The Jezabels at The Hordern Pavilion
When I first chanced upon The Jezabels a few years ago, in tiny Sydney venues supporting The Wahas and Bridezilla, I always thought they were pretty good. I never dreamed though that, in 2012, they would be headlining the mammoth Hordern Pavilion. In fairness, neither did they.
If, during their seminal hometown gig, the band seemed a little distant, it wasn’t down to a rock n roll persona or through being aloof but rather because they were completely overwhelmed by their surroundings. “This point in the set is when we are supposed to say something,” singer Hayley Mary told the crowd. “But we’re too fucking nervous.”
Her nerves were unnecessary. She is a natural born frontwoman. With a vocal that is incredibly powerful and that transcends into Kate Bush territory on occasions, she is the focus of the entire crowd’s attention and the rest of the band kinda fade into the background in comparison to her sparkling presence (remember the term Sleeperblokes?). That’s not to take anything away from their compositions. These guys know how to craft a song that retains indie credentials while being fit for plenty of radio exposure. Set opener Endless Summer is a fine example of this, with its prominent guitar and massive vocal burst on the chorus.
Obviously, with the band not used to performing in such huge surroundings, they found it a little hard to command the entire, cavernous room, but they certainly connected with the keenest fans at the front of the venue, who blared back lyrics and clapped along as if their lives depended on it.
A success of a homecoming was rounded off with a well-earned two-song encore. Excitingly, this is a band that is clearly continuing to grow in stature. Pretty soon, they’ll be eating these sized rooms for breakfast.
Review and shitty iPhone pic by Bobby Townsend.