I can’t remember people raving about a musician’s autobiography as much as they have for Jimmy BarnesWorking Class Boy. My dad got a copy for Christmas and he’s barely put it down. It sold more copies in 2016 than any other adult book in the country.

The response to Jimmy’s upcoming Working Class Boy: An Evening of Stories & Songs shows, where he promises to share tales of the past and some amazing tunes, has been phenomenal. So he’s just announced some new concerts to meet the demand. Regional fans, this is what you’ve been waiting for.

There’s a presale at 2 pm today through Frontier Music. If you miss out on that, there’s a Ticketek presale from 2 pm on Monday 30 January ahead of the general sale from 2 pm on Tuesday January 31.

14 March 2017 – Mackay Entertainment Centre, Mackay
15 & 16 March 2017 – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
18 March 2017 – Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin
23 March 2017 – Civic Theatre, Newcastle
24 March 2017 – Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith
25 March 2017 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
7 April 2017 – Geelong Performance Arts Centre Playhouse, Geelong
8 April 2017 – Regent Theatre, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Ferris Davies PRM

Jimmy Barnes is the type of singer who can sell out entertainment centres, so it’s always a thrill when he decides to put on a more intimate show at a venue like Lizotte’s. It’s been far too long since I’ve made the trek down the Pacific Highway to the only remaining Lizotte’s venue, but the promise of “hits and rarities” was too appealing to resist.

Jimmy’s daughter Elly-May Barnes warmed up the crowd with her star-studded band, The Ragged Company. With The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod on tambourine and The Art’s Kara Jayne and X Factor winner Reece Mastin on acoustic guitars, this act was always going to impress. Their set was made up of covers destined to please the mostly baby boomer crowd, including cuts from David Bowie, The Everly Brothers, and Neil Young. I was a little concerned at first, with Elly-May’s vocals clearly showing nerves. However, a couple of songs in she seemed to find her feet and sing with sweetness and surety. The band’s harmonies were gorgeous and their organic arrangements of these classics allowed them to shine. The quartet seemed to be having such fun together, and the crowd responded in kind.

While Elly-May and her crew were well received, her dad was the man we were all here to see. The atmosphere when he took the stage was electric. We hung on his every word as he delivered an empassioned version of “Trouble of the World,” a song Mahalia Jackson sang in the classic film Imitation of Life. After he was done Jimmy told us about watching the movie with his dad as a young boy, thinking little of the film but being so blown away by Mahalia’s performance that he decided to bestow the name upon his daughter. She was there to his left, supporting his rich, raspy voice with her own throughout the show.

And what a show it was. I’ve seen Jimmy Barnes so many times over the years. He was actually my first concert all those years ago. Most times I’ve seen Jimmy he was rocking out with the sound turned up to 11, delivering the kind of hits that have become Aussie radio staples. This was a different kind of show, one that allowed Jimmy to celebrate favourite songs from his own back catalogue and the world of music that wouldn’t fit at those other gigs. I never would have expected to hear Nat King Cole’s “Around the World” at a Jimmy Barnes gig, but he performed it beautifully. Flesh and Wood was a favourite album when I was growing up, and I loved hearing cuts from it like “Brother of Mine” and “You Can’t Make Love Without a Soul” that rarely make the live set. No doubt with the stories contained in his upcoming book Working Class Boy fresh in his mind, Jimmy punctuated his songs with tales of his childhood and relationship to music.

I heard a few grumbles about the notable absence of hit singles, but I didn’t mind doing without them. While a ballad like “Flame Trees” made sense on a night like this, Jimmy’s more raucous numbers would have seemed incongruous. I’ve heard those songs so many times before anyway, so getting the chance to hear other tracks provided a welcome change of pace. Where he might ordinarily close the night with “Working Class Man,” we heard a flawless rendition of “Love Me Tender” instead. It was the perfect way to close this very different and very special Jimmy Barnes show.

Image source: own photos

With the passing of another week we’ve got a brand new Aussie act on top of the ARIA charts. Thick as Thieves, the new album from The Temper Trap, sees the band scoring back to back number LPs.

The ARIA charts might state Jimmy BarnesSoul Searchin’ has slipped number three, but it’s worth noting that’s only because the charts consider digital sales. If you’re as old school as me, you might be interested to know Jimmy’s still selling more CDs than anyone else in the country.

Previous number ones Skin by Flume and Ripcord by Keith Urban are at numbers six and seven respectively. Flume’s “Say It” is also the lone Aussie single in the top 10 this week. It’s at number eight.

Here are all this week’s number ones.

