Gig review – Phantom with Eye on You at the Bridge Hotel, Rozelle, NSW, January 15, 2017
By PERRY GRAYSON, Photos BY TANYA CATELLI
VETERAN axeman Chris Brockbank has been a fixture on the hard rock scene for a long while. His latest venture is a five-piece version of Phantom, the act he’s been spearheading since the ‘80s. Far from washed up, Brockbank’s classic heavy rock riffery is a breath of fresh air in a scene that is largely populated by tribute bands. Phantom was the perfect high-energy choice for the Bridge Hotel’s “Sunday Social”.
Central Coast rockers Eye on You was the solid support act for Phantom. Eye on You jammed through a set that was half top-notch originals and half covers. Thankfully their choice of covers was quite heavy, including a Black Sabbath medley. Expect to hear good things from Eye on You in the near future.
Phantom Mk V has been in the studio wrapping up a new album of late, but it’s been some time since Brockbank did what he is best known for, slinging a Fender Strat in the limelight. Phantom is rounded out by vocalist Steve Mulry (ex-Black Label, Ted Mulry Gang), bassist Damian McDonald (Daddy Frisco), keyboardist Jeff Morris and drummer Mick O’Shea (Swanee, Judge Mercy). Brockbank and company set the stage alight during this late afternoon gig. McDonald and O’Shea locked in the groove, while Morris blasted his vintage synth through a Marshall guitar head, a la the late John Lord of Deep Purple. Brockbank comes across as a virtuoso guitarist cut from the same cloth as Ritchie Blackmore. Like Blackmore, Brockbank is a volume freak, crankin’ through a Hughes & Kettner valve amp and a full stack of custom 4×12” cabs. The loudness factor brought back memories of the longhaired hippie days of yore, when music was a physical and visceral experience. Mulry let loose some killer vocal lines reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale.
With this inaugural gig under their belt, Phantom is poised to release a monster record and tour around Oz. If you consider yourself a fan of heavy Aussie rawk, we at Hot Metal highly recommend catching Phantom Mk V in the live arena.