REVIEW – Jimmy Barnes Flesh and Wood Tour

I have been a fan of Australian music legend Jimmy Barnes since his early years in Cold Chisel. Their music was raw and gritty and always appealed to me.  I was lucky enough to see the original Cold Chisel line up (before the passing of drummer Steve Prestwich) in concert a couple of times. When Cold Chisel called it quits in 1983 (they have reformed a number of times since then) I followed Jimmy’s solo career and have seen him live a number of times.

Cold Chisel were one of the foremost Aussie bands of the 70's and 80's.

Cold Chisel were one of the foremost Aussie bands of the 70’s and 80’s.

But I hadn’t seen him live in over 20 years, so when my local radio station here on the Gold Coast ran a competition to win tickets to his Flesh & Wood concert at Jupiter’s Casino, Master B announced that he was going to win me tickets. I must admit I laughed because it is usually impossible to get through, but unbelievably he got through on his first attempt and came up with the goods – two tickets.

We decided that he would come to the concert with me as he had won the tickets.  All four of us had dinner at the Casino first (lovely food at Spinners Restaurant) before Master B and I headed into the show.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as there had been some unkind reviews of Jimmy’s performances in the past but I’m here to tell you this man has lost none of his vocal magic.

And the range of songs that he sung during the show was just awesome – everything from ballads to gospel songs to hard rock with some wonderful personal stories thrown into the mix.

It was definitely the most ‘sedate’ Jimmy Barnes concert I’d ever been to with the bulk of the audience being in the 50+ range but it didn’t stop us singing along to all his songs and screaming and chanting for more at the end.

Jimmy is backed these days by a very talented range of musicians which at his Gold Coast concert included most of his family – son Jackie on drums and vocals, wife Jane, daughters E.J and Ellie on backing vocals along with Tina Harrod and one of my all time favourite vocalists who I saw perform a lot in Sydney in the late 80’s  – Shauna Jenson.

Jimmy Barnes is still an amazing performer. {IMAGE CREDIT)

Jimmy Barnes is still an amazing performer. {IMAGE CREDIT)

Perhaps one of the highlights of the concert for me was when wife Jane sung Let It Go with Jimmy.  Not only did I not realise she had such a great voice but it is also very obvious that these two are still very much in love….no mean feat in an industry that can sometimes be notorious for relationships not lasting.  He also sang some Cold Chisel classics such as Khe Sanh, about coming home after the Vietnam war and Flame Trees – a song about revisiting a small country home town.  He also sung another personal favourite – Brother of Mine which he dedicated to his brother John Swan, better known as Swanee.

Master B and I had a wonderful night and it was lovely to spend an evening with him doing something that I have always loved – going to a concert.  I will be lining up to see Jimmy again next time he visits the Gold Coast.

Love Me


Houses and Roundabouts

You may have noticed that I have been somewhat absent from Melba Says over the last 3 months and let me tell you that a large chunk of those last 3 months have been more than a little trying.  Thankfully, life seems to have settled again for us now but here is a quick recap on all that has happened recently.


In about mid-April I came down with a really good dose of the ‘flu’.  I had all the classic symptoms – a temperature, runny nose, aches and pains and I slept – a lot!  It took me about two weeks to get over it but was left with a horrible chesty cough which I couldn’t shake.  Even as I celebrated my 50th birthday at the start of May I still wasn’t feeling well.  I went back to the Doctors twice and was given 2 different lots of anti-biotics, neither of which seemed to work. I finally took myself off to see a different doctor and after telling her that I had once been a heavy smoker (I haven’t smoked for almost 20 years) she sent me off for chest x-rays and blood tests.

Tissues have been my constant companion for the last few weeks.

Tissues have been my constant companion for the last few weeks. {IMAGE CREDIT}

Thankfully they all came back clear and a spirometry test (lung function) also cleared me of any lung damage.  So after another dose of antibiotics and a short course of steroids I thought I was finally on the mend. But my body seemed to have other ideas and I came down with another cold/flu thing.  So back to the Doctors I went to be told that I was basically ‘unlucky’ and there was nothing she could do.  So instead I took myself off to my chiropractor who gave me some immune boosting vitamins and that along with being super good with what I eat I think I am finally on the mend.  I even managed to go for a walk this afternoon without running out of puff.


