Jay Conran

The Jezabels back in the Bay

THE sign on the door said sold out, so even before The Jezabels walked onto the stage at The Northern, Byron Bay, expectations were high.

The support band was Canadian six-piece Hey Rosetta.

The Arcade Fire comparisons came thick and fast as they had a matching female violinist.

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Lead singer Tim Baker lacked the god-given stadium power of AF's Win Butler, but the ambition was certainly there.

They were rather polite with gracious four-part harmonies, aching strings and a song about a poignant hang- over on an Australian beach.

Sydney-based band The Jezabels opened with a Cure-esque gothic drone.

The Triple J Unearthed artists have gone from little indie-band-that-could to anthemic crusaders.

With cinematic vocals, looming guitar riffs, melodic keys and barrelling drum beats I was surprised at how many songs were recognisable to myself and the crowd; Mace Spray, Hurt Me and Endless Summer to name a few.

On the back of three EPs and debut album Prisoner, the band have scored Best Artist at the Independent music awards.

Lead singer Hayley Mary's alien limbs were constantly active and she was dressed like a rock'n'roll, black-clad Olivia Newton-John from Grease.

During their late set it was Mary who channelled the band's haunting cac-ophony of dark lyrical matter, her bright red lips smooshing the mic with kooky intensity.

Easy To Love's refrain, "Oh get my groove on/ mess around" didn't sound corny, instead, fragile and intense; a credit to their songwriting chops and passionate delivery.

During their final song Mary became disorientated and asked if she could start the song again. This is a band that appears to thrive on perfection.