Top 10 Albums
1. Thick as Thieves – The Temper Trap
2. 25 – Adele
3. Soul Searchin’ – Jimmy Barnes
4. Lemonade – Beyonce
5. Thank You – Meghan Trainor
6. Skin – Flume
7. Ripcord – Keith Urban
8. Views – Drake
9. Strange Little Birds – Garbage
10. Greatest Hits – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Top 10 Singles
1. “One Dance” – Drake feat. Wizkid & Kyla
2. “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
3. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
4. “Me Too” – Meghan Trainor
5. “Too Good” – Drake featuring Rihanna
6. “Just Like Fire” – Pink!
7. “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers feat. Daya
8. “Say It” – Flume feat. Tove Lo
9. “Panda” – Desiigner
10. “Cake By the Ocean” – DNCE

In a weekend plagued by bad news, it’s great to see something good occurred: Jimmy Barnes earned his eleventh solo number one on the ARIA charts, with Soul Searchin’ hitting the top spot on debut. That draws Barnesy level with U2 and Madonna for the most solo number ones in ARIA charts history. This video gives you a little idea why this album is sitting at the top of the charts.

“I feel blessed to be making music after such a long time in the business and equally I feel privileged that people are still buying our records and coming to the shows – it’s very humbling,” Jimmy said on hearing the news. “As for another #1, it’s an absolute honour to be counted amongst such iconic bands and great artists.”

Soul Searchin’ has pushed last week’s number one, Skin by Flume, into the number two spot. He’s also fallen a little on the singles charts. “Say It” has dropped one to sit at number six. Keith Urban’s Ripcord has also slipped one spot, to number six.

Some Aussie acts are on the rise though. Classic Carpenters by Dami Im is back in the top 10, rising from 11th position to sit at number nine. The Wolfe Brothers round out the top 10 with This Crazy Life.

Here are this week’s complete top tens.

Top 10 Albums
1. Soul Searchin’ – Jimmy Barnes
2. Skin – Flume 
3. Thank You – Meghan Trainor
4. 25 – Adele
5. Lemonade – Beyonce
6. Ripcord – Keith Urban
7. Views – Drake
8. The Very Best of – Prince
9. Classic Carpenters – Dami Im
10. This Crazy Life – The Wolfe Brothers

Top 10 Singles
1. “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna
2. “One Dance” – Drake feat. Wizkid & Kyla
3. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
4. “Just Like Fire” – Pink!
5. “Me Too” – Meghan Trainor
6. “Say It” – Flume feat. Tove Lo
7. “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers feat. Daya
8. “Cake By the Ocean” – DNCE
9. “Panda” – Desiigner
10. “No Money” – Galantis

I missed writing about the charts last week when Delta Goodrem earned another number one single with “Wings,” but with her song standing firm and three Aussie artists debuting in the top five on the albums charts, I knew I had to get typing this week.

“Wings” is on line to become Delta’s longest standing number one. “Out of the Blue” lasted for three weeks at the top spot, but that was all pre-Voice, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this song has the legs to eclipse that record. She’s actually the only Aussie act in the singles top 10, but Vance Joy is climbing up the charts with “Fire and the Flood,” so hopefully he can keep her company soon.

It’s much rosier for Aussies on the album charts. Wales’ Bullet for my Valentine held out local acts at bay, Dead Letter Circus are nipping at their heels with Aesthesis. It’s their third album to debut at number two.
Right behind them at number three is everyone’s favourite rocker Jimmy Barnes with a compilation album Best of the Soul Years. If you don’t already have Soul Deep, Soul Deeper, and The Rhythm and the Blues, this is a must.

Fans have shown they were hungry for another Waifs album. Their first in four years, Beautiful You, sits at number five on debut.

After a big showing last week, The Rubens have slipped to number nine with Hoops.

Click below for this week’s top 10s.

Top 10 Albums
1. Venom – Bullet for my Valentine
2. Aesthesis – Dead Letter Circus
3. Best of the Soul Years – Jimmy Barnes
4. ComptonDr Dre
5. Beautiful YouThe Waifs
6. 1989Taylor Smith
7. XEd Sheeran
8. TitleMeghan Trainor
9. HoopsThe Rubens
10. Chaos and the Calm – James Bay

Top 10 Singles
1. “Wings” – Delta Goodrem
2. “How Deep is Your Love” – Calvin Harris & Disciples
3. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
4. “Are You With Me (Original Mix)” – Lost Frequencies
5. “Ghost Town” – Adam Lambert
6. “Peanut Butter Jelly” – Galantis
7. “That’s How You Know” – Nico & Vinz feat. Kid Ink & Bebe Rexha
8. “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” – Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend
9. “Do It Again” – Pia Mia feat. Chris Brown & Tyga
10. “Get Stupid” – Aston Merrygold

It seems like forever since we’ve seen an Aussie acts topping the singles charts, but The Veronicas have done it with their stunning newie “You Ruin Me.” I’ve had fun with songs from their last album, but I missed that strong emotional core that I felt ran through their earlier releases. They’ve rewarded my patience with this song, which I think is their best work. I’m so glad Australia’s embraced it!

