Jebediah played their first show at Leeming Senior High School Ball in 1995. Which also happened to be my year 12 ball. The night was at the Sheraton and the band went on after the dj had played music after the dinner. After the first song by Jebediah, the previously full dance floor had cleared. There was no indicatiion then or during the night that the band would be signed to Sony within a year.
The first gig by the band was mainly covers – featuring such popular bands of the time as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Offspring, You Am I and Green Day. I’m pretty certain they got the gig through being friends with a member of the ball committee, as they were previous students of the school.
On the Monday after the ball, I can remember sitting round in Theatre class discussing the night with everyone including the teacher who said after hearing off many people’s disappointments that perhaps we ‘should have got slim jim and the fatts instead’. After grunge songs were the easiest to dance to (i can remember moshing to Nirvana and Pearl Jam in our tuxedos).
Jebediah played a few gigs over the next few months before entering the campus bands competition. I didn’t attend any of the performances but I can remember following their progress in Xpress and one theatre class someone brought in a recording of their campus band final from the radio.
I got a copy of the tape and listened to it a few times. It didn’t blow me away – mainly because the vocals which were irritating and very nasally. To me, Kevin showed better ability as an actor at the time (he starred in a production that year with Clinton Voss from Ship to Shore).
When you know the people in a band, you always take more notice and I think that was gave me the patience to look past the vocals and give the songs a go. So much that I was keen to see them live and besides that school ball – i’d never seen an original band play before.
My first original gig was an allages show that December at the Planet nightclub in North Perth. I wanted to see Ammonia as I had recently bought their mint 400 album. It just happened that Jebediah were supporting which was a bonus as I’d been giving that campus band tape a few listens. I liked ‘ferris wheel’ and ‘you’ the best.
Seeing the jebs I was quite disappointed – the music sound messy and the vocals reminded me alot of Green Day. Though I enjoyed Ammonia alot and the whole experience was fantastic – jsut watching how all the people reacted to the music. People could jump around or sing along. A step up from jsut listening to music on my walkman.
In 1996 the Jebs continued to rise in popularity. I began to get hooked on local music without even going to any shows (had no one to go with) and would read xpress weekly. There would always be reviews of Jebediah most of them positive.
A few months later Jebediah released their ep ‘Twitch’. I can remember walking into 78s and seeing in big writing ‘Attention Pop Freaks: The Jebediah EP is here.’ Of course out of curiousity I had a listen – three of the songs were the same as that campus bands set. Initially I wasn’t that impressed though later on I bought the ep. My favourites were again ‘Ferris Wheel’, ‘and ‘Tracksuit’.
I saw the band twice not long after the release – supporting two of my favourite bands of the time You Am I and silverchair. Both times were similar to previous Jebs live experiences I didn’t enjoy it as much. Sure they jumped around and the crowd was going crazy but kevin would go into green day mode and I would lose interest.
I’m sure they would have been stoked about the you am i support as it was Kevin who introduced me to this ‘great’ band called you am i at a theatre show a week the school ball. You Am I became my favourite band for quite a few years and were at the time of the show which was at Boans Warehouse in East Perth. It seems incredible now; 18 bucks for You Am I, Powderfinger and jebediah!
The silverchair show was at the Ent Centre and it was surreal being so far back and seeing the guys play on a massive stage in front of a huge crowd. I remember Chris sprinting to the front of the stage during one of the songs, obviously very excited about playing in such a large venue.
I couldn’t but help think of Kevin saying before the ball the year before about what covers they would play, ‘we’re not fucking playing any silverchair’ and here they were supporting them.
That year I was involved in organising a charity concert for world vision (held at St Mary’s in karrinyup) which was where I was to mext hear a Jebediah song live. By a bunch of 16 year old school kids covering ‘Smiler’!
Around that time there was a tv show called Recovery which i discovered one morning after watching rage only to see Jebediah opening the show with ‘Bennedict’ which I’d read in an xpress review ‘the best pop song written in Perth’ or words along those lines. The band was having all the fun – now TV. I was so jealous but happy for them at the same time.