The Jezabels

Venue: The Bee @ Publika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 16th June 2012
Promoter: Untitled Entertainment
Review by: Ee Liza
Special Thanks: April and the Untitled Entertainment team

Rock stars are hardly ever punctual, I should have known that by now. Fans that arrived on time at 8pm were left with no choice but to stand outside the venue to make friends with the lovely haze and heat while catching bits of The Jezabels’ sound check behind closed doors. It was, however, a treat to listen to Disco Biscuit Love (the song was not in the set list) and to have Nik, Hayley, Heather and Sam loitering around the venue freely amongst the fans.

Once we were in the glorious air conditioned venue, it was lovely to find that The Bee had a minor interior change and there were stacked up seats to the side of the stage to allow for fans to sit and enjoy the show. Made up of three lovely sisters (featuring a cellist with gorgeous hands), opening act The Impatient Sisters remind me of Peter Rabbit’s three sisters who, at long last proved to be brave enough to leave their burrow. Comparing a gutsy band to rabbits may not exactly be ideal but trust me when I say this is an honest compliment. When you listen to their songs (despite a mini-technical glitch), it is almost like hearing a magical tale of adventures that you wish you had embarked upon.

At long last though, it was time for The Jezabels to put on their show and what a show it was. Within the first phrase of opening number Endless Summer, it was pretty clear that it dawned upon the crowd’s faces that Hayley Mary’s petite figure had no direct relation to her powerful vocals. She was a sight to behold as she danced quirkily throughout the hour-long set of ten songs. The third song, Easy To Love had one of the loudest cheers from the crowd and to have the lyrics sung back with such fervidity, it was truly a high point for the gig.

One of my favourite things to listen and watch out for throughout the Jezabels’ set was how Heather Shannon and Sam Lockwood, the keyboardist and guitarist respectively, played double duty to provide a bassline for the songs with such subtlety that the lack of a bassist was hardly missed at all. Despite being the only guitarist, Sam was able to pilot the group with his melody-provoking guitar licks to allow for Nik Kaloper’s drum beats to provide a steady heartbeat to the songs.

Having back-to-back tour dates is undoubtedly no easy feat and despite the evidence of Hayley nursing her vocals it was still a stupendously solid show from The Jezabels. Every one that was at The Bee that night would surely have had a new found respect for this Australian four-piece and even the girls present left the show with a sort of feminism pride. We can only hope for The Jezabels to return with another intimate gig soon.