Photo by Ian Laidlaw
PHIL JAMIESON has spent the last quarter-century fronting one of Australia’s most popular and successful rock bands, and is now geared up to explore the well-worn route of front guy going solo. “Trouble” is the first single from his highly anticipated debut solo album, due for release on Golden Robot Records later in 2023.
“Trouble is tightly wound new wave pop, nervy staccato guitars and bubbling synths in a quintessentially antipodean style, along the lines of early INXS or Split Enz… one of Australian rock’s most iconic voices of the last 25 years” is the tune and singer’s apt descriptor applied by the song’s co-producer, none other than You Am I’s lead guitarist, Davey Lane.
Stream/buy Trouble HERE
Jamieson himself delves into the track thusly; “Trouble started life in Potts Point in 2019. I demoed with long time collaborator Ben Rosen. He had just moved back from Singapore and had this chic Art Deco place right in the heart of the Cross. Over overpriced beer I kind of came up with the riff and song… and we sat down and pushed out a demo. It had a very different middle 8 section but apart from that the structure was pretty spot on. Lyrically it went through many moods… heartfelt, funny, sad. I think at one stage I was singing about John Laws’ boat? Anyhoo… I took it down to Field Studio in Collingwood to redo it from the ground up with the incredible Davey Lane. He wrote the middle 8 and wrote the drum pattern. It took on a whole new life and became what you hear today.”
(For non-Australian audiences, “the Cross” refers to Kings Cross, Sydney’s renowned red-light district, and “John Laws” is an infamous conservative right-wing radio DJ.)
Jamieson’s live performance talents have continued to diversify and develop as he has explored new stages and formats in his post-band career. He made the transition from live music venues to the boards of theatres around the country in 2017, cast as St. Jimmy in the Australian stage production of American Idiot. The Broadway musical had an impactful Australian season, and a performance that earned Jamieson wide acclaim: “Phil Jamieson carried the role, and absolutely nailed it… whenever he is onstage, it’s difficult to focus on anything else.” – Syn Media.
As well as working on his musical career in recent years, Jamieson has been involved in several philanthropic and industry-specific initiatives. In 2013, he co-founded the Rock N Ride Tour for the national Youth and Mental Health Foundation, Headspace, bringing awareness to mental health issues faced by young people across a five-day motorcycle road trip. Additionally, Jamieson has donated profits from his solo touring to national initiative, Support Act, who continue to assist those in need in the music industry. Since 2015, Jamieson has also been an industry judge for the Australian Music Prize, arguably the most prestigious award in Australian music.
From fronting a generation-defining rock band the multi-platinum-selling Grinspoon, to enjoying success in the musical theatre world, Jamieson remains a multi-faceted creative, 27years on from his debut. And now with his sights firmly focused on a start-delayed solo career, “Trouble” introduces, finally and fully formed, Phil Jamieson: solo artist.
And to that end, let’s leave the final word to that doyen of Australian arts, Tim Rogers of You Am I: “Phil’s puckish performance style is underscored by a voice that can turn choirboy or demon’s spawn in a blinding grin… Pop music with fire and finesse.”