanning forty albums since ‘Ready For The House’ first altered perceptions in 1978.  An often dark realisation of avant-blues and folk music, but one full of surprisingly vulnerable epiphanies, the genius that resides within this music can roughly be broken down if you study how an untutored and personal perspective is applied to each of the 3 key aspects of the music; guitar, voice and lyrics. Stoically intuitive and self taught, the guitar style remains, after nearly three decades, a barbed proposition.  One minute maniacally grating at the strings, the next disconsolately bending them, it’s an attack built up around deviant blues chord progressions that sporadically drift out of tune, only occasionally returning to recognisable melodies. 

Vocally, it’s far beyond any recognised notions of tunefulness, ranging from a gaunt wisp to a black, anguished cry via an unmediated delivery that gives vent to the most base of human emotions.  It’s a melancholic, ghostly and desolate moan of a voice, as haunted as any of the great blues singers, bent to a sometimes iron, sometimes faltering will; enunciating far-sighted yet personal visions of universal existential truths. Lyrically the songs are full of allegorical fictions and metaphoric dramas, degenerate and oblique blues imagery, hallucinatory theology and corrupted childhood memories, coupled to allusions to killing time, being borne away on a river, pining for lost love. This is only the second ever live performance, and the first to be advertised in advance.


The audio and video recordings of this performance were released as Newcastle Sunday (Corwood 0783) and lists the tracks as 

Depression - 8:11
Other End of Town - 5:26
Every Morning - 6:59
All of a Sudden - 6:57
Locked Up - 4:33
Put It Up - 6:08
Mangled and Dead - 6:11
Some Other Name - 6:20
Telephone Blues - 7:08
Cottage In The Rain - 6:35
Sheba Doesn't Have - 8:48
Shadow of the Clouds - 11:17