Phil Jamieson

Publication: The Western Weekender

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From the White Album to American punk rock

With Grinspoon on hiatus, Phil Jamieson has found a myriad of projects to occupy himself with including acoustic performances and some rather productive collaborations

When my call gets connected to Phil Jamieson I find him in a Sydney hotel room doing his washing before he heads out for dumplings and a movie. The same time the day before he was on the Concert Hall stage at the Opera House in front of thousands of people, dressed in a baby blue jacket and bow tie singing songs from the Beatles’ ‘White Album’ and getting rather intimate with a select few audience members.

Such is the life of the frontman of one of Australia’s most loved rock bands, Grinspoon. Last year the band decided to go on an indefinite hiatus, which has left Jamieson to occupy himself.

One of the ways he is filling the time is by doing another round of the hugely successful ‘The Beatles’ White Album Concert Series’ with his equally talented contemporaries Chris Cheney (The Living End), Tim Rogers (You Am I) and singer/ songwriter Josh Pyke.

“It’s a very magical experience to do that show. It’s just an honour for me to be involved and I’m having a ball as you can probably tell,” Jamieson explains.

The ‘White Album’ – as it is known though it is actually self titled – is hugely diverse with the 30 tracks coming from a range of genres including rock, jazz and avante garde.

“It’s not the easiest record, sure there’s some big hits on it like ‘U.S.S.R’ and ‘Blackbird’ but then there’s some really crazy weird songs like ‘Piggies’ and stuff that is just so off its head,” says Jamieson.

Along with the White Album tour Jamie- son has been heading out on acoustic dates, and audiences will get a chance to see him perform at the Tattersalls Hotel on Friday, August 1.

“I will probably look quite sharp, I’ll be dressed well,” he explains of the upcom- ing gig.

“I’m going to bring a drummer and a bass player to fill out some of the songs. I might do a cover of a couple of songs and I might tell some funny jokes.”

Jamieson also hints at a smoke machine and a bubble machine joining him on stage as well.

“It’s going to be great, I can’t wait. And also the Panthers are having a good year right? So it’s a good time to be out in Penrith,” he said.

After Grinspoon decided to have an indefinite period of time apart, Jamieson found that getting a normal job wasn’t really going to be an option. Thank god for that because what audiences clearly want is more of the talented performer.

So with his acoustic guitar in tow he headed out for some slightly quieter gigs than the ones he played with Grinspoon.

“It’s very lonely,” he jokes about the solo work.

“Basically the band went on hiatus in December and I sat around for ages at home and learnt how to cook. I was doing great stuff like making school lunches and vacuuming and washing, just doing normal domestic stuff and then my wife said ‘Buddy, it’s time you fucking went and did something’.”

Part of the ‘something’ that he did was two acoustic shows in May of this year with good friend Scott Russo, frontman of the American punk rock band Unwritten Law.

“I rang him, actually when I was doing my cooking and doing my boring domes- tic stuff, and I said, ‘look, do you want me to manage your tour when you come out here’ and their management, prob- ably wisely, said ‘I think that’s a really bad idea’.

“I’m like ‘okay, fair enough, why don’t we do a show together’.”

The two shows were so successful that they are joining forces again in Decem- ber for a run of gigs across Australia, which will no doubt please fans of Grinspoon, Unwritten Law and good music.

Though he is clearly enjoying the new acoustic gigs Jamieson doesn’t seem to be too keen on an acoustic album just yet.

“Oh god no,” he laughed.

“I will release something probably by the end of the year; I’ll put out some sort of recorded music. It won’t necessarily be acoustic I don’t think but it will have me singing on it and it will probably be called Phil Jamieson and it will be some sort of product, for want of a better term.”

Phil Jamieson will be performing an acoustic gig at the Tattersalls Hotel on Friday, August 1 at 8.30pm. Entry is free.

For more information on the show call 4732 6373 or visit www.tattersallshotel- penrith.com.au.