After a few lean months in the singles charts, it’s great to see The Veronicas are one of a few local acts making their presence felt. Nathaniel’s super-fun ditty “Live Louder” has climbed one place to sit at number four this week. Timmy Trumpet feat. Savage have slipped a couple of spots to sit at number five with “FREAKS”.

It seems I missed the news that Missy Higgins had a new album coming out, but Australia hasn’t. Oz sits at number three on debut. Rock veteran Jimmy Barnes rounds out the top 10 with 30:30 Hindsight.

Click through to see this week’s top ten albums.
Read the rest of this entry…

Fresh from my Glen Hansard show, I found myself concert bound again and on the road to the Hunter Valley. It seemed impossible to believe that we were heading out to celebrate the 100th Day on the Green show. It didn’t seem like that long ago that I was sitting with my parents at Bimbadgen Estate during the first run of the winery festival shows. Day on the Green has grown since those humble beginnings. It regularly attracts top notch international acts. But for the anniversary celebrations organisers went back to their roots and assembled one of the best line-ups of Aussie talent I’ve seen in some time.

What a shame that my parents were predictably running late. I found myself looking at my watch repeatedly, calculating just how much of Boom Crash Opera I’d get to see. The answer was, just one and a half songs as I was finding my seat. I was lucky to see that really; my dad let me out of the car early, despite the protests of security, and I ran up to the gates while he was parking. They sounded superb playing two of the big hits – “The Best Thing” and “Onion Skin – and I am kicking myself that I didn’t get to see more. They’ve lost nothing over the years, except for Dale Ryder’s hair.

Thankfully there was plenty more talent on the bill. While my formative years were spent perving on Mr Ryder, my mum’s were spent drooling over Daryl Braithwaite. She was transformed back into a 16-year-old as he took the stage and delivered hit after hit. Dazza’s another of those blokes who seems to lose nothing over the years. He hits those high notes with ease and always puts on such an amazing show. Singing out “The Horses” and “Higher than Hope” with the crowd was magic.

Next up was one of our favourites, Mr Richard Clapton. Oh how we love Richard. Having said that though, after such an incredible set from Daryl, Richard’s seemed to lack a little sparkle. I knew the majority of the songs from seeing him countless times in the past, but they seemed to leave a lot of people scratching their heads. “Girls on the Avenue” went down a treat though. Even when he’s not incredible, Richard’s still bloody good.

Incredible was what we got with another my of mum’s crushes, Ian Moss. The consummate professional, adored by the masses, he delivered a stellar set packed with the hits and a few surprised. As someone who remembers buying Matchbook on cassette (my first album bought with my own money if I’m ever on RocKWiz!), I was thrilled to hear him perform “Mr Rain.” The only thing better than Mossy solo is Mossy with Jimmy. We got a little Cold Chisel reunion during “When the War is Over” which was something I’ll never forget.

Next up were The Angels, the band with the biggest question mark for me. I was well aware of the split, and had wondered just how this incarnation would feel without Doc Neeson up front. I shouldn’t have worried. Rather than feeling like a pale imitation of the original, this Dave Gleeson-fronted outfit has a new lease on life. I might be a bit biased here. I’m Newcastle-bred, and many of the first pub gigs I ever attended were Screaming Jets shows. But he is the perfect frontman for this band he clearly loves so much. He brought real energy to the hits and won over the crowd from the get go. I’ve got to tell you though, the only thing weirder than seeing your parents chanting “that bit” in “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?” is watching your American husband’s reaction to it all. The poor boy was caught completely unawares. I love that despite eight years here, every now and again Aussie culture can throw him a curveball.

Jimmy Barnes teased us with his appearance during Mossy’s set. We were so ready for him, and he delivered. Jimmy was actually the first musician I ever saw live, way back in the Soul Deeper days, and I’ve been a massive fan ever since. It was a wonderful set which spanned his entire career. He rocked hard and we loved it. I found myself on my feet more often than not, and I screamed myself hoarse. God knows how he keeps up those vocals. Mossy came back to play a few Chisel numbers and it was every bit as special as that first appearance. This time I put my camera down and just soaked it in though. Wow. Being amongst that crowd singing out “Working Class Man” and “Khe Sahn” was out of this world.

