Here’s a quick test for you – name a classic rock band from Australia. Now, I am sure many of you will name a certain band that features two brothers (originally from Scotland) and others may name Rose Tattoo (you know, Angry Anderson’s band….the fella that sang the song playing when Scott and Charlene got married in Neighbours) but those amongst you with a more thorough musical knowledge might mention Cold Chisel and their lead singer Jimmy Barnes.
Having just played Hard Rock Calling, Cold Chisel arrived at The Ritz on a bit of a roll. I didn’t realise that so many Antipodeans lived in the Manchester area but it did seem that they were ALL in Manchester tonight. The band hit their stride from the moment the first chord was struck and ove the next couple of hours showed the tightness that can only come from having played together for years (OK Jimmy left for a solo career but they do seem to have managed to bury the hatchet following the passing of their original drummer).
Barnes’ voice is one of awesome power and emotion. His is a voice built to rock – the grit and growl needed to belt out the harder numbers but with an emotional edge that really wrings the heart out on the more balladic songs. The long time fans of the ‘Chisel were clearly in their element – singing and chanting along with a set made up of favourites from across their career and boy had they waited for this tour -this was the band’s first venture into the northern hemisphere for over 30 years.
The fans’ wait was rewarded with “Letter to Alan” and “Last Wave of Summer” being played for the first time this year amongst a et that was tuned to please the crowd to perfection mixing in a few of the new songs (including my personal favourite “All For You”). I will admit that despite knowing the stature of the band in Australia and New Zealand (and Jimmy’s solo work and the song he recorded with INXS) tonight was my first experience of the ‘Chisel and I thoroughly enjoyed the night (not as much as many of the band’s countryfolk though – those Antipodean fans know how to party!) and found myself describing some of the numbers as a little like Dire Straits (who, I have to add, I like a lot!) but with an amazing rock singer.
On tonight’s performance it is clear why Cold Chisel are HUGE down under…. and it’s a mystery why they never made a bigger impact in the UK years ago.
New album “No Plans” is available now
For more information: www.coldchisel.com
Review by David Wilson
Images taken from the Cold Chisel Facebook page (if you are the photographer please contact Rock-Zone UK so that we can arrange the correct credit)