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21 May, 2021

Lucky Phil celebrates 50 years of gigging

With 50 years inside the music industry, Cairns local musician Phillip ‘Lucky Phil’ Anglim certainly has some wild stories to tell!

Lucky Phil performing as frontman in a rock band in Melbourne in 1972

He will celebrate the anniversary by doing a mini solo tour, preforming on Friday May 28 and Saturday May 29 at the Blues Café and Bar Mission Beach, and on Sunday May 30 at the Garradunga Hotel north of Innisfail.

“In 1972 I was 18 when I did my first professional gig. My first band, Pig Alley, was prepunk rock band, destined for the rocks,” said Phil.

“Melbourne was pumping, gig all around the City and Bay Area. We shared the stage with the likes of Billy Thorp, Max Merritt, Chain and The Zoot. Bands were booming and Little River was a creek near Geelong.

“In 1974 the band relocated to Albury and Wodonga, strategically placed at the crossroads of rock n roll midway between Sydney and Melbourne.

“It was the perfect spot for the traveling bands to top up their fuel and supplies, and we lived in the Globe Hotel (party central).

“Our band played support act to Black Feather, Flake and Sherbet.

“Things were getting out hand with me personally as drugs and alcohol had taken their toll.

“Packing up I headed back to Melbourne, picked up an acoustic guitar and decided, being a rock and roll front man just might kill me.

“I started hanging around the folk and blues scene and started building a small song set.

Lucky Phil in Cairns today preparing for a 50th anniversary tour!

“Something was still wrong, I needed space so I hit the road.

“I ended up in Darwin, post cyclone Tracy. Darwin was a mess, I was mess, perfect time to take stock.

“Recognizing I had a huge problem, my psychotropic brain told me to join the Navy. Which I did for six and half years.

“It saved my life, I got clean, I got sober, I got married and started gigging again.

“It was my vocation. What else was I to do? Babies were on the way and I decided to take every gig that came my way - shopping Centres, restaurants, weddings, birthday parties and the odd funeral (a gig is a gig).

“Studying music in the TAFE I met fellow musicians and gigged along the Murry River from Echuca to the Riverina. I won a few busking competitions, cash, guitars and recording time.

“My first recording album was done. I had to do a gig to launch the recording, I was blessed to have Archie Roach and family to support the night. It was a very pleasant and personal gig.

“My family visited Cairns, I had been here before with the Navy, but this time I saw the beauty of Far North Queensland.

“My first gig in Cairns was with the Ocean Spirit Day Cruises. Playing Sea Shanties on the foredeck under sail was the perfect gig. In the evening dinner cruise and the cheese board after work.

“After Ocean Spirit I gigged for Downunder Dive for a couple of days a week. I love the backpackers, especially the Irish and the Brazilians, for music was their culture.

“I no longer go to sea, but you might see me gigging with my mate on the Cairns Council Stage, at Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron, Coconut Caravan Park, Blue Café and Bar, Tanks Sunday Markets. Stop and say hi at the end of the song.

“Hopefully we all live and learn. The music industry is in the imagination of the music makers. It’s not dog-eat-dog. It’s one dog talking to the other dog on the telephone.

“I’m playing Blues and Urban Country these days and have found my niche.

“Come and say hi after my set, or feel free to contact me to have a yarn.”

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