Wednesday, 7 September 2011
You'll shed a skin and carve it up
The Jezabels / Kid Canaveral / The John McIain Band @ King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 06-09-11
'Why it is always marriage, never sex?' Hayley Mary wonders out loud, rather amusingly, in response to a rather brazen nuptial offer from a (female) audience member. Her hair sways in time to her own wee giggle, she bites her lower lip and stares down at the stage, just entered. Within seconds, obviously, a number of (male) hecklers - not including this person, of course, or even this person, I assume - take this as a cue to make their intentions firmly, yet quite politely, known. She is not short of invitations for later in the evening, let's say. And it starts as it goes on; this is an assured, rhythmic, energetic performance of such poetic intensity and emotion that you wonder, really, how can this anthemic momentum be sustained for the whole set? Is it possible? And, in truth, the answer is given to us as a series of gifts to treasure; a chorus to die for, a bridge to break our hearts to, a lyric to sweep away the bullshit of day-to-day life. This performance just soared, perfectly so, and enraptured everyone contained within this sweating, heaving St Vincent St vault. The Weegie-based Aussie supporters, who were evidently out in strength to cheer on their far-from-home local heros, applauded and whooped every swaying motion, every intake of breath. The accents, the haircuts, the grins, revealed themselves in an essentialised way. A home from home. For those of us who had only an EP or so to go on, junior apprentices such as myself, we were won over too, willing these four musicians to climb the highest peaks, to uncover new gold (dreams). You can tell, close up, that The Jezabels have fine-tuned their (live) art and craft to such an extent that even the short break between initial exit and one-song encore doesn't break the charming hold and spell. Bewitched and bedazzled; aye. We are suitably persuaded, convinced that they 'mean' it. As the house lights come on, and the cameras switch off, I find myself only able to mutter the shamefully inarticulate 'wow'; it is without pretense or consideration, and I'm surprised I even managed to catch my tongue to push those three letters out. Intense, beautiful, mesmerising... and that's the music I'm talking about, in truth, as well as Hayley. Great things are ahead, for the Antipodean powers behind the throne; false prophets they are most certainly not.
The Jezabels - 'Hurt me' (live, 26-11-09) (6.05)
The place where they skulk. Playing live, here, on Friday 9th September. You can pre-order their debut album, 'Prisoner', now (out on September 16th).