Crammed in front of the Jezabels backline, Ali Barter and band managed to pull off a solid set of driving pop tunes. The bass lines harked back to when people still smoked in pubs and were searching for a space between grunge and pub rock. The harmonies provided by keyboardist complemented Ali’s lead vocals which, due to excess reverb, made the slowly filling Gov sound a little empty. With the smoking gone from live music the new measure of a band’s excellence is not cigarette lighters held aloft but mobile phones thrust into the air, and on this scale Ali Barter had a couple of would be videographers capturing the moment. Unfortunately it was only towards the end of the set when Ali launched into some amusing banter about life being hard as a man that the audience began to warm to the group.
It was clear from the outset that the Jezabels had time, plenty of time to perform, to rock, to be. Having earnt a packed room full of devoted fans they could essentially do what they wanted with the spotlight. Lead singer Hayley Mary was last on stage carrying a glass of red wine and the eager punters let her know they cared with a united cheer. Smoothly and gracefully Hayley stalked out on to the stage, gave a feline twirl and owned the microphone like a cat owns its prey.
They opened with My love is My Disease, the second track off their new album Synthia and kept the energy high for the first few songs. By the 5th song, Look of Love, Hayley had removed her Greasers leather jacket and was turning up the Fahrenheit with sublte quasi-erotic dance moves. Even a false start on Easy to Love due to some overpowering bass feedback did nothing to cool the punters down. Luminescent screens dotted the room to record the show for later while others mouthed the lyrics and enjoyed moment. Some moments can be worth capturing like when Hayley leapt off the stage into the hands of the audience during Hurt Me and arched her back once again resembling the family Tabby.
The Jezabels rounded off their regular set with the classic Endless Summer from the Prisoner ep and the evocative Do ya want me? from the new album. At the audience behest they came back on stage after a short break for a little more elegant crowd surfing before asking the question everyone was wondering with The End from their 2013 album The Brink. To answer the earlier question first; yes Jezabels, Adelaide does want ya, and no, hopefully this is not the end and we will see your unique indie rock pop blend grace our shores once again.
by James Hickey