At the start of May we found out that the tenants in one of our houses were moving on and we decided to put that house on the market. We used the same agent that we had used to look after the property when it was rented out and it didn’t take long to sell.  But then the fun begin with a teen party almost being held there and the mortgage broker that we had used previously seemingly not doing his job properly which then delayed settlement by more than 3 weeks.  Fortunately we were able to allow the purchasers to move in early but it was still very stressful with almost daily phone calls from our solicitor, chasing our bank and our mortgage broker.


As I have mentioned in previous posts we owned two houses and we had been going to sell the second one as well but as it was an older house our agent advised us that we wouldn’t get a good price unless it had some  work done to it. As we couldn’t afford to do what needed to be done to it all at once we made the decision to move into it for the next 2 or 3 years (until the kids finish school)  and do as much of the work as we can ourselves.  Unfortunately, it was rather grubby so it took me almost a three weeks to get it clean to my standards as I could only do little bits at a time. We also painted the kids rooms for them so they were nice and fresh.  They were very lucky in our old house in that they had big rooms and a bathroom each.  Now they have to share a bathroom and their bedrooms as just normal size but they have accepted the downsizing without complaint.  It took us just on a month to completely move in and we are almost all sorted out now.


In the midst of all that, I had my first ever car accident.  A lady ran into the front of me on a roundabout.

This huge roundabout was the location of my first ever car accident.

This huge roundabout was the location of my first ever car accident.

There are several really big roundabouts here on the Coast and this one is a particularly busy one and she assumed that because I was in the left lane I was turning left but I was going straight through, which I might add I am allowed to do on that particular roundabout.  Fortunately no one was injured although it frightened Master B a lot.  I’m just grateful that Miss M wasn’t driving as I’m sure it would have shaken her learners confidence.  So we then had to wait for over two weeks to get our car back but I can report that it is back and as good as new.  I should also add that RACQ Insurance were fantastic to deal with.  I should probably also mention that I received a speeding ticket recently but I won’t as I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m a bad driver!

Love Me

PARENTS – Where Are Your Teens?

A few Friday nights ago, in a suburb of the Gold Coast there was going to be a party.

It was all organised.

140 plus people were invited.

The invitations were sent out in a private group on Facebook.

The invitees were in the age range of 14-16.

It was advertised as being BYO alcohol and drugs.

I guess you are probably wondering where this party was going to be held?

Was it going to be at someone’s house with responsible adult supervision?

Was it going to be held in a local park?

No….it was going to be held in a vacant house that did not belong to ANYONE who was attending the party.

This house was vacant pending it’s sale – just a few short days away.

One of the ‘alledged’ party organiser’s knew this house was vacant.

How did they know this you ask?

They knew this because they had previously resided in this house with their family as tenants.

I did mention that this person is in the age range of 14 to 16 didn’t I?

I cannot for the life of me work out the thought processes this child went through to arrive at the conclusion that this was a good idea?

I can not even begin to imagine what may have occurred had the home owners not been notified that this was happening.

We’ve all seen the stories in the media about what happens when big parties get out of control.

Police attending to out of control teen parties is becoming all to common place.

Police attending to out of control teen parties is becoming all to common place.

The Police hardly wanted to know about the situation so it was up to the home owner and a group of neighbours to turn away the would-be party goers.

The absolutely foul language and abuse that these people copped is beyond belief.

There were parents turning up to drop off their kids at this party who had no idea what type of party it was.

One mother turned up to collect her daughter who had phoned to say that everyone had left her and she wanted to come home. This woman had no idea where her daughter was.

Surely, as parents it is our duty to know where our children are at all times?

Surely we have not become this complacent as a society that we would just drop kids off at a party that we knew nothing about. My kids might think I’m overly-cautious, but after this experience I think they can see why.  They are in the 14-16 age range and could not believe what had happened.

So to all the parents out there who are raising teens how about you step up to the plate and check where your kids are and where they are going and who they are going with.  And how about the drugs and alcohol?  Someone must be getting it for them, giving it to them or giving them the money for it?

Everyone complains about the behaviour of the current generation but no body seems to be prepared to take a stand and put a stop to it.  Our kids have rules and boundaries and know full well the consequences if they do the wrong thing.

By now you may have guessed that the house I speak of was our house.  I think we had a lucky escape due only to one mother’s honesty and integrity.

If you think it doesn’t happen I’m here to tell you it does….in another Gold Coast suburb just a few short days after this incident a wild teen party resulted in a house being trashed.  You can read that story HERE.


Love Me