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JEBEDIAH 20th Anniversary Tour

Jebediah - Pic: Rachael Barrett
Jebediah – Pic: Rachael Barrett

Turnstyle

Astor Theatre

Friday, June 26, 2015

Twenty years have gone since Kevin & Brett Mitchell, Chris Daymond and Vanessa Thornton formed Jebediah whilst at Leeming High School, but the foursome might as well have a portrait of themselves in an attic, Dorian Grey style, for all the lack of aging they have endured.

Fresh of face and as bouncy as their best songs, Jebediah hit the stage in a state of near-euphoria. And who can blame them after their 20th Anniversary Tour around the country quickly had multiple extra dates added in most capital cities, resulting in no less than three sold-out hometown shows.

They may be on the big stage of this most lavish theatre – ‘much too classy for us’ Mitchell says – but the vibe is essentially that of a bunch of old friends playing a backyard party full of mates.

Turnstyle opened the night – Red Jezebel and Beaverloop took similar roles over the next two nights – and the self-styled “Casio fuzz pop pioneers” played a set that was equal parts nostalgia and new, the catchy indie rock of Cologne and Spray Water On The Stereo taking the 30/40-somethings back to their glory days.

Jebediah’s first set of two ran through their brightest and best with a succession of hook-heavy pop-punk-rockers full of life proving how diverse their repertoire is after two decades of hits.

From opener Star Machine, the audience wasted no time pogoing and singing along, the band tight as a metronome. Thornton quite literally bounced around the stage, that bass guitar, as always, looking twice as big as her as she lay down her parts with unassuming confidence. Kevin Mitchell may be the main songwriter and voice of Jebediah, but Thornton is the heart of the band.

Please Leave raised the roof with the entire audience singing and shouting the line, ‘screw up my life again’, while Yesterday When I Was Brave and The Seven Signs Of Aging show they were never afraid of trying something different from the normal pop-punk thing.

While the band take a break a slideshow beamed behind the stage, showing how their fashions – and haircuts – have changed over the past two decades, before they returned to play their debut album, Slightly Odway, in its entirety. Even 20 years on it’s easy to see why they succeeded in the first place, with their quirky and inventive songs so full of suburban themes and hooks that just don’t stop.

‘Have we ever told you lately how lucky we are to have you in our lives?’ Mitchell asks humbled by the audience’s adoring reaction.

The punchy, punky Teflon saw a handful of old wags try to remember how to crowd surf. It’s frenetic and perfectly appropriate since we were all there reliving the past.

La Di Da Da closed out Odway (sans false ending), before Jebediah returned triumphantly for a couple of tracks from the debut Twitch EP, Feet Touch The Ground from second album Of Someday Shambles, and the crowd fave b-side Monument to end a stellar evening.

SHANE PINNEGAR