Republic Bar, Hobart TAS
June 21st 2018
Phil Jamieson returned to Hobart for the second time this year to play a stripped back acoustic show, and what a show it was. I wasn’t too sure of what to expect from his set. Would it be covers? Grinspoon songs only? Would he perform anything from his time in the Australian production of American Idiot or would he feature something from his run of Easy Fever shows? It was anybody’s guess.
From the moment Phil took the stage and rang out the first chord of ‘Sweet As Sugar’ he had many of the crowd singing along. At the end of the third song, he introduced himself by saying “Good evening my name is Phillip” in a tongue in cheek manner to the delight of the crowd.
Quickly it was becoming evident that this was a show of acoustic adaptations of Grinspoon hits, and the hits just kept coming. But what was most surprising was how proficient he was as a guitarist. I had always seen Phil as a front man only. But this showed a deeper side to him. It showed the true songwriting genius he is. Always credited as a co-writer or the songs being the full writing collaboration of the band, it became evident that Phil Jamieson was at large a key element to the Grinspoon writing machine.
Not only his guitar skills were highlighted, but his effortless harmonica playing was a treat adding yet another unexpected element to the show and this collection of songs.
By the time Phil had reached ‘Repeat’ in the set the Republic Bar was in full voice, not just for the chorus’, but the verses as well. It was incredible to stand in the middle of the venue with everyone in full voice.
Mid-set Phil surprised me and the crowd with a warm version of the Bryan Adams hit ‘Heaven’ which he dedicated to two friends that were getting married the next day. This song was however interrupted due to some asshole who thought it was Ok to push some of the female punters around and was promptly advised to fuck right off if that was how he was going to be by Phil.
The set that Phil Jamieson played tonight was near perfection, representing almost every album in their catalogue. Again it was amazing how well these songs leaned themselves to an acoustic setting. As it has been said in the past if you can play one of your songs on an acoustic guitar and it still sounds great, it’s a great song.
The best songs of the night were the ones you didn’t expect to be just as fun in this setting as they are with the full band. Personal favourites were ‘Black Friday’, ‘More Than You Are’, ‘Just Ace’, ‘Repeat’ and his absolutely killer version of ‘1000 Miles’ which he delivered in a Tom Waits meets Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B Goode’ style to close the night.
Phil Jamieson had the 250+ crowd in the palm of his hands all evening and delivered an amazing show; one that I could watch/listen to over and over again.
If you are lucky enough to catch one of these amazing intimate shows, do not hesitate as it is a REAL treat.
Now hurry back Phil.
Sweet As Sugar
Minute by Minute
Better Off Alone
Heaven (Bryan Adams cover)
More Than You Are