Gig Review – Seedy Jeezus Rocks the Vineyard

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By: Aaron Webb


From a cultural perspective, I am spoilt rotten. I know it, I own it. I don’t even bother going out to see bands anymore. No special trips to the Forum or Festival Hall for me. I simply go out for a few beers at my local, and they come to me.

That may make me a lazy so-and-so, but what a wonderful compliment to the cultural heritage of St Kilda!

A couple of Thursdays ago, I became inexplicably thirsty after work and decided to remedy the problem with a tried-and-true solution -a trip to the Vineyard. I had forgotten that Thursdays there have become somewhat of a touchstone for original rock bands. For over a year and a half now, the Vineyard has run Dirty Deeds where original bands are given the opportunity to rock the room. The great atmosphere and character of the room combined with rambunctious regulars and band enthusiasts have made it a hugely successful original night.

The first cold 17-degree winds of autumn blew in off the ocean through Luna Park, but inside the Vineyard, it was just beginning to warm up. I had by now thoroughly lubricated my throat, and was enjoying the music immensely. However, during a conversation with a mate I heard a guitar lick that tickled my rock rude bits.  Now I am not generally prone to hyperbole, (Yes I am. Shut up, conscience – you’re ruining it for everyone,) but I thought the ghost of Jimi Hendrix had taken the stage. I ran down to see which of the rock gods had spontaneously incarnated in my humble local, only to find that it was a mere mortal doing a quick sound check.

I was sold – this was a band I was going to watch.  Apparently I wasn’t the only person who thought something special was imminent. About half the contents of the bar moved inside and crushed towards the stage. “Who the hell are these guys?” I asked a fellow reveller. He looked pityingly at me as if I’d just asked what Game of Thrones was about, and said: “Dude, really? This is the Seedy Jeezus!”

I resolved to educate myself as soon as the set was over, so it would sound like I knew what I was talking about when I wrote the next paragraph. After the show I caught up with the band – Guitarist/Singer Lex, bassist Paul, and drummer Mark, to get me some intel.

Seventies, fuzz psych trio Seedy Jeezus took to the stage and blasted out a set that I’ll remember for a long time. They opened with perpetual crowd favourite ‘Pick Up’, which is also the song on their up and coming single, ‘split 7’ featuring US stoner band Mos Generator. The next song was a newie- ‘Universal Overdrive’ combining heavy grooves with a ‘nah, nah, nah’ hook that is not easy to remove once it gets in your head. They followed this with ‘How ya Doing’. I can’t remember the last time I saw a band play a 14 minute song with more twists than a snake in a bucket. It was the Pink Floydesque version that involved smoke, oil lamps and light Theremin that harked back to London in the late sixties. Seedy then proceeded to open up on anyone who was not actively involved with a short burst of ‘Go, Go, Go’ and then finished off with the guitar-shredding onslaught of ‘Sun in my Car’.

(It’s amazing how one can go from ignoramus to expert in the space of one paragraph break, isn’t it? I’m totally like Neo from the Matrix – “I know Kung Fu”.)

The crowd, many in black Seedy Jeezus T-shirts, ranged from 1st year uni students to international backpackers to baby boomers with even a big thumbs up from 74 year old influential ABC TV and radio legend, Terry O’Sullivan (Who back in the 1970’s helped put together Countdown, and then in the 1980’s Double J radio)

“They are a band full of front men,” said Terry after the show. “With an ability to perform like that, these blokes can’t fail!”

This is Seedy Jeezus’ third show in four months at the Vineyard and they are certainly becoming crowd favourites with their tight, Sabbath meets Pink Floyd, psychedelic onslaught. If you get the chance, do check them out. And by that I mean go to where they’re actually playing. (Unless you live in St Kilda, in which case they’ll probably just show up at whatever bar you’re drinking at and rock the joint!)

Seedy Jeezus play John Curtin Carlton May 2, The Old Bar Fitzroy May 16, The Phoenix in Canberra May 25, (where they helped set the new bar record in February), and Wollongong June 29! And yes, they are coming back to the Vineyard soon – date TBC.

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