Bob Evans, aka Kevin Mitchell, performs at Mojo's Bar in Fremantle. Picture: Sara Hannagan

Review: Bob Evans at Mojo’s, Fremantle, 7 August 2016

A happy reunion.

While listening to a Bob Evans album is a pleasant experience, a true appreciation can only come from witnessing the warmth and energy of his live show.

The acoustic alter ego of Jebediah frontman Kevin Mitchell made the final WA stop of his Car Boot Sale tour on Sunday, promoting the album of the same name.

Mitchell, or Kev as he’s known around here, hails from suburban Bull Creek – about 10 minutes down the road from where he ambled onstage, wine glass in hand, at Fremantle’s modest but legendary Mojo’s Bar.

These days he’s based in Victoria, but that didn’t stop him soaking up every bit of love his Freo fans offered.

Earlier, Melbourne-based performer Melody Pool impressed with dark and powerful vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar and violin.

Pool sang with vigour and an easy confidence, introducing a few songs from her new album Deep Dark Savage Heart.

Introducing Romantic Things, she admitted the recent single was the result of a drunken attempt to write a Fleetwood Mac song. Let’s just say Stevie Nicks would be proud.

Opening with the playfully dark Old News from Car Boot Sale, the crowd swayed as guitars and drums rattled rhythmically along with Mitchell’s scathing lyrics: “You’re old news, nothing but the junk mail in my mind.”

Mitchell was clearly glad to be playing at his old haunt, taking every opportunity to chat with the sold-out crowd.

Mitchell was clearly glad to be playing at his old haunt, taking every opportunity to chat with the sold-out crowd.

I’ve been trying not to talk too much at these shows. It’s not going very well,” he laughed.

The optimistic foot-tapper Friend from 2006 album Suburban Songbook followed, and well-loved ballad Someone So Much had a special significance with its opening line (“Good night, Bull Creek”) more meaningful here than anywhere.

“Any Bull Creekians out there?” Mitchell asked with a cheeky smile, before the band joined him with jangly guitars and vocal harmonies.

A talented band, we might add, led by Ashley Naylor (of Rockwiz fame) who later delivered a blistering guitar solo on Where Did I Go Wrong?.

Mitchell skipped back and forth across his 13-year Bob Evans catalogue, serving up a well-balanced spread of old and new material.

Cold Comfort, from the new album, was percussive and fun, while warm-and-fuzzy 2006 hit Nowhere Without You was a perfect singalong.

“So far this is way better than playing in Northbridge,” said Mitchell without a hint of sarcasm (he’d played Jack Rabbit Slims the night before).

The band took a break while Mitchell performed a few songs alone with his guitar, including Wonderful You and Race to the Bottom.

Ron Sexsmith featured an entertaining backstory and some slightly off-key whistling. “I only just recently learnt to whistle so apologies for that display,” Mitchell laughed, with the humour and affable authenticity his fans have come to love.

The opening bars of Don’t You Think It’s Time were met with the biggest cheer of the night, prompting Mitchell to start the song again just to hear the reaction for a second time. Hilarity ensued, and he urged the band to play on before he got teary.

Speaking of tears, the set finished with Happy Tears and a five-song encore featuring poignant love song Stuck on You and a cover of the Buzzcocks’ Ever Fallen in Love.

It’s hard to say who was more chuffed to be hanging out at Mojo’s – Kev or his Freo family.

Either way, it was a happy reunion.


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