Monday, 7 April 2014

THE JEZABELS - Live at Nottingham Rescue Rooms - February 24th 2014

If you have ever been to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms, you will know that at various, blissful times of the month it puts on a storm to welcome the best of the indie-pop-rock-folk-you-name-it scene. For fans of The Jezabels, it was time to swarm to the popular student haunt for their live performance on last Monday, 24th February. But before we could get a glimpse of Australian-born band The Jezabels, they were supported by the talented indie group, Champs: two brothers from the Isle of Wight singing their hearts out in beautiful folk pop melodies.The lazy harmonies of Champs surrender to melancholy undertones which, when live, filled the compact venue with an untouchable atmosphere. In past interviews, the pair have insisted that ‘We both love the sense of awe you get hearing voices in a cathedral’. Nottingham’s dark and dingy Rescue Rooms is no cathedral, yet the sound Champs produced was satisfyingly rich. The duo proved to be a breath of fresh air for the Nottingham crowd and a colossal forerunner for The Jezabels.

A loud din greeted The Jezabels as they made their entrance with the clamorous beats of title track ‘The Brink’. Dressed head-to-toe in a black ensemble, complete with stomping black Doc Martens and of course that jet black bob, lead vocalist Hayley Mary oozed cool as she stood with the band’s appellation emblazoned on the wall behind her. Hayley slinks across the small stage, snake-like, whilst the music did the talking. Hot, dark and on the right side of sweaty, the venue was an ideal atmosphere for the rock-pop sound of The Jezabels.To the audience’s delight, the Aussies made a return to material from their debut album ‘Prisoners’ released in 2011, including the tracks ‘Endless Summer’ and ‘Catch Me’ for their eagerly awaited encore. Amongst their set was of course the new single release ‘Look of Love’ from new album ‘The Brink’, which showcased the almighty talents of Hayley and fellow bandmates Nik Kaloper, Sam Lockwood and Heather Shannon.

Rescue Rooms was also blessed enough to hear the band’s first ever live performance of ‘No Country’ also from ‘The Brink’, the poignant yet fast-paced ballad of love and life’s limits. The band refrained from speaking much to the crowd; a husky “Are you well?” broke the set mid-way through to ignite booming cheers and applause, yet the subtle Australian twang was kept to the alluring melodies. Finishing on the hypnotic beats of ‘Dark Storm’, the third EP released in 2010 by the foursome, The Jezabels truly delivered for their Nottingham fans. If you missed them, catch them in Dublin, Bristol or London in the next week. Trust me, they’re great.

Words - Claudia Turnbull