Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.
Even on paper Isaiah Mitchell (San Diego, US) with Seedy Jeezus (Melbourne, Australia) reads like a match made in heaven; the personalities, the musicians, the music. All of them have made a great name for themselves creating some of the most memorable and cosmic psych jams you’ll ever here. Each night of the Australian tour includes a set by Seedy Jeezus followed by a second set where they’re joined by Mitchell. The supports for The Tote Hotel, Melbourne gigs were Thursday: A Basket Of Mammoths and The Black Heart Death Cult (included in the gallery below), Friday: My Left Boot and Motherslug, all four solid Melbourne bands.
Now, the issue here with writing this is that you can’t review your friends bands, too much bias involved, but what a pleasure it is every time I catch them live and especially as part of this tour, I just had to write something! Thursday and Friday at The Tote were incredible. Absolutely mind blowing. The punters that filled the room had their feet planted firmly, eyes wide open and mouths agape as Seedy Jeezus guitarist Lex Waterreus annihilated his fretboard with some of the smoothest solos ever. Not many bands can include guitar solos that go for as long as a Pink Floyd song, yet with Waterreus it’s different, he isn’t there to show off with as many notes per minute as possible, it all oozes out from his soul and is played with perfection; space where there needs to be and frantic when it’s called for. It all comes from the heart. Like the just as mind blowing rhythm section of Paul Crick (bass) and Mark Sibson (drums). Crick’s control of his theremin is second to none and his ability to lift a song with his flawless bass playing is incredible. Sibson’s drumming is the closest you’ll ever come to seeing Mitch Mitchell (Hendrix Experience) or Ginger Baker (Cream) live. Such a free and loose style yet one of the tightest and strongest around. Love watching him play, he can’t stay on his drum stool, jumping round and sometimes walks around to the front of the kit mid set. His solo on Friday night had the ghost of John Bonham with his hand on his heart and a tear in his eye.
Isaiah Mitchell is best known for his work with Earthless, instrumental psych rockers from California. Seeing Mitchell play live with Earthless is like watching an hour long solo where all the questions to the life and death of the universe are answered and then we’re transported into the afterlife where music is God. The ‘Under The Influence’ Tour “will give fans of Isaiah a chance to see him play songs that have influenced him as a musician since he first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. After performing their own set of blistering psych freakout, Seedy Jeezus will be Isaiah’s backing band as he works through songs from ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.” Which means we also get to hear Mitchell sing this time round in Australia and he has such a soulful voice that resonates and connects. Also check out another band he plays in, Golden Void.
Over the next week there may be Instagram and Facebook post’s that include hints or tell you about the shows, reviews on various sites, and live clips, but we aren’t going to give anything away in terms of the setlist and what’s played, as part of the magic of this tour is to discover what these songs are as they’re played live. No one that attended was disappointed. There’s some songs you may know and some you may not which only open’s up a new avenue of music to explore. After the tour we’ll post the setlists and a live clip from the Friday Melbourne gig that was a truly memorable experience to have witnessed only feet away!
As I said, when reviewing friends bands, bias can creep in, but the music itself speaks volumes, as well as the crowds reactions each night. Glasses were raised, cheers were loud and people hovered around the band for hours after they left the stage, getting vinyl signed, to chat and find out more about what makes them tick. So proud to see the effect that Seedy Jeezus and Isaiah Mitchell have on people as it’s so well deserved.
They’ve also released a 12″ and CD collaboration together under The Tranquonauts. Make sure you pick this up at one of the shows, or check out Seedy Jeezus online for more details on how to grab a copy. Have a listen to some of it HERE! Tym Records (Brisbane) has also released a split 7″ featuring both bands, pick up a copy at one of the shows or online HERE.
Blown Music and Touring and Seedy Jeezus have done well to not only make this tour happen but also to have it such a success right from the first show. Well done! I’d also like to give a shout out to artist and muso Shannon Trottman (Bugdust) who did the art on the tour poster featuring Mitchell, love it.
For more info and ticketing, please check out Blown Music and Touring: Site // ‘Under The Influence’ Facebook event.
Seedy Jeezus: Site // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Bandcamp // Soundcloud // Youtube.
Isaiah Mitchell: Site // Facebook // Twitter.
Earthless: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Bandcamp.
Golden Void: Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp // Bigcartel // Last.fm // Thrill Jockey.