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.
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.
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.