Phil Stack Brisbane Review @ Doo-Bop Jazz Bar

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Phil Stack (Thirsty Merc) played Doo-Bop Jazz Bar (Brisbane) 7 June, 2018. Phil Stack (Thirsty Merc) played Doo-Bop Jazz Bar (Brisbane) 7 June, 2018.

"Who isn't scared? To start again?"


It's a Thursday night (7 June) at Brisbane's serious live jazz haunt, Doo-Bop Jazz Bar as Jo Davie coos from behind a Taylor acoustic guitar.

"You will know my name and you will wonder who I am" are the echoes of a song she wrote inspired by a scary movie. You could be forgiven for feeling a little exhausted after witnessing the vocal gymnastics demonstrated by this Queensland Conservatorium graduate (with First Class Honours).

Phil Stack himself graciously commends Jo more than once during his time in the spotlight.

The elevated view from the cosy VIP nook feels almost as close as one would normally be hovering around side stage at a bigger venue. Phil starts the set at the grand piano, telling us a few stories and inviting us into his soul space.

"Celebrate life, don't be someone who talks about it," he sings. He speaks of his amusement that his young daughter has latched on to one of the less-happy tracks, 'It's A Cold Life', from his forthcoming release, before he bursts into the song.

It's not every day you get to see the solo expression of an ensemble performer who's not the frontman (he's the founding bass guitarist of Thirsty Merc) let alone two upright bass solo songs of epic proportions.

Stack showed us exactly why he is a regular double bassman for James Morrison, and has previously been awarded First Place in the National Jazz Awards. His bass performance was a mesmerising, tantalising kind of suspenseful surprise - much like the key lime pie; that and a vodka mule with fresh citrus and cucumber: what a captivatingly-complete combination for all the senses that Doo-Bop has on offer.

Back at the piano, Phil plays Donny Hathaway's 'Someday We'll All Be Free' and spares himself the stairs between the set and the encore before finishing with the break-up song from his 2015 'Lap Around The Sun' EP, the staggered, gently sad 'She Says, She Says'.

Phil's so mid-to-old-school you can only find his music on Bandcamp. In contrast, and despite feeling exquisitely timeless, Doo-Bop Jazz Bar turns one-year-old this month and doesn't seem to like sleeping either.

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