It’s a massive gamble for an artist to split from a group and go solo, but by God Phil Jamieson has pulled it off.
Best known as Aussie rock quad Grinspoon’s frontman, Jamieson has been flying solo since the group announced an indefinite hiatus in December 2013 (well, until Monday, but I'll get to that). Since then, he’s embarked on numerous artistic projects. Most recently, he and fellow Aussie rocker Chris Cheney (The Living End) shared the character of St Jimmy, the lead role in the Australian adaptation of Green Day’s American Idiot musical. He’s also a big supporter of Headspace, and has done two Rock N Ride tours to raise money and awareness about youth mental health issues.
Jamieson descended on The Cranka last Wednesday night, treating a packed room to an acoustic sesh of some of his former band’s best songs. Walking onto the bare stage, the singer looked every inch the rockstar, with a low-slung acoustic guitar over a schmick suit, coupled with perfectly pomaded hair and a cheeky smile. He thanked the crowd of Grinspoon loyalists for coming out on a drizzly mid-week evening and got stuck into his stripped back set.
Opening with Sweet as Sugar and Repeat (which, fittingly, is about a girl on a ferris wheel), Jamieson’s voice had the audience captivated from the first verse. He backed these up with Better Off Alone and Black Friday. Comeback was next up on the bill, with younger fans especially enjoying hearing the bones of the 2009 hit.
Jamieson possessed a lovely sense of humbleness throughout the show, as he genuinely seems to enjoy playing smaller shows in smaller venues. Repeatedly thanking the crowd and stating how happy he was to be here, he presented punters with a juxtaposing persona to the slick singer who first walked onto the stage.
As his set continued, Jamieson treated the room to a rendition of Bryan Adams’ 1983 hit Heaven, which was nothing short of angelic. I’d bet serious money that I wasn’t the only person there who developed an instantaneous crush on the dude. Skipping the encore, Jamieson rounded out the show with More Than You Are and Just Ace, the latter of which had the crowd dancing and singing along. After the show, Jamieson made a swift getaway, presumably to avoid proclamations of love from half the audience.
Jamieson’s 20-odd years of musical experience and musicianship cannot be faulted, and it was an amazing experience to see someone so talented in their raw form. Put simply; he’s just ace.
If you missed Jamieson in Adelaide, you’re in luck because Grinspoon are coming out of hiatus for a full national tour. The lads are coming to Adelaide on August 26th at the Entertainment Centre. Full details are yet to be released, but the guys released a nostalgic af video to their Facebook page to announce the comeback:
Header image via Judd Campbell