Jebediah at The Annandale Hotel – 5th September 2008

Next time you see someone texting at a gig, maybe they are not saying WHERE R U IM UP BACK ON LEFT. Maybe they are the Stealthy Texta, reviewing gigs the only way they know how. This evening the Stealthy Texta visits Jebediah and uncovers a pleasant surprise or two…

The opening band, The Adventure, play some pretty tight radio rock, with especially interesting intros and spaced out synthy effects pedals. They all wear white and I can’t help but imagine their Mums being a bit too proud of them. Their sound is proficient but nothing extremely new: Lyrics such as “Come on, come on/You can’t break me down” etc. They end their set with the bassist jumping on percussion with the drummer. Cute in its enthusiasm, and catchy enough.

Parades, the second band, constructs their set slowly and builds us a gorgeous mass of melody. Amid the distortion and chaos, some intricate tunes seethe forward and swirl around in the colourful shoegaze haze. I can see myself owning their CD very soon. Their abstract, ambient noise balances the spacious vocals and minimalist beats brilliantly. Each song is so different, with plenty of subtle surprises. Sydney-based Parades finishes with a substantial percussion jam, but unlike the previous band’s, this is much more considered and refined. So impressed. (That I bought their five track EP.)

Jebediah, with their original line up look like nothing has changed since about a decade ago when I saw them play with The Living End in Wagga (…apparently emo happened). Kevin Mitchell is his usual self, with not a peep from Bob Evans. The Jebs throw heaps of their new stuff at us, carrying their original vibe and full-on energy. We sing Animal louder than the band can. Someone up the front astutely announces, “You don’t suck!” a comment which is quite well received.

This show proves most nostalgic for old fans… actually I’m not even sure there are any new fans here. Everyone is having a shiteload of fun. Meanwhile the 20 year-olds at my retail day job have no idea who Jebediah are. Suddenly Teflon (Slippin’ Along) is in full swing (which I had almost forgotten about!) and I vow to renew its rotation. It seems I’ve been damned negligent!

OK, at some points the Jebediah voice gets a bit much. But what can you do? They’ve written some killer tracks and put in the hard yards. They fail to play Invaders, one of my faves (or as I like to ignorantly call it, Lino), but to make up for it, they grab two fans who proceed to sing along and play drunken air guitar for the crowd, much to the delight of the stunned onlookers.

A very decent chunk of the Perth musicians was had by all. Did they play Leaving Home? Not telling! But I can say this: They certainly don’t suck.

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