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Jimmy Barnes, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

johnny main
Words: Johnny Main, Pictures: Carlan Braid
21st December 2017

jimmy barnes

I'm not really one of these people for box-ticking bands, if I'm honest, and Jimmy Barnes wasn't on my "To See" list until a couple of years ago when I had a chance conversation about him.

Of course, in those days, Jimmy wasn't touring the UK so my chances of actually seeing him performing were slim.

Fast forward to earlier this year and the announcement that Jimmy was doing a short UK tour to publicise the launch of his autobiography, titled 'Working Class Man'. Shortly after that he announced his first tour outside of Australia/New Zealand for over six years and saw a couple of shows booked in his home city of Glasgow.

One show would see him recant stories from his life illustrated by tracks from his back catalogue, and the other was a full-on rock show.

I'll admit that it was difficult to choose which show to cover but we eventually opted to cover the rock show at the famous King Tut's, because it would be the "full on" Jimmy Barnes rock experience.

The show had been sold out for a while and we kept thinking it'd be moved to a larger venue like The Garage where Jimmy played last time he was in Glasgow back in 2011, but King Tuts it was.

jimmy barnes

We knew it would be packed as we spied the queue outside while we were inside keeping warm with a festive drink. The late opening of the upstairs venue also seemed to catch some people unawares but then Tut's regulars know all about this, eh?

I don't actually mind King Tut's but when it's absolutely jammed with festive party go-ers and event fans (some of whom had obviously never been to the venue before) made it quite a frustrating experience even before the doors opened. Jimmy could have sold more tickets had he moved it to a larger venue but to be one of the 300 lucky enough to see his show close up, it's a show I won't forget in a hurry.

jimmy barnes

With no new album to push this was very much a wander down memory lane for Jimmy and his fans. The first half of the show was Jimmy showcasing tracks from his extensive back catalogue, encompassing over fifteen albums.

This ranged from 'No Second Prize' taken from his 1984 debut release 'Bodyswerve', along with a few choice cuts from 1987's 'Freight Train Heart' including set opener, 'Driving Wheels', 'I'm Still on Your Side' and his version of the Bob Dylan track 'Seven Days'.

We were taken right up to 'Red Hot' from 2009's 'The Rhythm And The Blues', though tracks from his most recent few albums of original material were certainly conspicuous by their absence.

jimmy barnes

The rest of the set was made up of a handful of Cold Chisel covers, of course, including 'Merry-Go-Round' and set closer 'Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)' from their 1979 album, 'Breakfast at Sweethearts'.

Unfortunately a cover by Aussie legends The EasyBeats 'Good Times' had to dropped due to time constraints but Jimmy did pay tribute to another Glaswegian son, also connected with The EasyBeats, AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young who died last month, and whose funeral Jimmy attended in Sydney at the end of November, as he brought out a great version of the classic 'High Voltage'.

Sound-wise it wasn't the best as the set kicked off, Jimmy's voice was initially drowned out by the guitars while problems with his ear-piece early on meant he wasn't having as much fun as maybe he ought to have had. Still, he carried on as best he could and eventually the problems were ironed out a bit. It was a good few numbers before he addressed the crowd who were ecstatic in their response to his appearance.

Jimmy spends a lot of time travelling the length and breadth of Australia but it's very clear he has a ready and willing audience here in the UK, so let's hope this short tour will spur him on to make more regular trips across to the UK for shows and, hopefully, in larger venues because he'll have no problem selling tickets.

jimmy barnes

Set List:
Driving Wheels
Ride the Night Away
Love and Hate
I'd Die to Be With You Tonight
Red Hot
Love Is Enough
I'm Still on Your Side
Lay Down Your Guns
Too Much Ain't Enough Love
Little Darling
Resurrection Shuffle
Flame Trees
No Second Prize
Seven Days
Khe Sanh
Working Class Man
High Voltage
Four Walls
Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye)
jimmy barnes

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