All that amazing Australian music in one day is something I’ll never forget. This is the sort of show we’ll still be talking about years later.

Image source: own photos

Some of Australia’s finest entertainers will come together at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Monday September 30 to raise funds for the Cambodian Children’s Trust.

Arj Barker will host the event which features performances from Jimmy Barnes, Lior, Diesel, David Campbell, Mahalia Barnes, Prinnie Stevens, Mitchell Anderson, Darren Percival, iOTA, and The Party People Collective.

Money raised will help the local charity Cambodian Children’s Trust improve the quality of life for Cambodia’s orphans and needy children. You can learn more about the charity and their vital work in this video.

Tickets are available now from the Enmore Theatre.

Some of Australia’s most beloved artists will perform for regional audiences this summer. Dubbed the Red Hot Summer Tour, the travelling concert series features a bumper line-up including Cold Chisel comrades Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Baby Animals, Dragon, Ross Wilson, and Chocolate Starfish.

Unfortunately not every act will perform at every show, but fans will still see value with tickets starting from just $79.90. The line-up for each event is also posted on the Red Hot Summer Tour website, so you can make sure your favourites are playing near you.

Line-ups like this don’t come along every day, especially in some of these country towns! Tickets go on sale this Thursday, October 25.

5 January 2012 – Tumut Showgrounds, Tumut
6 January 2012 – Harry Sawkin Park, Nowra
10 January 2012 – Centenary Oval, Port Lincoln
12 January 2012 – Mary Ann Reserve, Mannum
13 January 2012 – Nowingi Place Soundshell, Mildura
19 January 2012 – Mulwala Waterski Club, Mulwala
20 January 2012 – Morning Star Estate, Mt Eliza
26 January 2012 – Parklands Resort, Mudgee
27 January 2012 – Crossing Theatre Lawns, Narrabri
2 February 2012 – Kryal Castle, Ballarat
3 February 2012 – Victory Park Soundshell, Traralgon
9 February 2012 – Country Club Lawns, Launceston
10 February 2012 – On the Point – Wrestpoint, Hobart
30 March 2012 – Warrnambool Racecourse, Warrnambool
31 March 2012 – Mansfield Showgrounds, Mansfield

Image source: Ticketmaster

As I get older, it takes something really special to lure me out of home during the week. But the promise of Jimmy Barnes playing at Lizotte’s on Thursday night was so irresistible that even I couldn’t refuse.

I’ve seen Jimmy many times over the years, but never in a place so intimate. If you’ve never been to the Central Coast venue known affectionately as “The Cubby House” it’s hard to imagine just how small it is. Seeing someone there is almost like seeing them at a private party with friends.

I was smiling before anyone even graced the stage, with my belly full of Lizotte’s tasty soft shell crab and delicious herby battered fish. But that smile got even wider when Mahalia Barnes was introduced as our support act. Jimmy’s daughter is always good value, and I lapped up her soulful set. Her modern take on “You Are My Sunshine” was a real highlight, as was the closer which saw Jimmy make an early appearance to sing with his daughter. The name of the song escapes me, but I was singing along in earnest.

It wasn’t too long before the Aussie legend was back on the stage with Mahalia and band in tow. He delivered a surprising set, but one that suited this venue perfectly. Anyone who came hoping to hear Jimmy’s greatest hits might have been disappointed. “Khe Sahn” and “Working Class Man” were notably absent, although he did treat us to a few Chisel and solo singles. The focus though was on songs that shone acoustically, especially those from one of my favourite Barnesy albums, Flesh and Wood. To hear some of my favourite cuts from that recording, especially “Guilty” and “Brother of Mine” was really special. Personally I enjoyed the opportunity to hear some of the songs that don’t usually get a work-out in the live arena; I’ve heard him sing the big numbers enough times at other shows.

The intimate setting made this show very personal. Where normally Jimmy moves quickly from track to track to please the punters, here he felt he could stop and talk to us about the songs a little more. I really appreciated that interaction. One of the most poignant moments of the night came when he stopped to talk about Steve Prestwich before performing one of his late mate’s songs, “When the War is Over” with Mr Percival on guest vocals. I also particularly loved his left of center closer, his version of “Love Me Tender,” again from Flesh and Wood, rather than a more predictable choice.

There are plenty of opportunities to see Jimmy rocking out. I’m thrilled that this week I got to see another side of this Australian music legend.

Image source: own photos