The Voice's Steve Clisby to perform at The Brass Monkey

Steve Clisby: The singer spent more than 60 years as a musician, living an inspirational life in the US, Europe and finally in Australia following his love of rhythm & blues and jazz before his breakthrough moment on The Voice.

Steve Clisby: The singer spent more than 60 years as a musician, living an inspirational life in the US, Europe and finally in Australia following his love of rhythm & blues and jazz before his breakthrough moment on The Voice.

STEVE Clisby has performed with some of the biggest names in music.

But he says his crowning achievement - at least in his mother’s eyes - was his stint on reality show The Voice.

The 70-year-old featured in the second season of the show, making it to the final eight, after a lengthy career in the US and Europe playing with musical greats like Tina Turner, Hot Chocolate, Kool & the Gang and Frank Zappa.

When he was eliminated, he got a copy of the show, flew to the United States, and watched it with his then 103-year-old mum.

“She was just excited. She couldn’t believe it,” Clisby recalls.

"She was very sort of relieved to know that I was doing well.”

It was the first time Clisby saw himself on the silver screen, because he wanted to live in the moment during the live portion of the show, not cringe as he watched episodes back.

"I think everybody, unless you’re deluded, has such a huge amount of self-criticism when they see themselves back," Clisby says.

Some would try to distance themselves from the spectre of a reality TV stint, but Clisby embraces his seemingly overnight success.

"I always felt very fortunate that we were able to reach people’s living rooms," he says.

"Most of the time you’ve gotta go out and prove yourself, in pubs and clubs, and I’ve been doing that for years, which is how I developed the following that I had.

"But, you know, you gotta play in a lot of pubs and clubs to play to 2 million people."

Clisby says being followed by this younger demographic is something he never expected.

"What I’m really fascinated by is how the younger generation embraced what I was doing," Clisby says.

"I think what they connected with was the realness of it. In a way, it was completely new to them to hear some music that is not sort of production-line generic, computer-based stuff that sounds the same."

Clisby reportedly once jammed with Jimi Hendrix, and it’s clear his rock’n’roll roots are a strong influence when it comes to his love of classical production.

"The magic of four or five musicians playing together and creating a certain vibe, a certain energy is intangible, and it’s real," Clisby says.

"That’s how records were made in the past. That’s why we have a great legacy of pop music and all these great songs: they were created with rhythm sections and by people playing together and capturing it on some kind of recorded medium."

Clisby plays at the Brass Monkey on Sunday, December 4.

"You can expect a hell of a lot of energy," Clisby says. 

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