Scott Russo + Phil Jamieson: Oxford Art Factory 20/12/14

Russo and Jammo

Phil Jamieson graced the stage in a dapper silver suit; with his ever-genial disposition he set the theme of a ‘Christmas double-header’ by wishing the audience a “Merry Fucking Christmas.”

A set of pared back acoustic tracks from Grinspoon’s back-catalogue was an unexpected delivery from a solo Phil. Classics like Sweet As Sugar, Just Ace and More Than You Are didn’t translate acoustically as the amped-up, hardcore tone of the original tracks. As Jamieson hits the chorus in Just Ace “Living in an outta space” is spot on, the venue feels like a town out in the boonies with some guy just providing background music. A sea of plaid shirts seem confused by the energy, knowing all the words but too self-conscious to sing along with this unfamiliar tone changing some of their favourites. Jamieson ratifies the ticket price with track Better Off Alone: red light beaming off his harmonica rack, making him reminiscent of that brace-faced acne teen that everyone can relate to.

Scott Russo follows suit playing all familiar tracks from his time fronting pop-punk band Unwritten Law. His time on this Australian tour clearly giving him the confidence to be facetious with the crowd as he shows his gratitude by wishing he could “finger bash everyone of you.” Up All Night sounds magic as the cigarette romance of the early 2000’s is made ever more real by the smell of popcorn coming from the bar.

Russo and Jamieson finally play together. Most memorably Black Friday for which a humble Russo tried to remain in the dark and an all-in ballad of Elva which had the crowd embracing one another and singing back to the dynamic duo. The pair had a brotherly chemistry and bounced-off one another however this would have made the collaboration more entertaining if it was maintained throughout rather than the labored tag-in, tag-out, and then play together run of the show.

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