American/Australian affinity has grown as of late. Barack Obama recently toured the island continent and announced the opening of a new military base in Durban, Australia alongside his counterpart, Ms. Julia Gillard. At around the same time, in the spirit of A
NZUS cooperation, Sydney outfit The Jezabels performed a gig this past Monday evening at the Mercury Lounge in the Lower East Side in support of the recent release of their first LP, Prisoner.
Before the show started I sat on a bench next to the merchandise table and looked at their three EP’s arranged neatly together next to a t-shirt. I couldn’t help but notice the shared motif between the three album covers of unaccentuated human subjects and I pondered on this would articulate itself in the performance of the Jezabels as I wandered my way into the back room of the Mercury Lounge.
The Merc (as it is referred to by some amount of people) is one of the better Bowery Presents venues in New York. It is the complete antithesis to Webster Hall, with its dreaded coat check lines and exorbitant drink prices – comparing them is like comparing night and day. Intimacy has its added benefits. You are less likely to spill and more likely to have a good time.
But, you don’t sacrifice entertainment at a smaller venue, though. The Jezabels kept the crowd lively. Monday Night? A smaller crowd? These weren’t excuses to let the music be dark and drab. On the contrary, they made it feel less like the first day of the week in the middle of a brisk Fall and more like a proper night out under different weather conditions. Maybe that’s because Summer is around the corner in Oz? Hemispheres are confusing, everything is opposite.
Monday’s show wasn’t also just a chance for Aussie ex-pats to congregate in celebration of their compatriots’ success, but a chance to bring to America a sound that is at once reflective of the happiness drawn off Sydney’s beaches, yet carries dark tinge of hurt and emotion. Listening to The Jezabels reminded me of first listening to Fever to Tell when it was released.
There is a lot of anticipation, urgency and even irrepressibility in their performance. Having just been introduced, I am intrigued to learn more. Further, I think their live show adds a much needed extra ____ that accentuates each aspect of their music and adds lift to points that might otherwise be looked over.
The juxtaposition between these two tracks off the new LP expresses that tightly:
And a couple of more shots.
Thank you to Peves for the photos and our friends at We Are Solid Gold.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.