Wednesday 15th October @ the Indi Bar, Scarborough
Supported by Selk Hastings (absolutely fantastic, go listen!) After missing Jez Mead’s previous Perth gigs I was determined to catch him this time, but with both parents refusing to take me I was out of ideas. Then Jez offered his dad, saying he could look after me during the gig and so I finally got the chance to see Jez Mead live; fact: he did not disappoint.
Originally from Perth and know located in Byron Bay, Jez Mead may be known as a member of The Orange Bird but there’s no doubt that he’s built a reputation for himself as a solo artist, a hypnotic folk blues and raw artist. Although, it’s hard to categorise Jez because his music’s always changing, the following taken from his website pretty much describes Jez’s performances;
“He is deep and diverse in voice and word and his guitar style rises to whatever the song calls for. That can mean slapping it, tapping it, wringingslapping it, tapping it, wringing it’s neck, caressing it , bending it, bashing it, tuning it weird, making it sway, swing, sing, strumming it, fingerpicking it, making it run, chasing it down and holding it gently to his heart.”
Jez is somewhat of a vetern when it comes to gigs; he’s been at it for a while and even supported the likes of Midnight Oil, The Waifs, John Butler Trio and The Beautiful Girls. There’s a refined aspect of his gig, suggesting Jez knows what he’s doing and is damn good at doing it. He opens with ‘Clock’ a chance to show of his guitar skills and builds up to a raw and intense performance. While he’s playing you can’t help but feel mesmerized, taken back by his ability; think John Butler but with more of a blues and extreme aspect. For a Wednesday night, the crowd are getting into it; no doubt there are a few Jez Mead fans around. Crowd favourites include ‘Devil’, ‘Hole’ and ‘Belly Up.’ One of Jez’s friends yells for Jez to sing ‘The Worm’ and Jez agrees on the condition that his friend does the worm at the front of the stage. Jez explained the story of the song; when he was on tour with a band, he informed them he was going to do the worm during their performance; however he chickened out and never did it and instead wrote a song about it. Unfortunately neither Jez nor his friend end up doing the worm. With only a few songs left, the crowd start filling up the dance floor and really get into it, quite funny to watch actually. Then Jez finishes with a cover of “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” by Kiss a request from a fan. As the song finishes he leaves the stage, the crowd standing wanting more. Prior to the gig, I had a chat to Jez while he was eating dinner, well a salad. I mentioned to Jez the pretty impressive gig list on his myspace, he replied with wanting to record his next album as soon as possible but of course, these things cost money and so he plays gig. He’s already got 3 independent albums under his belt as well as a combination album, featuring songs from all 3 albums and a new song ‘Lost.’ All of which are fantastic. Here’s hoping Jez doesn’t stop making music or playing gigs anytime soon.Jez finishes up his Perth tour soon, then its back to the east coast for another run of gigs. Next February will see Jez supporting The Waifs on their east coast gigs, head to Jez’s myspace for dates.
Not all artists are better live than on their cds but Jez is one of them and one guy you have to see live.