A big Easter was planned and I couldn’t wait to get going and hit the road. Drove to Albury on Good Friday and caught a flight from there to Sydney.
In Sydney I headed off tho the Vanguard to see Ian Moss. He played an acoustic solo gig and was on fire. He played for nearly two hours and included lots of Chisel songs, a couple you would rarely hear him do, including Forever Now. It was a great night.
Next morning it was an early start to pick up the car and head to Bateau Bay, for the last Red Hot Summer Tour outdoor gig. The weather was shocking, heavy, heavy rain leaving Sydney. Doing the drive solo made it even worse. It was a tough drive but I got there and didn’t get lost once. Met up with my friend and an unexpected traveller from the UK. The beer garden of the pub, which was under cover, was opened up and everyone gathered there to await the opening of the gates.
The rush was on once the gates were opened, but luckily by then the rain had stopped and we got to our front row spots. Attack of The Mannequins opened the show. They are an excellent band from Melbourne, a little different but they rocked out. Lead singer, Harrison and guitarist, Jackson are the sons of the late James Freud.
Thirsty Merc followed them, not much different from the big January gigs. Same set list, same jokes. Jimmy did a signing while they were on and to be honest I headed over there to catch him and missed most if their set. There was a massive queue, not sure if everyone got through as he was not going to sign once Noiseworks came on. I was back in my pot when they came on and they were awesome. The vibe lifted and the crowd got right into them, singing loudly when encouraged by Jon to No Lies, In My Youth, Touch, and Hot Chilli Woman. Brilliant stuff, Jon had the crowd in his hands. Stuart on guitar, Kevin on drums and Steve on bass are all excellent and Scotty Aplin on keys, wow how good is he? They got everyone well and truly warmed up for Jimmy.
And he hit the stage hard and raring to go and straight into I’d Die To Be With You. Not sure on that one for an opener, but something different. Straight away you could see Jimmy had his energy back and his voice back, he was finally over the lurgy that had been hanging around for the past month. The band for the Easter gigs was Danny Spencer, Dario Bortolin, Jackie Barnes, Scotty Aplin and Charlie Owen. The three girls were on backing vocals, Mahalia, EJ and Elly. All the Barnes kids were here today, a rare thing to have them all up there at once. Scotty was double dipping tonight, following up his Noiseworks performance playing with Jimmy (playing in disguise) Loving his work on the keys. Resurrection Shuffle was back in the set which allows Dario to show off his brilliant heavy bass work, with some excellent drumming from Jackie. Danny is by far the best guitarist for Jimmy’s band. He is awesome and doesn’t mind showing off his skills. Charlie has his moment of glory when his lap slide comes out, it sounds great Wheels.
The set list was slightly different with Temptation also back in, love this song and it goes off every time. As always it was a great mixture of old and new, keeping all the punters happy, there is something for everyone. Mahalia rocked it out with Proud Mary. I think everyone knows this song and gets enjoyment out of her performance of it. Jimmy doesn’t do a bad job on backing vocals either. Straight after Proud Mary it was into another sing a long – Largs Pier Hotel. Jimmy had the crowd going all night, the rain gone and forgotten. Lucky rain god Jimmy didn’t perform his tricks tonight and we stayed dry!! Working Class Man came around far too quickly and before we knew it the night was coming to an end. But before it was over we had the best encore! Jon came on for Good Times with Jimmy, two very special, brilliant voices combining together. Awesome, they look like they are full of admiration for each other and are the best of friends. Do or Die finished up the night, fast and furious. Wanted Goodbye after it, but maybe that was asking a bit much!
Jimmy was back to his best tonight. This was the last of the outdoor Red Hot Summer Tour and afterwards they were giving away the deck chairs that could be purchased with tickets through out the tour. It was an excellent day and night to finish off with. There is one more to go in Wollongong but that is indoors. There was a massive crowd there and it was fantastic to see Jimmy fit and healthy and back to his best again