FREO NYE CHISELLED
31 December 2019
Cold Chisel, Blood Moon 2020 Tour, Fremantle Park : By the C Event
Xmas & New Year celebrations in West Australia Perth over the last several years been as competitive as ever with large scaled events. Mostly 18 – 35 age group being spoilt with Dj production shows, ‘pop ups’, concerts, big parties, street fests, the normal pubs & clubs. The mature audience tending to get out to smaller themed parties, balls, cafes, casino. So this year with Cold Chisel & guest local acts creating a mini music fest on NYE was a very special event.
Cold Chisel formed 1973 – 83 in a decade as weapons of mass rock disruption in Australian history.
Kick starting the night & national tour was a billboard of local bands.
First up – Carla Geneve – 19 year old new talent from Fremantle on the rise playing some cool electric guitar combined with songs of love, places & life observations from her side.
Second up – Southern River Band – who are slowly but surely becoming a well known act by playing shows, working in sharperning thier skills in show business. Lead by Cal Kramer singer, guitarist is a real character. The band is like experiencing a mix of 70′ pub rock, with tounges in cheek glam rock style strutting, playing catchy tunes, anthems that are good for an electric Oz pub rock party atmoshere.
Thirdly – Gyroscope – late 90’s act with Daniel Sanders leading from the front with Zoran Trivic guitar, Brad Campbell bass, Rob Nassif drums. They have evolved from an indi rock, grunge styled commercial act to a more alternative punk show. A very talented band of music mates that come out to play on special occassions only. So we were lucky to see them do their thing with picks from 4 albums & a full on stage performance in to wake up the masses at the event Freo by the C.
Next – Jebediah – Mid 90’s alternative rock band with Kevin Mitchell up front [aka Bob Evans] Chris Daymond guitar,Vanessa Thornton on bas, bro Brett Mitchell drums. Winners of the National Campus Band Competition back in ’96 & now several albums, over 2 decades have past they come out to play on the odd special event of choice. One of WA’s iconic bands experiencing Australia-wide success with a unique vocal delivery, rocking sounds & athems for the revellers. Its was another night out to remember on the big stage & serviceable live presentation on the line-up in support on the night.
Next – Birds of Tokyo – One of the shinning lights in WA music with national & global success since 2004. Initially a side project for frontman singer Ian Kenny from metal band Karnivool to show his voice & writing skills in a more commercial rock balad gener. It paid off with band buddy Adam Spark plus other band members Adam Weston, Ian Berney, Glen Sarangapany recieving major airplay, packed houses at gigs, success on independent, alternative & commercial charts. The Australian fans loving what they were doing from the first album Day One. Now 5 albums later they have a nice bag of musical tricks. Best known for AFL half time performances putting them front & center of the market place. There are bands that sound international & Birds of Tokyo are in that league. 15 years on the road to rock heaven, when you hear & see these guys its kind of magical, with a musical enlightenment. Maybe the only spiritual kind was the JD & Cola in the hand & bag we bought. But the sing along with our gang of followers was like a church choir. Maybe a little off key, flat & pitchy in places but alot of fun.
The Main Event – Cold Chisel
Seeing this band Cold Chisel a band active from 70’s til now in music that has spanned our lifetime is something kind of incredible in Australia. One of the highest profile, public figures is Jimmy Barnes with a bunch of band mates that are busy with solo & side projects, collaborations, guest appearances as Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.
Ian Moss , Don Walker , Phil Small , Charley Drayton + ghost of Steve Prestwitch. Each member involved with multiple music projects, side shows, bands, recordings over 5 decades. Getting the band back together every 5 years over the last 2 decades has been a winner every time.
Opening with classic ‘Standing On The Outside’ it woke the crowd up & busted the night open.
Followed by new tracks from 2019’s Blood Moon: ‘Getting The Band Back Together’, ‘Land Of Hope’ and ‘Killing Time.’ These were rocking songs that are stamped with that Chisel sound. This just proves these guys are still in the game, not a tribute to themselves. In fact a lot of bands struggle to do this then play it safe with greatest hits tours. Straight up courage, commitment, determination, artistic integrity of all members in the band to do this it made the tour make sense. They invested in putting something new out there at the risk of being criticized they are still giving, creating, kicking arse in music.
As the old saying goes… “Stay green & growing… not ripe & rotting”.
The old boys went out to blow up the stage, scream, shout, sing, play, smash it for all the fans to have there fill drinking in the sounds of yesterday & today. Not to mention the $50 4 pack buys which they ran out of bags [10,000 stocked] was enough to drink in for a real fuel of a party night out.
Start of the set, Jimmy B mentioned the band maybe be a bit rusty on the first date of their national tour Blood Moon, saying, “If we’re going to get anything wrong, it’ll happen tonight.”
Lucky enough little went wrong & they gave the audience from die-hard fans to newbies was two hours of Cold Chisel power. It was a big bad sing along to anthems of a lifetime in Australia 70’s till about now.
Cold Chisel have always been the benchmark band rock outfit, mixed with part danger, musicianship, larrikans and swagger. The danger is a bit different now. They’re not young & restless anymore, threatening to make it all kick off from the stage at any moment. But a little bit of age brings with it a different type of reality. So, when Barnsey, an Aussie rock legend, personality, cultural icon, national living treasure makes references to the “troubled times” we’re living in, people do listen.
