Cold Chisel at Festival Hall 19/4/2012

There was something very special about scoring the coveted front row position, in front of Ian Moss, for Cold Chisel’s Festival Hall gig in Melbourne.

The man whose guitar riffs made me fall in love with music, way back then, was in fine form as he easily worked his way through his collection of strats.

King of the North

Hard rock n’roll- blues two piece, King of The North, felt highly privileged to have scored the support slot for this iconic band.

Featuring a stripped back, but hard-core guitar and drums, the band pounded through numbers from their current demo EP. Reminiscent of  Melbourne punk two-piece, Digger and the Pussycats,  Kings of the North displayed high energy that at times out-did the Chisels!

Cold Chisel

A largely middle-aged audience stood tamely while one of Australia’s most culturally important institutions entered the stage.

Barnsey, clad in leather pants, that he really should have reconsidered before wearing them, launched straight into screaming Standing On The Outside, from the band’s 1980 East record.

This was followed up by Cheap Wine. The two opening songs were performed a little sluggishly, but the show’s pace picked up nicely as the set progressed.

They performed all the hit songs that commercial radio made into national anthems, while throwing in a couple off their new No Plans album.

Vocals sweet and rough

This was my very first Cold Chisel show, and I was involuntarily struck with emotion as Mossy sang his sweet vocals in Bow River. It was a rare pleasure to watch this axeman at work. Mossy proved that he can still hold a sweet note and he sang with power and beauty.

Barnsey used the stage and engaged his audience. I would have liked him to treat his parts in My Baby with a little more sensitivity, due to the delicate aspects of those melodies. His voice, always full-on, now is a constant scream and was brutal for the entire set with little variation.

The show, was post-phoned from last Tuesday due to Moss being bitten on the finger by a cat. Moss cheekily displayed a soft-toy kitten on his amp which was later thrown into the crowd

Don Walker sat suavely up the back on his keyboards, while Small and new drummer Charley Drayton held the pace with real intention.

The band played  for nearly two hours, with a long encore. They dedicated When The War Is Over to deceased drummer, Steve Prestwich. The room turned into a karaoke night when Khe San struck up- at least it was performed by the original band!

It would have been great to hear more obscure album tracks being performed. The band delivered briefly when out came the powerfully written ballad for a prisoner, Four Walls.


One thought on “Cold Chisel at Festival Hall 19/4/2012

  1. Mike woods says:

    I was curious about whether Steve would be missed. I saw the band at hordern pavilion sydney on Wednesday night, my first chisel gig after 20 plus years of fandom. It wasn’t so much sluggish, it’s just that charley plays behind the beat whereas Steve was usually in front and used cymbals more to propel the groove. I reckon most songs were 2 – 3 bpm slower than the live versions we are used to. Music is alive in Ian moss. It just flows through him and he is one of the best. Never a dud note, full of expression. bow river is a masterpiece and the band locks in behind this tune. I don’t mind no plans, but it just seems to alternate between major blues and minor blues as the album progresses. Not a lot of variety. Having said that, the line we all want fidelity from two or three lovers simultaneously is one of the best in the cannon!

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