Queensland, the ‘Sunshine State’ of Australia! Beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and communities of character.
“Sunshine State of Mind” a 90-minute one man show celebrating Queensland as we know it written and performed by Australian singer-songwriter Nik Phillips.
I knew this show wasn’t going to be your traditional ‘gig’… I mean a show that’s billed as a ‘One Man Show’, in a venue that has a huge stage presence, how was one man going to fill that void? On stage in the support of delivery a TV, some banners, Phillips and acoustic guitar.
Phillips himself whilst perhaps not being a name in every household, is an accomplished and celebrated artist in his own right receiving some powerful endorsements:
“Nik’s albums are full of depth and conviction, the product of a creative life well-lived. His collection of songs will surely resonate around the state and beyond. Like seeds of the prodigious local Moreton Bay ﬁg trees, these songs will germinate, grow and occupy a special place in your mind”. Ritchie Yorke (Publicist for John Lennon)
“Simply put, Nik Phillips is one of Australia’s most impressive singer-songwriters”. Glenn A Baker (Music Journalist)
The press kit describes “Sunshine State of Mind” as a ‘funny, emotional and inspirational look at our Queensland Spirit, our history, culture and the unsung heroes who sit at the heart of our communities.’ Here’s how it unfolded….
“Sunshine State of Mind” begins with a ‘mission from God’ sent via the ‘TV portal’ by one of Queensland’s most celebrated League football players. Trust me, you’ll all know him! Phillips accepts the mission, and we are all off to discover our “Sunshine State of Mind”.
Phillips steps up to the mic and immediately employs a relaxed, laid back traditional and Australian ‘Ocker’ approach and he had me from start to finish!!
Throughout I found myself snickering over memories that were long gone and several “Oh Yeah – I remember that” moments. A chance to reflect on some of the years of my own Queensland upbringing – a time when my life was simply just simple! Who remembers this one??
We traversed the highs and lows of what our state was and is synonymous for and there’s some pretty thought-provoking stuff in there too.
One anecdote although more on a national scale was my most sobering when I scaled it down to a state level and recalled our farming communities. Phillips recollects…
“I was talking to a person and these are National Stats, I haven’t got the Queensland breakdown. In 2011 we had 157 000 farming families these days we have about 85 000. 157 000 to 85 000 that’s a big drop taking in the droughts and economic times and everything else. Apparently, every farmer on average feeds about 700 people that’s why a lot of people are going hungry. I came home thinking “Geez it’s not good news”. A friend of mine said “Mate, it’s not just the food, everything we wear is a farming product.”
Just think about that for a moment…..
On a totally different topic but as a testament to his commitment to causes he’s VERY passionate about. Speaking out about domestic violence Phillips performs his original ‘Daddy Why?’. It hits the spot…it’s an emotionally charged track and not an easy one to dismiss!
Tonight I learnt about “True Kulcha” and who’d have thought that Powderfinger’s ‘My Happiness’, Savage Garden’s ‘Stand With You On A Mountain’ and the Bee Gees ‘You Don’t Know What You Want’ were not Queensland’s greatest song?? In fact it was…well come on now that’d be just giving it away! 😊
From the discovery of the best song in Queensland “Sunshine State of Mind” gives tribute to our farmers, local heroes and legends. From Allan Cooney to Jack Russell and even Kevie Meredith with his ‘do drop in’ tent setup at The Gympie Muster. Acknowledging the services of our own Rural Fire Service members and the dangers they face each fire season, a Nik Phillips original “Honey I’m Home”.
Nik Phillips is a master at his craft. He literally had the whole audience hanging on his every word. His lyrics developed with ‘True Blue’ honesty and relatability, his delivery simple and steadfast and I loathe to give rating scores but if I did this show is going to be right up at the top.
There are so many elements to “Sunshine State of Mind” and I couldn’t possibly speak of them all. You’ll laugh, reflect and share concern. I can only encourage you to get yourself along to a show and discover the history of Queensland through Nik Phillip’s eyes. Listen to the music, enjoy the stories and engage in the Pub Choir – Oh yeah…forgot to tell you about being in that…but you’ll find out!!
The overall message – best described by Nik Phillips himself….
Read more about “Sunshine State of Mind” and get your tickets here
Buy “Sunshine State of Mind” Volume 1 here
Read more about Nik Phillips here