Finding the key to his life
FOR Warwick lawyer Phil Crook, a busy work life is balanced with love of bursting into song.
The courtroom crooner has been singing since he was a child, more recently joining forces with wife Doreen and son Anthony to become The Phil Crook Trio.
While performing at a fundraiser in Leslie Park, Mr Crook was recognised by a previous client, someone he’d had dealings with in a criminal law environment.
Mr Crook said he’d just finished a particular song when the man rushed up to the stage.
“He looked at me and said, ‘well, you’re a better singer than you are a lawyer’,” he said.
“I could only say thanks, I guess I had to take that as compliment.”
Growing up Mr Crook and his family would sing the old traditional and melodic English songs, but his studies and burgeoning law career took him along another path.
After passing the bar, the softly-spoken new barrister decided he could use some voice projection lessons, in an attempt to be heard and have a strong courtroom presence.
“I found a college of music in Adelaide St in Brisbane, and signed up for a voice production class,” Mr Crook said.
“I was a little bit taken aback when the teacher kept getting me to sing.
“I thought ‘why are we are singing?’ I didn’t want to sing, I wanted to talk louder.
“They were some tough songs too, but I must have made an impression on my teacher, because she kept offering to get me some gigs around the city.”
However, a young careerdriven Mr Crook didn’t give music a second thought at the time.
“Ask me today, and I’d say ‘sure, when do we play?’,” he said. “At that stage it wasn’t my priority at all, and sadly I think I missed a whole generation of songs due to work, work, work.”
A turning point came in the early 1980s when Mr Crook bought a practice in Charleville.
“The family and I joined a local church and singing became part of our lives again,” he said.
From the modern Christian music, Mr Crook was introduced to country music on moving to Warwick and now sings everything from Elvis to The Seekers to Ronan Keating.
“It’s been a quite year, gig-wise,” he said.
“But we practise our songs and harmonies every Wednesday night.”
The Phil Crook Trio plays this Saturday at the Warwick Senior Citizens Hall from 7pm.
JAILHOUSE ROCK: Phil Crook loves to swap the courtroom for the stage.