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News April 3, 2017

Grinspoon back to celebrate 20th anniversary of debut album

Grinspoon are heading back on the road in mid-winter, playing 27 arena and theatre shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album Guide To Better Living.

They’ll play the album from cover to cover at the shows between June and September.

“I hate nostalgia, it gets my goat,” frontmanPhil Jamieson quipped. “What I do love are tunes, and we’ve got tunes! I can’t wait to spit ‘em out with as much venom as I did as a 19-year-old.

“I don’t think I really knew what I was doing when I made Guide To Better Living, but I know that playing this album from start to finish is going to be one of the most challenging, enjoyable & kickass things I’ll ever do!

“Bring on the road, bring on the tour, bring on the shows… happy 20th birthday GTBL!”

Universal Music is re-issuing a 20th anniversary edition of the album on June 23.

The original 16 tracks will be expanded to 49 tracks, including rarities, live tracks and the unreleased recording Green Grass Meadow which had been recorded in the same sessions as the album. There are also 13 live tracks from Falls Festival in 1997.

The physical 2CD edition is packaged in a deluxe slipcase, alongside a 36-page book featuring unseen images, scans of memorabilia, full lyrics and essays from each of the band members.

The album also appears on vinyl for the very first time in the form of a limited edition red vinyl pressing, coupling the original album with a second disc Live At CBGB’s. The 10 tracks, recorded at the New York venue in 1997, were discovered unexpectedly in the vaults in December 2016.

For all dates and ticketing details, see grinspoon.com.au.

Guide To Better Living marked the first explosion of the band from Lismore, when they were still in their post-grunge phase.

The rise had been rapid. In July 1995, the four met at Lismore’s Gollan Hotel during its regular jam night. There was enough spark for them to stay together, naming themselves after pro-marijuana advocate Dr. Lester Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School.

In the two year run-up to that first album, they won the triple j Unearthed competition with Sickfest, quickly picked up a national following with some wild shows, and released the EPs Grinspoon (Green Album) and Licker Bottle Cozy.

A bidding war began between labels, with the 16-track Guide To Better Living (including a secret acoustic track Protest) released through Universal Music and produced by Phil McKellar.

Fuelled by triple j and community radio play for Sickfest, Just Ace, Champion and DCx3, the album reached #11 on the ARIA chart and went double platinum for sales of 140,000. It included a number of live tracks, and was also issued in the United States.

The band has been officially on hiatus for the past four years. After 18 years, seven albums, 13 ARIA nominations and over a thousand shows, they wanted to live the normal life for a time.

Jamieson, who was a teenager when the band started, did solo shows and started a family. This year he starred with Chris Cheney of The Living End in the QPAC Brisbane limited run version of Green Day’s American Idiot musical..

Guitarist Pat Davern and his wife Katya opened The Finder’s Club book store in Bangalow and had a daughter Frankie. Bassist Joe Hansen, who played in Sons Of Jaguar wit Davern, also worked behind the scenes at music festivals. Drummer Kristian Hopes ran his own handyman business in Brisbane.

In 2013, Grinspoon got back together briefly to open for Cold Chisel’s tour.

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