Jimmy Barnes Reboots Like Music In Victoria With Sounds Better Together - Noise11.com
Jimmy Barnes at Sounds Better Together concert photo by David Harris

Jimmy Barnes at Sounds Better Together concert photo by David Harris

Jimmy Barnes Reboots Like Music In Victoria With Sounds Better Together

by Paul Cashmere on January 24, 2021

in News

Live music sounds good, doesn’t it … and its back. Jimmy Barnes headlined the first of the 21 Sounds Better Together concerts at the Rochford Winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.

Victoria’s music fans are descending on venues all over the state as the Andrews’ government brings back live music with the 21 Sounds Better Together initiative. On Saturday, while Jimmy Barnes was rocking the Yarra Valley Missy Higgins took over Geelong.

The Barnes event featured new band Darlinghurst, Australia’s Queen’s of Soul Vika & Linda and the world’s best kept secret The Teskey Brothers.

Vika and Linda took 2020’s lemons and turned them into lemonade. They returned the front the 2000 strong crowd after a lockdown year where they produced the iso album ‘Sunday (The Gospel According to Iso)’, the best of ‘Akilotoa (Anthology 1994-2006) and the vinyl reissue of their early albums.

Vika and Linda are Australia’s greatest ’30 Feet from Stardom’ singers adding soul power to The Black Sorrows and Paul Kelly. Take them away from the faces out front and you have the two best sets of lungs in the Australian music industry.

For the past 30 years they have been the secret sauce of the Australian music industry. These past 12 months have seen a rightful spotlight shine down on both of them.

Melbourne’s The Teskey Brothers are possibly the greatest new Australian band since The Rubens. They are definitely the next Australian act to watch explode internationally. The blues and soul base of The Teskey Brothers beggar’s belief. Where do guys from the suburbs of Melbourne possibly channel the great soul sounds crafted decades before they were born from America’s south?

And then there is Jimmy Barnes. During the isolation of 2020 Jane Barnes learnt how to play guitar and the bagpipes and added her new talents to the Jimmy Barnes band. Meantime online, the Barnes family has delivered over 200 songs in isolation from their home.

The pandemic struck at the end of the Cold Chisel 2020 tour. Jimmy got to work in lockdown and delivered his third book but the Barnes’ family online streams were simply delightful.

Jimmy’s Sounds Better Together was a cut down performance, funded by the Andrews government to test how public performance events may need to adjusted to a Covid-normal environment. This is how government and industry learn how a new-normal may look for the future of the live music industry.

It is incredible how much history there is in a Jimmy Barnes show. ‘Khe Sanh’, from the first Cold Chisel album in 1978, was older than a lot of this audience, and indeed even some of the other acts like the Teskey Brothers and Darlinghurst.

Jimmy opened with a trifecta of hits most acts would struggle to even have as a closing set. ‘Driving Wheels’, ‘No Second Prize’ and then ‘I’d Die To Be With You Tonight’. As that wave of sound came across the audience, it felt good to have live music back.

Vika and Linda and Sam Teskey joined Jimmy for ‘The Weight’, the 1993 The Band cover hit he had with The Badloves. That was made even more special with Tony Featherstone of The Badloves on keyboards.

Jimmy Barnes with Vika and Linda photo by David Harris Jimmy Barnes with Vika and Linda photo by David Harris

Jane Barnes showcased her iso-year of new music skills joining husband Jimmy down front for The Everly Brothers’ ‘Love Hurts’ and new (‘I’m In A Bad Mood’ and ‘Shutting Down Our Town’) meeting old (Chisel’s ‘Flame Trees’ and the finale ‘Goodbye Astrid Goodbye’). ‘Astrid’ ended off effectively what was a condensed 75-minute Jimmy Barnes sampler set before the full Red Hot Summer shows kick in from March.

Jimmy Barnes setlist, Rochford Winery, Yarra Valley, 23 January 2021

Driving Wheels (from Freight Train Heart, 1987)
No Second Prize (from Bodyswerve, 1983)
I’d Die To Be With You Tonight (from For The Working Class Man, 1985)
Love is Enough (from Two Fires, 1990)
Lay Down Your Guns (from Two Fires, 1990)
I’m In A Bad Mood (from My Criminal Record, 2019)
The Weight (The Band cover, from Flesh and Wood, 1993)
Love and Hate (from Love and Fear, 1999)
Shutting Down Our Town (from My Criminal Record, 2019)
Love Hurts (The Jane Barnes Band) (Everly Brothers cover)
Flame Trees (from Cold Chisel, Twentieth Century, 1984)
Ride The Night Away (from For The Working Class Man, 1985)
Khe Sanh (from Cold Chisel, Cold Chisel, 1978)
Working Class Man (from For The Working Class Man, 1985)

Goodbye Astrid Goodbye (from Cold Chisel, Breakfast At Sweethearts, 1979)

Upcoming Sounds Better Together shows

25 January with Jimmy Barnes, Daryl Braithwaite and Deborah Conway at All Saints, Rutherglen
25 Jan, Alex Lahey and Scott Darlow, Gershwin Room, St Kilda
27 Jan, Ross Wilson and Fergus James, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
27 Jan, The Living End and Bakers Eddy, Forum Melbourne
28 Jan, Didirri and Mia Wray, The Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool
29 Jan, Pierce Brothers and Shannen James, Westernpoint Hotel, San Remo
30 January with James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite, Vika and Linda and Mia Wray at Mallacoota Oval, Mallacoota

Red Hot Summer with Jimmy Barnes, Hoodoo Gurus, Jon Stevens, Diesel, Vika & Linda and Chris Cheney kicks off March 13 in Launceston.

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