• Carin Pickworth

Glad You’re Back, Double Jack


Renowned two-piece cover band Double Jack planned to retire when they played a New Year’s Eve gig in 2017. But they didn’t last long on hiatus, returning to their well-worn stomping ground of Narangba Valley Tavern to reconnect with fans, and their passion.

“We felt like something was really missing in our lives after a few months off,” vocalist Simon Vermeulen says. “We were worn out and we needed a break, but we will never stop again. We will be Double Jack until the end of our days.”

It’s a gruelling schedule for Vermeulen and guitarist Tommy Drake. The pair work as council officers during the day and moonlight as rock stars at night – morphing into anyone from Jimmy Barnes or John Farnham to Van Morrison with a songs list featuring favourites like Brown Eyed Girl, Flame Trees and Two Strong Hearts.

Double Jack has been around for eight years, and has managed to attract a loyal crew in that time – with their schedule booked out until February 2019. But despite current success, the Narangba Valley Tavern will always hold a special place in their heart.

“That’s where we got out first ever gig,” Vermeulen says. “We were trying so hard to get managers to put us on and then the guy at Narangba Valley decided to give us a go and it was the best news we’d ever had.

“To this day we get the best sound in that room. We will always stay loyal to that place.”

Double Jack – a name conjured up when Vermeulen and Drake were drinking just that – play a plethora of cover songs from the 60’s through to today, but there’s a certain track that always gets the crowd pumping.

“John Farnham, You’re the Voice,” Vermeulen says. “We got requests for it and we put it together and it always goes off.”

But crowd favourites aren’t always the band’s favourites, as it seems.

“We play Khe Sanh every single gig but I have to say, it’s a real effort to sing,” Vermeulen says. “Not just the lyrics but the fact that the music barely leaves time for you to take a breath. Everyone loves that song and we will always play it but it does take it out of me.”

And any Guns N’ Roses fans heading down to see Double Jack at the Narangba Valley Tavern on October 13 and 14 or December 15 and 16 will be pleasantly surprised by their rendition of Sweet Child O’ Mine.

Guitarist Drake has painstakingly learned every note of every guitar solo Slash plays in the famous ditty - going so far as to purchase the same guitar as Slash - and the result is worth seeing.

“He sounds exactly like Slash,” Vermeulen says. “It’s authentic and the crowd loves it.”

Check out Double Jack’s gig guide, songs list and booking options at www.doublejack.com.au


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