They say you should never meet your heroes and I’m sure in some cases this rings true but not tonight. Whilst spending a weekend in of all places Haywards Heath, thirty-seven years ago, I was handed a tape, yes, a tape, of a band, who I’d never heard of called Cold Chisel.
They were an Australian band and the guy who owned the house next door was allegedly the AC/DC manager and was also involved with this band. What I heard absolutely blew me away and I managed to track down a couple of their albums but thought as much as I love this band I’m never gonna see `em live. The Gods must have been looking down on me as, low and behold, Slade, after a storming comeback at the Reading festival two years earlier, decide to do a few Christmas shows, rocked up at The Birmingham Odeon and unbelievably Cold Chisel are chosen as support. As one of the best live bands of their day, Cold Chisel fused a combination of rockabilly, hard rock and rough-house soul ‘n’ blues that was defiantly Australian in outlook and this was an undeniably wonderful double bill for me and a night that I still reminisce about.
So, when I heard that Ian Moss was coming to the Robin 2 in Bilston, I thought I know that name and with the wonders of modern technology, I discover that yes, it is that Ian Moss, the one-time songwriter, co-singer and guitarist of Cold Chisel.
Tonight, Mr Moss is flying solo, with just a few guitars for company and he enthrals us with some cracking stories and songs that are as the saying goes, old, new, borrowed and more blues.
During this ninety-minute set, he talks about missing family, while he`s on the road and dedicates the song `Hold On (To What We Got)` from his latest release to his nephew in law, Pascal from Puglia, Italy who sadly passed away from lung cancer. He released a self-titled
album in March this year, his first solo album of all original material in 22 years and we get another great cut in the shape of `Broadway`
Another song is dedicated to Moss`s former Cold Chisel band colleague drummer Steve Prestwich, who passed away in 2011 with a song that the drummer had written with `When the War Is Over`. A Don Walker song `Good Night Sweet Dreams` is played along with `Saturday Night` and `Refugee`. We also get at least three classics from the seminal Cold Chisel “East” album in the form of `Never`, `My Baby` and a favourite of mine `Cheap Wine.
Towards the end of the show his debut single `Trucker`s Daughter gets an airing, a song about a cotton farm labourer who finds himself the attention of his employer’s daughter, but he does not return her affections. The show closes out and we can take a breath and mull over the intricate guitar skills and soulful voice that we`ve just enjoyed.
After a bit of encouragement, the artist returns to the stage for an encore and blows us away with two storming tracks `Forever Now` and `Bow River` The former being my all-time favourite Cold Chisel track so I was really wired. This was a cracking show, from a superb musician and storyteller, who most people wouldn`t have heard of. We were regally entertained by a member of Australia`s rock royalty. To top it all I became a real fan boy for the evening and got my thirty-five-year-old Slade programme signed in the part which featured the support band. Guess Who.
If a certain brand of Scandinavian lagers did rock nights……