Phil Jamieson’s diamond hoo-ha

Early last Sunday, the veteran Australian pop-metal band Grinspoon fronted up to Byron Bay for one of the most contentious Splendour in the Grass festivals in memory. Singer Phil Jamieson says he became “a platypus” – the rarest sighting possible. “I spent 90 minutes on the grounds, and 60 of that was on stage. I drove in, in my own car, got up on stage and left,” he says.

When Jamieson says the event was “a little bit tricky”, he is being diplomatic. “I was just ducking and weaving, getting up to do the best job I could possibly do. It was hectic but I just kept my eye on the prize. We got it across the line, I think. But if you went there as an 18-year-old and that was your first festival experience, you would be battle-hardened.”

Jamieson, 45, wears a few battle scars of his own. Grinspoon have been active for 27 years since forming in Lismore, northern New South Wales. There were seven albums – the latest being 2012’s Black Rabbits – before the band took a break, reuniting for tours with Cold Chisel in 2015 and supporting a 20th-anniversary reissue of their debut album, Guide To Better Living, in 2017.… Read more..

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How I learned to listen and love Cold Chisel

I used to hate Cold Chisel. As a teenager in the 1980s, it was hard to avoid them. FM radio couldn’t get enough of them, and Khe Sanh was especially ubiquitous, pumped out of every muscle-car stereo at the beach like an extra pipeline of exhaust fumes.

Despite growing up in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I stood outside of their tribe; the mullet-headed kids that liked them were the ones that gave me a hard time at school. I hated all that masculine camaraderie, the “suck more piss” ethos of their fans and their totemic status in the pantheon of Oz rock.

But strangely, I don’t hate Cold Chisel anymore. They are the crocodiles of Australian rock & roll: a dinosaur that will outlive us all. Doc Neeson is gone, though the Angels gamely play on without him. Midnight Oil died when Peter Garrett stopped dancing and took his pulpit into politics.

Cold Chisel are Oz rock’s last great survivors.

On 2 October they will launch their eighth studio album, The Perfect Crime, at the Deni (Deniliquin) Ute Muster in the New South Wales Riverina. The cover depicts what looks like one of those muscle cars, tail-lights glowing on some lonely country road.… Read more..

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