Live ’n’ loud: Grin­spoon back in the no-frills rock busi­ness....

Grown-up Grin­spoon are back in the no-frills rock busi­ness af­ter putting fam­ily first, writes Kathy McCabe

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

SOME­TIMES life gets in the way of the rock’n’roll life. When Grin­spoon sat down to plan a national tour in sup­port of their sev­enth stu­dio record, Black Rab­bits, Phil Jamieson and gui­tarist Pat Dav­ern had to sched­ule in home du­ties, with the front­man car­ing for his daugh­ters while his wife trav­elled Italy for five weeks.

Gui­tarist Dav­ern re­cently cel­e­brated the birth of his baby girl, Frankie, with part­ner Katya Shiel.

Jamieson jokes that his wak­ing hours have been con­sumed by mak­ing spaghetti bolog­nese and wash­ing school uni­forms since the band took a break from the tour, which be­gan in March.

‘‘Yes, I’ve been de­vot­ing my­self to be­ing fa­ther of the year,’’ he says in his typ­i­cally un­der­stated fash­ion.

‘‘I would like to know who sits at home with the kids while their wife goes to Italy for five weeks?

‘‘And Pat was hav­ing his baby so it all worked out for us to take a break.’’

Grin­spoon, like most of their Aus­tralian rock con­tem­po­raries, de­liver the kind of no-frills rock that re­lies on great songs played with gusto. The band in­tro­duced Black Rab­bits with sold-out ‘‘in­ti­mate’’ club shows in March af­ter tear­ing up the main stage of the Big Day Out in Jan­uary. They fin­ish up their cur­rent national run at Syd­ney’s En­more Theatre next week­end be­fore they re­turn to the Gold Coast in Oc­to­ber as one of the star acts on the en­ter­tain­ment lineup for the Gold Coast 600 V8s event.

Play­ing the big­ger stage could sug­gest the Grinners might be em­ploy­ing some of the tried and true trick­ery to im­press the fans. Not so, says Jamieson.

‘‘Ah no, no danc­ing girls or pyro, no hy­draulic plat­forms ris­ing from the floor. Just quote a large col­lec­tion of songs which hope­fully we will play to the best of our abil­ity. They should be pyro-wor­thy,’’ he says.

Jamieson is the kind of Aus­tralian artist who both cares and doesn’t care about what peo­ple think of his band.

Seven al­bums in 18 years – Black Rab­bits de­buted in the Top 10 when it came out last Septem­ber – sug­gests Grin­spoon are do­ing enough to keep their oar in the wa­ter.

Jamieson pro­fesses not to mon­i­tor the con­ven­tional mea­sure­ments of suc­cess in mu­sic – the charts, ra­dio count­downs, playlists. When Triple J was count­ing down its re­cent Hottest 100 songs of the past two decades, Jamieson claims not to have been lis­ten­ing un­til Dav­ern called him.

‘‘Pat ner­vously rang me when they were count­ing down, ask­ing if I thought we would get a song on there,’’ he says.

‘‘I didn’t think we would be­cause I didn’t push it or any­thing on so­cial me­dia – I wanted to leave it to the fans rather than beg for votes.’’

Grin­spoon got there in the end, with Chem­i­cal Heart land­ing at num­ber 63. Jamieson says he may for­ever adopt the silent treat­ment as spruik­ing for votes for their sin­gle Passerby to make the list in Jan­uary didn’t work.

‘‘You know me, I’ve al­ways been cyn­i­cal,’’ he says.

Af­ter al­most 20 years on the road, you would think Grin­spoon would be ex­perts at the science of the set list.

Jamieson jokes that drum­mer Kris­tian Hopes is the main driver of what songs are played when be­cause ‘‘he has to hit some­thing hard for 90 min­utes’’.

‘‘Pat wrote the last set list, which will prob­a­bly change for this run. We like cherry-pick­ing songs and putting them back in the mix,’’ Jamieson says.

‘‘And we get ner­vous play­ing new songs which aren’t well-oiled yet be­cause when we write them, we write them to chal­lenge us. It’s a good chal­lenge to have be­cause a lot of the older songs we could play in our sleep.’’

But one con­ces­sion Jamieson makes to the mod­ern con­cert aes­thetic is cos­tume: he likes to dress up th­ese days.

‘‘Oh, I def­i­nitely have to think about that – but I’m not Luke Steele yet.’’

The Gold Coast 600 runs from Oc­to­ber 25-27. Gym Class Heroes, Spi­der­bait, Ha­vana Brown and Bombs Away play the Oc­to­ber 25 con­cert; The Pre­sets, Grin­spoon, The Stafford Broth­ers and DJ Brooke Evers play the Oc­to­ber 26 con­cert. Visit v8­su­per­ for de­tails.

Grin­spoon head to the Gold Coast in Oc­to­ber to per­form as part of the Gold Coast 600 con­cert se­ries.

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