Grinspoon live at The Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Call the sitter, call your speed dealer on the landline number from ninety-nine because Grinspoon are here to reawaken your youth.

Winter’s grip is tight but Sydney’s Enmore Theatre was home to something particularly sweaty this past Friday night. Twenty years on from its inception into late nineties punk, Grinspoon’s debut record Guide to Better Living has hit a milestone. Instead of feeling old, the room is radiating with the kind of energy only youth can harness.

A room electric with old friends, kids in care and a thirst for rehashing the old days, Grinspoon are primed for a receptive audience. With record sales in the pits, and nostalgia tours peak to speak to anyone over 35, Grinners made probably one of the best moves of their career in announcing this tour. What’s old is new again, and the bongs days are alive and well, if only for the night.

Tearing out in heavy sound, Phil, Pat, Joe and Kristian appear to the thick vigor on Pressure Tested 1984, the room subsequently erupts. Few words are uttered as the lads charge through Boundary and DC X 3 then onward into our favourite Rage/Recovery hit Just Ace. The room is thick with male sweat and as a woman I’ve learned to avoid the pit after getting carried away during Lost Control at Big Day Out in 2005. I remain on the edges of the crowd as my comrades scream every word they learned in their mate’s garage when the simplicity of this record spoke to a restless youth.

Phil looks onto the crowd with the kind of enamour of an old lover realising what he had. After several years on hiatus, this band is still everything they were in 1997. Phil’s voice is as good as ever but I guess no one in the band knocked anyone out so perhaps a few things have changed…

The vitality of Lismore’s best frontman seldom waivers during an uninterrupted sixteen song set. Although between crushing one of my two beer cans, I caught Phil mouthing to someone off stage “I’m so tired” but it hardly shows.

This crazy train stops for no one, after a brief intermission, a fired up and re-costumed Phil and co sign up for another round on the Sydney stage. I guess nostalgia being the theme of the night, we can forgive the fact that old mate reappeared in the Jay Jay’s special of a suit jacket and jeans. I’ll allow it.

Just when you think the night can’t get better, punters are treated to extra classics from the lads spanning their career. The eight-song encore takes on Easy, New Detention and whatever that record was when they became a skinny jeans band for a second. Notably leaving out Black Friday, the band is forgiven for dropping 1000 Miles in its place, at least by me.

An absolutely monster set (24 songs) is drawn to a close with More Than You Are. For me, this was the perfect night – a reawakened band thriving on the blood and sweat of a following as loyal as ever. For my money, if they were smart they’d get back in that studio and give us something new because the love may be old but in that room, that night, it was as strong as ever.

You can see more photos from the night by heading over to our Facebook page

Keep up to date with Grinspoon at their website.


Samantha Dickson


 Photos by Heather Vousden. Review by Samantha Dickson.