a night at the opera with the jezabels

It’s been a while  since I’ve got out and seen such a young exciting band with so much talent and it was  my first visit to the  Sydney Opera House. I have been in Australia for close to 10 years now and have never been to a show at The Opera House. Checking out  the Jezabels was a great debut! The Opera House  is grand but not overstated or opulent and I wondered about its suitability to host a rock band………..the Concert Hall which seats 2500 turned out to be great venue and one the Pixies will be playing at later this month ……..I’m on the “waiting list” for that one……


I wondered down to the Circular Quay and had a quieteeer at a café overlooking the busy peak hour harbour on a chilly autumn evening

Heather Shannon, the keyboardist, started the show by appearing one or two levels up above the stage, with her back to the audience and seated at what I understand is one of the biggest organs in the world……. she proceeded to play what seemed to me like a church solo tune which went for about 4 minutes…..what had I let myself in for? The spot light dimmed over Heather and the “kerkorrel” solo ended…kinda thank goodness

Minutes later The Jezabels took to the stage…..all four band members dressed in black and I suppose smart looking.  , the organ player in a particularly conservatively styled black frock. Seated in front of the keyboard now she allayed my fears of the style of the band by reaching for a quart sized bottle of Tooheys beer ( I think ) …..so that’s better now……..


Haley Lockwood, the lead vocalist, is petite and energetic in a starts and fits sort of way……contrasting with her glorious, soaring and full blown voice which at first impression sounded

very Kate Bush-esque to me. Haley reminded of Heather Mac from Ella Mental, a great South African band from the 80s, also petite and a bit eccentric with unusual dance moves.

The band let rip with their new song The Brink (which is the title track of their new). The other song they played midway through the show was ‘’The End’’. Triple J have been playing these two songs and they piqued my interest in the band.th them. They formed in Sydney in 2007 and have a previous album and few EP s.

I will become more familiar with their music now coming away from their concert with the new CD. I was surprised to see the merchandise desk  was selling the new album in vinyl ……how cool I thought and that is certainly a confirmation of the “Vinyl Revival” if ever there was one……a young band releasing their new album on an ‘’LP record’’.

There were some really nice moments during their performance with Haley describing how Heather , whom she’d known since year 5, had always wanted to be a concert pianist and they were so glad that they had managed to secure her services in the band….I presume she was a bit reluctant at first. Heather in turn deflected the spotlight by announcing it was actually Haley’s birthday and the crowd broke into an unsolicited “Happy Birthday” song for her.

They played their new song “No Country” from the new album and Haley dedicated it to “the asylum seekers wanting to make Australia their new home”.  This elicited a “Here we go” (in a sarcastic and ‘’I knew it was coming’’ sort of tone)  from the young well -heeled ‘’gen y er’’ in the seat next to his partner. F *#k !…. why aren’t  people allowed to stand for things….???

I did wonder why Haley did not at some point introduce the guitarist and the drummer, Sam and Nick, to the crowd at some point. Nick is a great drummer with their songs underscored by a rolling and rollicking drum beat. Sam, towards the end of the performance, expressed an  sincere thank you to the crowd for their support which was well appreciated.

“Look of Love”, not to be confused with the great ABC tune ( ‘’The Look of Love’’) from the 80 s is another good new song they played. They also played  “The End” which has Haley at her best exhibiting her soaring vocals and a clever reference to their new album’s title……’’I wanted to thank you for pulling me back from the brink”

“Time to Dance” is great too, a new song with an anti- materialism theme…..according to me..

The band responded to the audiences call for an encore and played a few more songs with a further thanks to them.

The lights came back on and simultaneously the Ice House classic, ‘’Great Southern Land’’, was piped loudly  into the Concert Hall….a great way to spend an evening getting over the jet lag back from that other Southern Land. !!!!!!!!!







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