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LIVE – Jimmy Barnes & Jon Stevens – Perth, 15 February 2013

| 26 February 2013 | Reply

Venue: Perth Zoo
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

The green grassed field in the centre of Perth Zoo is a surprisingly relaxed and dignified venue for a rock n’ roll show, though it seems the incumbent animals prefer artists of a “certain vintage” – tonight’s show featuring former Noiseworks singer Jon Stevens and Jimmy Barnes of Cold Chisel and solo fame.

Stevens’ set is heavy on his new material (Bible Road, Washington and more) – which sounds great and is pitched halfway between Noiseworks and Barnesy’s solo work.  Which is to say, it sounds really good!

The new songs (album out in the next couple of months) are well received, but of course the biggest roars and dancing punters are reserved for Stevens’ old Noiseworks hits, and a run to the finish line starting with the burst of harmonica which opens Hot Chilli Woman, through to his dedication of a song to “our illustrious Prime Minister” (No Lies, of course, drawing a huge cheer) and Touch.

Jimmy Barnes Live Perth Zoo 15 Feb 2013 by Maree King (1)

Barnesy – an Aussie legend, which is not bad for a Glaswegian – wastes no time taking the stage, growling ‘C’mon them’, and ripping into a fantastic Talk About Love.

Energetic and in fine form, sobriety obviously agrees with former wild man Barnes, though his voice remains as raw as a freshly butchered steak.

That leather studded larynx tore through old and newer classics like I’d Die To Be With You Tonight, a steroid-pumped Lay Down Your Guns, the sultry blues of Too Much Ain’t Enough Love and the perfect sing-a-long-a-pop-blues of Ride The Night Away, made all the sweeter by his wife and two daughters on backing vocals.

Barnes’s band’s triple guitar assault brings a mighty punch to Ashton, Gardner & Dyke’s 70’s one-off Resurrection Shuffle, some AC/DC riffing to Dylan’s Seven Days, and a slow soul start to CCR’s Proud Mary with daughter Mahalia on lead vocals before turning into a Quo-like boogie, though Barnes’s own catalogue is deep enough that these forays could have been trimmed and more of his own material featured – Daylight for instance.

Cold Chisel classic Flame Trees is met with something akin to arms aloft euphoria and a near unanimous sing-a-long, before Driving Wheel proves that Barnes hasn’t entirely reinvented himself whilst embracing sobriety:  adopting his familiar legs apart stance, leaning into the microphone red faced and hollering, pointing above the heads of the throng into the middle distance there’s a direct lineage to the vodka swilling rock demon of his Chisel and early solo artist days.

It’s all over far too soon with No Second Prize and Working Class Man – perhaps his most recognisable hits – and without any need for fancy frills, gimmicks or bullshit.  Barnes is a showman, a trouper, and delivers pretty much exactly what his ever-faithful audience want:  Aussie pub rock, albeit on a big stage in a zoo!  A quick encore (“there’s a curfew ‘cos they don’t wanna keep the fucken animals up”) of the unofficial Australian national anthem Khe Sanh – surprisingly slightly stale tonight – and a raucous Goodbye Astrid Goodbye closed out a damn fine night of rock n’ roll, leaving the animals to get their sleep.

Jon Stevens setlist:

Time (new song)
Miles & Miles
Bible Road (new)
Washington (new)
Take Me Back
Voice Of Reason
Hot Chilli Woman
No Lies

Jimmy Barnes setlist:

Talk About Love
I’d Die To Be With You Tonight
Lover Lover
Your Love Is Enough
Merry Go Round (Cold Chisel)
Stone Cold
Little Darling
Lay Down Your Guns
Too Much Ain’t Enough Love
The Things I Love In You
Ride The Night Away
Resurrection Shuffle (Ashton, Gardner & Dyke)
Seven Days (Bob Dylan)
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Flame Trees (Cold Chisel)
Driving Wheel
No Second Prize
Working Class Man

Khe Sanh (Cold Chisel)
Goodbye Astrid Goodbye (Cold Chisel)

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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