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Live Review: The Jezabels, Bored Shorts, E For Echo

8 April 2019 | 11:35 am | Cate Summers

"[The Jezabels are] true masters of beautiful, bittersweet melodies."

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Tucked away in the belly of the Coogee Bay Hotel, Selina’s feels like a successful throwback to the golden years of intimate Sydney venues like The Gaelic Club. Friday night was no different, with the venue serving up a cracking trilogy of homegrown music in what hopefully is the rumblings of a new wave of pub gigs, live local music and affordable concerts.

This free gig was jumped upon by many of the young students and backpackers in the area, with a substantial crowd forming for the first act of the night, E For Echo. A mellow fusion of electronica and indie-pop, the group provided an excellent soundtrack for the beach backdrop, their track Dreamers a particular highlight. Fellow locals Bored Shorts followed suit with an upbeat set of songs reminiscent of indie-rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – a bit indie-rock, a bit lo-fi garage, a bit Beach Boys-pop.

Headliners The Jezabels rounded off the night with a short but sweet set showcasing some of their most popular tracks from the past decade, as well as some newbies like 2017’s The Others, a track released to coincide with a seven-night run at the Landsdowne Hotel, another smaller venue doing its part for live, local music. They kicked off their set with Mace Spray, a rousing number that built and built before exploding in a mixture of frantic drumming, stirring guitars and singer Hayley Mary’s powerful vocals.

The Jezabels have perfected straddling the line between melancholy and euphoria in their tracks – they're true masters of beautiful, bittersweet melodies. Older hits like Disco Biscuit Love and Hurt Me were warmly received by the crowd who danced and sang along with gusto but newer tracks like Pleasure Drive, from their 2016 album Synthia, also stood up well on their own. A darker, grittier track than better known Jezabels songs, Pleasure Drive added a needed weight to the set, highlighting the band's rock chops.

It’s hard captivating your entire audience at a free gig, especially one at a busy pub, and while there were always going to be one or two groups of people chatting through the set, The Jezabels did a pretty decent job of striking a chord with most of the crowd. If not completely successful in mesmerising the entire audience, they did a great job providing a charming soundtrack for a Friday night.