Chisel are always led from the back by Don Walker, who rarely is heard live on stage but a strong presence behind his keyboard, emblazoned with the words, ‘Beware Of The Dog’. One of Australia’s most respected songwriter of his time Walker is an astute, intelligent, dry, witty kind of guy. He is one of the coolest musician songwriters in this country who has some big scores on the board in Oz musicland. He is certainty the wizard wordsmith & distinct keyboard riff player behind, beneath & between Cold Chisel.
Ian Moss — Australia’s guitar hero of world’s standard that has found his own sound in electric guitar along with a style that is unique to him as a player. It underpins the Chisel sound along with his voice as second singer harmonies with Barnesy are just magnificent still today. This band has 2 lead singers which was always a bone of contension with “who is the better singer or song”. Which both Moss & Barnes went off to enjoy hugely successful solo careers.
Barnsey just keeps belting out the songs with a voice that remains as powerful and unique as ever. He starts up the ‘chain saw voice’ with sound that’s just Barnesy. Question on everyone’s lips is how can he keep doing that throat scream now in his 60’s. He is an intense performer, stalking the stage like a bull dog that’s barking at the crowd for a response, off the leash & hungry for a big bone of acceptance. He is a bit of an old dog but learning new tricks going against the grain of growing old. Legends are made with extra ordinary performance, longevity & myths are stories told bigger than what really was in the day. Barnesy & Cold Chisel are both legend & mythical music creatures still master craftsman of there calling, chosen profession, obsession.
Now in a dimension all on their own as senior citizens defying the odds by being ageless with continued greatness in one of the most fickle or fantastic industries of popular entertainment. Playing, performing “Nostalgia till Now” or something like “Flash Backs & Pay Forward”. The Rolling Stones keep going so why not Jimmy & the boys break out of real life to say hello to everyone every other year.
This night Freo by the C – NYE was the first date of a 15-date national tour. “Blood Moon”
They closed their second encore with a searing rendition of ‘Letter To Alan’ from 1982’s Circus Animals, the cheers from the audience estimated close to 20,000 who packed into Fremantle Park for a night to be remembered.
Cold Chisel can cut it with the best in the world or any band on the planet.
We honor the music from a band that is an Australian household name, sharing songs of life, times, loves, losses that have been welcome into our lives as listeners.
From grand kids to grand parents it was the widest demographic possible with a shit load of people packinginto the concert site. [Estimates up to 20,000+]. Sectioned of front of stage, side stage, all standing room only, VIP. Behind front of house mixer seated area BYO chairs with 10,000 seated. The sound was not that good from the back of the site being 400 meters long [footy field length], the visuals production on the live show screens were small either side of stage, could have doubled the size, also larger stage screen would have been good. Would have been a good idea to put another screen behind front of house for the several thousand seated. Considering its was 2020 NYE a little more hi tech presentation but this was an old school show. The bars to the rear were selling 4 pack bags of drinks & ice, [great idea] bar service area 100 mtr long pumping out the cans, bottles of cold bevies. Unfortunately a lot of the drinks were flat probably from the unpacking frenzy. Also opening all the drinks in advance of drinking gave a flat out of gas fluid finish but still with alcohol. Fast food was off to the side with food trucks lined up with a good selection & priced well, merchandise was selling like hot cakes & services were as good as you can get. No tickets system just e-pay & swipe its easy, quick, accountable. The town of All in all it was a good event, well done By the C – WA & Freo!
Cold Chisel formed 1973 – 83 in a decade as weapons of mass rock disruption in Australian history. My first memories of the band was watching Count Down with what I thought was a song called “the last train out of Sydney” which was Khe Sahn. This anthem was our local sports clubs summer or winter song of choice after every win. Then seeing the act at the “Sunday Session” doors open 4pm – 8pm was just a lightning bolt to the venue, suburb, state with the tour introducing a live energy not seen up close that contributed to change live entertainment across Australia.
Witnessing The Old Melbourne Hotel “Last Stand” was a unforgettable night. What was on any footage showing the bands high energy, hard drinking, power house performance, frenetic pace, intimidating presence is exactly what it was like but live in your face & phenomenal. Since then seen Barnesy in every incarnation, bought all his albums, been to countless tours, concerts large & small, plus Ian Moss shows album tours to blues gigs, watched Walker, Watts & Perkins a few times. So just another fan of these fellas.
I have had the privilege to book these guys Barnesy & Mossy into venues, festivals in the 90’s working for Show Business Australia. Meet & greet them with band mates is inspiring. Something about Aussie entertainers that they are down to earth, approachable, like a little humour, not taking it all too seriously, proud, get loud, enjoy entertaining, grateful to be riding their wave of popularity in the sea of music & events on offer.
Birds of Tokyo Ian Kenny I meet in their beginning with booking Karnivool with Kenny & Crew for some Big Local Pub Gigs back in the late 90’s & early 00’s. [Raffles, Lookout, Globe/Capitol, Amplifier] Karnivool with a strong cultish few hundred Perth fan base that were always up for a live loud local show. Kenny fast became one of the voices/singers on the next level to see & hear. Birds of Tokyo side project first gigs at the Hyde Park Hotel & the rest is history. They are great guys thankful to all who have helped them along the way & deserving of all their success from humble beginning’s. They are doing Perth proud in their quest to be one of the best.
Also lucky enough to book Gyroscope in thier early days into The Lookout Scarborough for a couple of Big Local Gigs & SLAM multi-band shows. Able to rally a few hundred music addicted fans for their selective special shows was a bonus for any venue event. An amazing rocking live act with very cool creative guys on the path to rock stardom. They have had their fare share of the limelight & hopefully can keep coming out to play once a year for a long time to come.
Written & reviewed by Deano
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