I know I’ve praised the Corner Hotel before, but I’ve never been to a bad gig there and last night was no different. Since New Years Eve, Jebediah have become one of my favourite bands. One of the reasons for this is the way they managed to mix their old sound with their new, and still sound commercially appealing and maintaining the old fans. Last night had an incredibly diversified age group in the crowd. There was us – who probably fell in Jebediah’s hiatus years, but still recognised their old stuff and their new stuff – the older crowd, like the two gentlemen in front of us – who would have been better placed at a ZZ Top concert – and the new fans, the tweens who had jumped onto She’s Like A Comet and aren’t letting go. With such a diversified age group, there was hardly a dull moment throughout the set.
One of the major calling points for Corner Hotel Gigs has been the quality of support for the main act. In the past we’ve had Yves Klein Blue supported by Cloud Control and Last Dinosaurs, Philadelphia Grand Jury supported by Howl (now Hunting Grounds) and last night, Jebediah were due to be supported by Queensland grunge boys Violent Soho. Unfortunately, Violent Soho had to cancel due to sickness. A major shame for us fans of the Seattle Sound. We arrived to catch the last few songs of the first act, Cola Wars, and while they were solid, we did not get much of a chance to critique them. We had been distracted by beers, and Jebs bassist Vanessa Thornton walking out into the crowd.
So far in my life I have come up with two general rules to live by. The first – you can’t go wrong with beer in a green bottle (Heineken, Beck’s, Carlsberg, etc. Think about it) and the second – Bands with female bass players are awesome (Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Dandy Warhols and Jebediah) Although disappointed that Violent Soho had cancelled, replacement River of Snakes more than gave us our money’s worth. Mostly due to the stunning bass player. Their distorted noise grunge drew obvious similarities to Sonic Youth, but the relationship between the bass and guitar was remarkable.
This would be the first time I’ve seen Jebediah outside of a festival setting. There’s a part of em that just loves them because they remind me of my childhood, but their energy onstage was intense. Opening with Lost My Nerve and Control, it seemed the band were eager to get their new stuff out-of-the-way so they could jump into their classics. While I thoroughly enjoy these two tracks, the crowd was a bit stagnant, maybe due to the unfamiliarity of the tracks. I was feeling a little sceptical but once Harpoon started, the crowd was rocking. Kevin Mitchell is as experienced as they come, when it comes to entertaining the crowd. He even responds to my “I love you, Kevin!” calls with a quick-fire “I Love you too!” and my night was made. As the band played through a few more new numbers, they kept returning to the classics, but as they exited the stage, to many calls of ‘Boo-urns!'(somewhat appropriate for a band named after a Simpsons’ character) from myself and others, it was apparent that we were missing Jerks of Attention and Leaving Home. After a seemingly endless encore, finally those words were sung.
“Were you laughed at by your frie
nds and were you lost for words when everybody finally told you what they thought “
Jebediah put on a classic Australian Pub Rock show. It is a testament to this country that we produced such a solid range of bands in the 90s, back when rock was on top. Artists of today would be benefited by watching these performances. But as expected, the magic of the Corner Hotel shone through.