July 7, 2017
Grinspoon emerged in 1995 from sleepy Lismore in New South Wales and with the juvenile delinquents behind the operation harbouring a weak spot for sticky icky, they named themselves after an Associate Professor advocating the medicinal use of marijuana.
The following two decades would see Grinspoon ascend and establish itself as a platinum selling, (inter-)nationally acclaimed act and staple of Australian rock’n roll inventory.
2017 sees the band reconvene for a victory lap to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their debut album with the Guide to Better Living tour, performing the songs of their debut album in its entirety alongside a selection of the goodies from their other emissions.
It comes with the territory of playing albums front to back that there are tracks that have never been incarnated in a live environment, which is part of the appeal for the audience and offers a bit of a welcome challenge for the musicians.
Instead of an exercise of indulging in nostalgia, Grinspoon did not merely attempt to reenact their youthful past glories but delivered a set that captured the teenage angst aspect that Guide To Better Living was essentially driven by and infused it with the more refined aspects of their later sound, which resulted in a much grittier, punchier and rawer delivery than what they have become known for following their debut’s release.
The sold out audience, which populated the age bracket from young teenagers to faithful fans who would have been older in 1995 than their debut album is now, celebrated it and lapped it up with enthusiasm.
Both the first half of the show with songs of a heavier caliber like "Pressure Tested 1984" and classic-rock inspired ones like "Repeat" and "Don’t Go Away" were especially enthusiastically received, as well as the second half of the set, visually marked by Phil Jamieson’s flamboyant costume change, which was comprised of the crowd pleasers from their later albums and showcased the more nuanced, mature side of a band that has honed its songwriting skills and range of offerings, which has found them being heralded by a wider mainstream audience.
Photos by KAVV