Small Band Big Sound – Phil Wolfendale – Clever Boy.

A tall lanky white boy whining about first world problems. Phil Wolfendale should have your attention. 

Sometimes a song just hits you in your ears and you feel it through the rest of your body. The type of song, that when it finishes, you play it again pretty much straight away. Phil Wolfendale’s “Clever Boy” is one of those songs that you listen to twice and then treat yourself with a third. Not to diminish the rest of the song. But it is 90% due to the lead into the chorus.

It is a self reflective song about Phil being such a clever boy, “that’s what they said to me. They told me I’ve got so much potential” – and he fucking belts it out. He is almost pleading with people around him to stop saying those words, as he self deprecatingly speaks about playing half arsed songs to half filled rooms and what changed, where did that potential go? I drew parallels to the new Bill and Ted movie, focusing on them being older, and not yet coming up with “the sound’ that unites the world. Time travel is brutal. 

However, if there is a song to make you see the potential in someone – this would be one. Phil you’ve got so much potential. Picture this – a Dear Seattle types sound, with some awesome grungy elements, and glimpses of Silverchair. That chorus hits me every time, just exploding with some with powerful vocals and heavy guitar. 

I got into work today and listened to his 2018 debut album, Dropkick. It is a journey of some great lyrics telling a story of a man’s life in a relatable way – sometimes too relatable. Maybe I’m the tall lanky white guy whining about first world problems?

This Adelaide born, Melbourne man makes some references that you can instantly picture and are transported there. He definitively creates imagery that I’m all about. But it comes across deeply rooted in personal experience and in a way that makes you feel it was your own experience. You even get some Smith Street Band vibes from a few tracks – which is right at home among the DVOWR editing room. 

Get your ears around this man, and make sure you’re there to fill up those shows. He’s got potential. The type of dude that is always happy to pat someone’ else’s dog. That’s the world we want.

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