July 2008 .... OUT IN THE BLUE TOUR
    After missing the first leg of the Out In The Blue tour, not being able to get off work,
(fancy staring a tour at the end of financial year!!), we were excited to head north to
Qld to see what the tour had in store.
Didn't know what to expect - seated gigs in theatres was different to start with. We'd
heard the show would be in two halves - Out In The Blue stuff first, and then the old
stuff. Well we certainly were not disappointed, the tour was amazing and it just kept
getting better.
Most of the venues started off pretty much the same. The first thing to do upon arrival
was to check out the merchandise, stand in the queue and spend up big! What a great
collection there was - t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, scarves, stubbie holders, CD's,
posters, kids t-shirts and the USB bands. There was so much stuff and the queues
were huge at all shows, great to see. The USB bands, hoodies and scarves were
proving to be very popular.
After hanging round for a bit, doors finally opened and people filed in, went to their
seats and waited anxiously.
Mahalia and the Soul Mates started the night off with a fantastic 45 minute set which
included songs from her album. She has a great band with her now - Ben Rodgers on
bass, Dave Hibbard on drums, Rob Woolf on keys, Jonathan Pease on guitar, Andy
Bickers and Anthony Kable on horns with Juanita Tippins, Tina Harrod and Darren
Percival plus Gary Pinto in Melbourne on backing vocals - all impressive singers in
their own rights. Mahalia belted out the songs like there was no tomorrow, a bit like
her father that way!! They crowd loved and they especially loved Proud Mary.
There was a short break between her set and Jimmy's - just long enough to change
things over. Then it was on.
Tony Featherstone came on stage and started the solo intro to Forgiveness as Jimmy
followed by his band strode onto stage to loud, thunderous applause. The band was
different for this tour. On guitars were Davey Lane, Ben Rodgers and Mark Punch,
who played on the Out In The Blue album. On keys was Tony Featherstone and on
bass was James Gillard. Back on drums was Jackie Barnes home on his summer break
from Boston. On backing vocals were Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins, Tina Harrod
and Darren Percival.
Forgiveness was followed by the popular Red Light then more songs from Out in The
Blue, while Jimmy had the audience captivated and they couldn't escape he
explained. He said it was a long show and if we hung around some old hits would
follow. That sent the crowd off screaming. Each song from Out In The Blue was
introduced by Jimmy with a little story about the song. Red Light is about Kings
Cross and Jimmy told us when he used to drink like a fish when he saw the Coca
Cola sign he felt better, he knew he would find someone looking worse than him. He
explained the song he wrote with EJ, Everything Is Changing, was a song about drugs
but he thought he'd disguise it as a song about a girl but EJ said - 'ah dad, a song
about drugs!' His funniest story was for Losing You, about getting home late after a
big night out and slipping into bed with his heart pounding so loud he thought he'd
wake everyone so he slipped out of bed again and wrote this song. There were many
stories and Jimmy is so entertaining when he tells them.
It was hard enough sitting through these songs but when the lead to Driving Wheels
kicked in, my God it was impossible, we were on the edge of our seats ready to go,
but in QLD it just didn't happen, they stayed seated. QPAC were up for the last song
and the encore. Toowoomba tried to get it happening but we were told to sit down,
Maryborough there was no movement until the encore and Caloundra was a standing
gig - so much more atmosphere with a packed room going off. But once the tour hit
Melbourne as soon as Driving Wheels started so did the mosh pit. We moved to the
stage and it was brilliant. Enmore was the same, with Jane's encouragement everyone
was up and down the front.
How good was it to have the second half started by Driving Wheels with Mark Punch
on slide guitar providing a live intro - it was the best. The set list was awesome; all
the favourites were there plus a whole lot more. Darren Percival sang When The War
is Over with Jimmy, it was one of the highlights. A little story was told of Jimmy's
love for Jane and how he stalked her, by the songs Lover Lover, Little Darlin' and
Rising Sun. That was followed by When Your Love Is Gone, the song where all the
kids joined Jimmy on stage way back when... Working Class Man finished off the
main set which was followed by a four to six song encore starting with Blue Hotel and
finishing with Khe Sanh. Then they were back again and getting into Goodbye with
Davey Lane leading the way with his guitar solo.
The gigs went for about two and a half hours. I don't know how Jimmy does it, the
man is amazing. To keep going at that high energy level was truly unbelievable. We
were exhausted from just going to them let alone performing. No One could complain
about Jimmy not giving value for money. He gives that and so much more each time
he sets foot on the stage.Here are a couple of highlights from each gig we went to -
QPAC, BRISBANE - our first, very impressive with Jimmy and the band looking
very suave in their black and white.
EMPIRE THEATRE, TOOWOOMBA - It was cold and wet outside but that didn't
dampen the spirits inside, especially when the girls started a bit of ho dancing
(Jimmy's words) in Better Off Alone - the look on Jimmy's face when he turned
around was priceless.
BROLGA THEATRE, MARYBOROUGH - was a huge new venue in the middle
of nowhere. Tea in the local pub was an experience when they shut the doors to keep out the trouble happening in the streets, Hoped the gig wouldn't attract the same sort
of crowd - it didn't.
CALOUNDRA RSL - like a normal gig, sold out with 1000 people jammed in and
having an awesome time, so much better than the seated ones. It was the first gig in
this venue and all went well, although they might have to look at their air
conditioning, it was very hot in there, especially up on stage. The set was a little
shorter but still around 2 hours.
PALMS, MELBOURNE 10th - Never seem the place so feral, it was a brilliant gig
though. Bras and knickers were being thrown on stage, left, right and centre. It was a
bit much when one female stood on the seat and took hers off and threw them.
PALMS, MELBOURNE 12th - This was probably my favourite gig. It was longer
than the others with a couple of special guests. Gary Pinto and Bonnie Anderson sang
with Mahalia in her set and joined in on backing vocals in Jimmy's set. Tex Perkins
joined jimmy in the song he wrote for the Out In The Blue album I'm Surprised.
Diesel also came on and played guitar on a few songs and sang a couple with Jimmy -
Still On Your Side, Still Got A Long Way To Go and Come Undone. Both came on
for Goodbye.
PALMS, MELBOURNE 13th - Tonight some grandma knickers were throw on stage
for a bit of a joke (not sure who did that!!!) But it did give Jimmy a good laugh with
the message written on them. Melbourne were getting right into these gigs, the ushers
were telling people down the front the crowd would push forward so it was up to you
to protect your own space.
PALMS, MELBOURNE 15th - The last gig in Melbourne, all were sold out and all
have been amazing shows. Jimmy and Mahalia and half the band have been battling
the flu, but no one would have ever known with the intensity and energy of each
show. Jimmy ended the Melbourne gigs with a different version of Goodbye where he
encouraged the fans to sing along with him - Goodbye from him then from the crowd,
starting soft and slow then building into a loud, fast frenzy. Awesome!!
ENMORE SYDNEY - Our last gig, we were not able to get back to Sydney the
following week for the show that is being filmed. So we made the most of this one.
Enmore is a very cool venue, old with a lot of character. Caught up with some
familiar faces at this one.
A few of the shows have been recorded for the USB bands but next week's final gig is
to be filmed for DVD, can't wait for that to come out. The tour was a huge success
with sell out shows everywhere. What an outstanding effort by Jimmy and the band to
do such long shows and so may of them. After next week I reckon they deserve a rest -
but doubt that will happen, Jimmy never stops.
Thanks Jimmy for a brilliant couple of weeks and sensational gigs, you are awesome!