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.

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