Jebediah @ The Astor Theatre, Perth (10/07/11)
The much-anticipated reunion of homegrown legends Jebediah called for a huge celebration in the form of a sardine packed, sold out gig. The seats in The Astor Theatre filled up quickly and punters flooded into the freestanding area, some tried to blend into the aqua walls and while eager beavers hovered around the safety barrier around the stage.
First support act were The Joe Kings of Perth. Behind the funny ‘Yeeeow!’ faces guitarist Phill Leggett pulled, there’s a sinister plan brewin’ to take over this town with infectious vintage blues-rock. As the member most likely to have a cartoon character based on him, Leggett and his ‘fro that needs its own postcode brought the set to life with fist pumps, elbow strumming and cowboy-booted leaps around the stage.
Next up Violent Soho trashed around for a bit. With a sound heavily influenced by 90’s grunge, the boys were typically dressed in band t-shirts and each carried an I-hate-my-parents attitude. Bassist Luke Henery had hard(ish)core punters whippin’ their hair back and fourth; overflowing with energy Henery climbed over the safety barrier to give punters a taste of electricity, he rocked about and spun round while laying down some thick bass lines. The completely underrated Michael Richards on drums brought the whole sound together with his aggressive energy and awesome display of windmilling arms -and hair. Despite the amusing visual display, punters tired quickly of Violent Soho’s novel songs about girlfriends who don’t kiss very well, the raspy vocals and the sweaty hair shaking.
It was a gruelling half hour wait till the mighty Jebs were due on stage, and you could hear people hold their collective breath as the intermission music stopped and the stage went black. Opening with Lost My Nerve and Control from their latest album Kosciuszko, old fans and new sang along to the words like proud pre-schoolers who just learned their ABCs.
Spunky as ever Vanessa Thornton had her bass slung low, radiating charisma without saying a word. Front man Kevin Mitchell had mini Kath and Kim moment, with a hand on his hip and slumped to one side he asks the crowd “How the fuck have you been? What have you been doing these past six years? Have the kids grown?”
The Jebs delivered long lost love Puck Defender (Slightly Odway; 1997). Punters lost notions of gravity as they jumped up and down, moshing even harder when Mitchell played the guitar with his teeth. After another newie from the latest album High [Horse], Mitchell smiles and says:
“I promised not to get emotional or sentimental, but we have been together for 16 years. We are just so grateful…”
It was smiles all around for one of the greatest Perth exports; punters cheered harder and screamed their lungs out to songs they loved over the years Please Leave, Harpoon, Fall Down and Benedict. Before leaving the stage for a scheduled encore they also played high radio rotation She’s Like a Comet followed by early favourite Animal.
Pretty clued up about how these things work, no one moved and a feeble cheer was enough to bring everyone back on stage to play First Time, Battlesong (sweetly dedicated to producer Dave Parkin), Leaving Home and Jerks of Attention. It was a night of epic proportions that left a thirst for water and need for personal space but a lingering sense of satisfaction and a feeling you had been a part of something great.