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Jesus & Mary Chain at The Ambulance Station (1984)

£ 8.99


The Ambulance Station was exactly what it says, a derelict Ambulance Station sitting at 306-312 Old Kent. From the early 80’s, and in the ferment of the left wing activism which surrounded the GLC’s stand against Thatcher, the station was squatted, becoming a centre and refuge for alternative creativity and agit-prop..

During its short lifetime it hosted many memorable gigs, along with political benefit and a range of Art exhibitions. But perhaps the most momentous was the Jesus and Marychain gig with took place on the 23rd of November 1984.

Writing in the official Marychain biography, author Zoe Howe describes how

The tension levels at the gig were high from the start, extreme inebriation on the part of the band, and the general air of violence which pervaded the Ambulance station all added to the general sense of unpredictability surrounding the Marychain

As the band were being hyped as the next Sex Pistols, trouble followed the Marychain. But this gig proved profound beyond bluster. They we’re introduced to Geoff Travis. The man behind Rough Trade; Travis, with major financial backing from Warner, had set up the label Blanco Y Negro.

Although the Marychain were still at the fledging label Creation, it was obvious to all that a bigger label with money would be needed to match both the band’s Rock Star aspirations and what were perceived to be the potential size of the Marychain audience.

Therefore a gig could be seen as a milestone,  one in which the underground , D.I.Y and Fanzine world of Post-Punk Indie would begin to reach out to what would become a much bigger, and in many cases, a global audience.

Folklore abounds around this gig, but both the gig and the venue capture a very visceral period within post-war British cultural life. Reflecting the culture wars of the 1980’s, where political polarisation and the agitation of mainstream culture informed all aspects of music and culture; this legacy of this agitation is still recognisable today. Shaping many contours of our current cultural landscape, and we hope, continuing to value space for independent and alternative thought.


  • In a Hole
  • Vegetable Man (Syd Barret Cover)
  • Taste the Floor
  • Ambition (Subway Sect Cover)
  • You Trip Me Up
  • Jesus Fuck

Printed on Reclaimed Textured Card
67cm X 48cm

Sound Map Collection

Charting the story of music in both Peckham and South London, Peckham Soul continues to excavate the deep mine of Social and Cultural History which music unearths. It is London’s unique story of migration, diversity and innovations. It is also a history which places not Rich elites at its centre, but instead tells the extraordinary tales of extra-ordinary Londoners.