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Newy bound Cold Chisel still got somethin’ you want

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Legends… there have been a few in the Australian music scene over the decades.

But, Cold Chisel is among the echelon of the country’s elite hit-makers, thanks to the likes of Khe Sanh, Bow River, Flame Trees, You Got Nothin’ I Want, When The War Is Over, My Baby, Cheap Wine, All For You, Choir Girl, Last Wave Of Summer, Saturday Night, Breakfast At Sweethearts, Forever Now and many more.

Now, after a stellar 50-year career, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Phil Small and Don Walker will return to the Hunter on their unique tour, The Big Five-0.

Cold Chisel is set to rock the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, with special guest Karen Lee Andrews, on Wednesday 6 November.

General public tickets go on sale from noon on Tuesday 4 June at coldchisel.com/tour

In a surprising – but apt – move, this golden anniversary party kicks off on Saturday 5 October in Armidale, where the band based itself back in 1974-1975 while Walker completed his university studies.

The tour will then lap around major Australian cities for seven weeks before culminating on Sunday 17 November in the city where they formed… Adelaide.

The Big Five-0 promises to be a night like no other.

This time, the band isn’t touring to promote a new album.

They are hitting the road for the best possible reason: “because we all love playing gigs together”.

Their anniversary provides scope for a show that features all the classic songs with which Cold Chisel carved its unique place in Oz Rock history.

In Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, the shows will be staged under a specially constructed, 10,000 capacity Big Top tent featuring floor and bleacher seating plus a GA standing area across the rear half of the venue.

The dates are a nod to the group’s legendary An Evening with the Circus Animals concerts in 1982, which closed with Barnes singing Goodbye (Astrid, Goodbye) while riding pillion on a motorbike flying up a trapeze wire.

New drummer Charley Drayton (following the passing of Steve Prestwich) with Ian Moss, Jimmy Barnes, Phil Small and Don Walker. Photo: Daniel Boud

“We’ll be going all out to celebrate a milestone birthday like this,” piano player and chief songwriter Walker said.

“Bookending the tour in the two places where we first welded the band together, building these circus tent shows in three cities, bringing along some great guests and doing a set which reaches back across our whole song catalogue should all make The Big Five-0 a tour to remember.”

Just over a month prior to the first of these gigs, Cold Chisel will release 50 Years – The Best Of.

The album will land on Friday 23 August, just in time for Father’s Day, and is a 25-song, double-vinyl set that comes in a number of special formats and a double-CD.

“We wanted to celebrate our 50th birthday by revisiting all of our best work from across the years,” Moss added.

“As we prepare the setlist, there are a minimum of 15 songs that our audience demands to hear.

“This time we’ll be playing all of them plus we’ll be throwing in lots of musical surprises as well.”

“Gold is obviously associated with 50th anniversaries” bass player Small added.

“So, we thought it would be fun to pull the tour into Ballarat – Australia’s gold mining capital.

“We’re looking forward to playing the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong and Hobart too because each of those cities have been important to us in various ways over the past 50 years.”

Barnes explained Cold Chisel is never apart.

“We’re as close as brothers,” he said.

“Some of the best moments of my life have been spent on stage with those boys.

“And, I hope we keep going ‘til the day we drop.”

For the frontman, these are not idle words.

A near death experience last December when he underwent emergency open heart surgery sharpened his focus.

As Barnes recovered, a key priority was to get back onstage with Cold Chisel.

“The Big Five-0 is a landmark moment,” he said.

“There have been plenty of times where I never thought I’d live to see this day.

“So, I’m going to make the most of it.

“I can’t wait to celebrate with my mates and with all the fans who have been such a big part of our story.

“We’re gonna smash it!”

The Cold Chisel story has stretched from Armidale and Adelaide in 1974 to three new gold and platinum albums over the past dozen years, winning the band multiple generations of fans.

Their most recent release – 2019’s Blood Moon – topped the charts and its lead single, Getting The Band Back Together, won an APRA Award.

As the accolades have piled up – ARIA Hall Of Fame, APRA’s Ted Albert Award, an Adelaide Street named in their honour, even their own postage stamp – Cold Chisel has come to understand the special place their music now occupies in Australasian hearts.

Maybe there are a few more chapters remaining.

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