Sunday, 12 February 2012

Phil Jamieson -Northcote Social Club

It's my aim this year to see a few more live gigs, well as many as my finances allow! Madonna and Lady Gaga have announced Australian tours next year and I would hate to think what people would have to shell out for tickets, I certainly wouldn't contemplate going to those shows as I'm not a fan of either artist (using that term rather loosely). Why not pay 15-30 dollars to see a band or solo artist play in a pub or club and see real performance and artistic passion on display.

On Friday night I went to see Phil Jamieson perform an acoustic set, for those not aware Phil is the front man for Grinspoon a post punk alternative four piece who have enjoyed considerable success in Australia. Phil has gained some personal notoriety for his drug addiction which was revealed in full on Andrew Denton's program a few years ago, from his appearance he seems to have conquered his demons but that nervy anxious exterior still remains. He is however a graceful performer, comfortable on stage with an easy demeanour and well versed in dealing with alcohol soaked punters with subtle humour and gratitude. Personally I was never a fan of Grinspoon, those teen angst riddled punk salvos never penetrated my bizarre concept of music, I found them lacking real soul or passion for me they wore their influences to steadfastly on their sleeve.

So I was pleasantly surprised at how well Jamieson was able to adapt the classic Grinspoon sound to an acoustic setting, he threw in some interesting covers including Till There Was You from the Beatles debut album, during that song however a fight broke out in the crowd, what an irony! I'd like to see Phil record a solo album he has considerable depth to his songwriting, that personal ache resonates in his material and with maturity he will further enhance his reputation. The key question is what musical palette will he apply to his lyrics, he doesn't have the vocal nuance for country/folk and I'm not sure the depth is there for a soul styled album. He is a great rocker so maybe he needs to create an edge to his music something that is rough and jagged that adequately reflects his personal dramas.

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