If you’re from Perth there is a good chance that you or somebody you know is somehow connected to Jebediah. Every time I mentioned the band to anybody it was always met with “Oh, that’s my neighbours, friends, cousins band” or something along those lines. Jebediah have been and are an integral part of our city and its story. The band is continuing their story with another whirlwind national tour, and joining the band for the Perth leg of the tour are local lads Split Seconds and Triple J favourites Stonefield.
Local lads Split Seconds were the first band to open ‘The Battle for November’ tour. This band has shot to success and played some massive shows, mostly off the back of all the support they have received from Triple J. Their set opened with a strong note and the band had an amazing talent for vocal harmonies. There were points throughout the set where the entire band would sing, creating a smooth concoction of harmony and power, but in some cases overshadowing the lead singer. This is a really rare talent and something few bands can achieve, but they overused it. The set became all about the harmonies and not about the actual lead vocals, and just became a tad vanilla at points. The lead guitarist gave the vibe of an eighties hard rock band with his stage moves and guitar technique but still pulled off the indie-pop style the band has become known for. Saying that though there were moments of brilliance throughout the set and I will be keeping an eye out for new releases from this band in the near future as I feel there is a lot of potential here.
The motto for the next band, Stonefield, should be “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, because you will be sorely mistaken if you do. The four girls (half of them under eighteen) came onto the stage dressed like it was 1972, complete with headbands and flowing dress. At first glance I expected a laid back folk rock band who would move less than a teenager with the new Call of Duty game. What actually happened was the polar opposite, when drummer Amy Findlay began singing it blew everyone out of the water. Her voice was reminiscent of glory days of 80’s rock and could compare to some of the greats like Led Zeppelin. She was incredibly powerful and completely controlled the room with every word, but she isn’t the only member with talent in this unit. The band consists of four sisters with the youngest being bassist Holly Findlay, who has reached a ripe old age of thirteen. At the same age I was still trying to get my head around playing ‘Smoke on the water’ she is playing amazing bass riffs at a skill level on par with some of the most battle hardened veterans of the music scene. Even when she opened her mouth it was so mind blowing I had to look twice to make sure it was really her. Both the guitarist and keyboardist had great voices as well and their stage presence also matched the energy pushed forward by the music. The major make or break moment in their set for me was when they announced they would be playing a Led Zeppelin cover. Everybody from Rolf Harris to Randy Jackson have attempted to cover Led Zeppelin but nine times out of ten they just sound like drunken monkeys playing Guitar Hero, but Stonefield nailed it. They were perfect with the tones and vocal high notes and guitarist Hannah Findlay aced every solo in a matter in which even the most die hard fan couldn’t find fault with. This band has a massively bright future ahead of them and I can’t see how they won’t be massively successful as a band.
Next came time for Jebediah to do what they do best. The band entered the stage looking calm, controlled and at ease with their surroundings. The band have been touring since 1994 and it really shows. Immediately front man Kevin Mitchell just owned the microphone like it was just an extension of his body and he was completely confident in everything he did all night. The song I tipped to be the finisher was Triple J staple ‘She’s like a comet’ from their new album Kosciuszko, although I was shocked when the song was played second in the set. The song has been a massive crowd pleaser but not a lot of people were really moving around to it, certainly nothing compared to some of the older songs like ‘Leaving home’. The new album in my opinion was a bit more mellow than previous endeavours by the band and it really showed in the crowd as well. New songs like ‘She’s like a comet’ and ‘Control’ had the crowd singing along with the words but everybody was pretty stationary. In contrast the older songs like ‘Star man’ had the crowd jumping about and generally running amuck, so it’s difficult to really put a label on which songs the crowd got more into. Another highlight of this band is the on stage banter between the various members; there was a constant stream of jokes and stories from the bands youth, which as a member of the audience really made me feel like the band was sharing more than just their music with me, something not every band does. They didn’t partake in the fake encore, where the band walks off stage for about 40 seconds and then comes back to play the last two songs of the set. It’s so overdone and we can almost predict it happening like clockwork, instead Jebediah acknowledged that it was silly tradition and just stood there and let everyone just chant for one more song without them actually leaving. I hope that more bands follow this trend and realise that we all know exactly what is going on every time they do it. The crowd went berserk for the bands final two songs as they really stepped it up a notch; the mosh pit became more active than any other point throughout the night. Jebediah went out with a bang playing ‘Leaving Home’ and ‘Star Man’. It really showed us why they have been so successful over the last two decades.
by Michael Hilliard