Jimmy Barnes makes music comeback with new band The Barnestormers

Author: Kathy McCabe

Jimmy Barnes is back in the swing after his recent surgery launching his rumoured rockabilly global supergroup.

Barnes has been teasing The Barnestormers band in recent weeks as he recuperated from the hip replacement surgery which forced him off the road in December.

His first band project since Cold Chisel co-stars American rockabilly royalty Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, his close mate Chris Cheney from The Living End, and British television and music star Jools Holland.

The seeds of the project were first sown more than 30 years ago when Barnes enlisted The Stray Cats to open his Australian tour in 1990.

A lunch in Los Angeles 20 years later, which also included Cheney, again had Barnes insisting they should all make a rockabilly record together.

When global touring ground to a halt during the pandemic, producer and studio wizard Kevin Shirley, who was connected to all of the musicians, said “you’ve got to do it now.”

“I was like ‘How do we do it? We’re all locked away,’” Barnes said.

“Kevin was the motivator from hell who got us all of our arses and working. He hooked us all up, would record each of us and send the tapes around the world.”

While the men were frustrated they couldn’t make their album in old school fashion in a garage somewhere, Barnes and Cheney said they marvelled at Shirley’s considerable skill in assembling the parts recorded remotely in Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles and London.

There is also connection to Barnes’ old band Cold Chisel, with the first single Johnny’s Gone written and recorded by Don Walker in the early 1990s for his side hustle Catfish.

“Once the word got out that I was doing a rockabilly record, my friends were sending songs from everywhere; Don sent a couple of his own and 50 of his favourites, Paul Field suggested the Chuck Berry song Dear Dad,” Barnes said.

All of the Barnestormers grew up on rockabilly. As a teen, Cheney was practising Buddy Holly and Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley’s guitarist) riffs as his friends jammed on Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses songs.

The niche rock’n’roll genre is enjoying a generational refresh kickstarted by the viral success of The Cramps’ version of Goo Goo Muck after it featured on the hit Netflix series Wednesday.

“I think you would probably find there’s kids in garages all over the whole of America doing (rockabilly),” Barnes said.

Barnes hopes to use his considerable powers of persuasion to get this band on the road.

“We had some (live) things planned, but they fell through because of my surgery. So now we’re recalculating to see what we can do because it is difficult to get everybody in the same place at the same time. The thing is, we all want to do it,” Barnes said.

The 66-year-old rocker will give his hip its first live test in May when he joins the Australian Chamber Orchestra for their concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House.

Barnes spent three months on physiotherapy and has spent the past month with wife Jane in Thailand swimming to get matchfit for his live return.

“I’m fighting fit, I’ve been swimming for an hour every day. You’ve got to do exactly what the doctors says. Three weeks after I got to Thailand, I wanted to get some heavy weights in and I couldn’t walk for two days, so I went back to what I was supposed to be doing.”

The Barnestormers self-titled debut album is out on May 26.

The Living End

Author: Eve Jeffery

Probably the thing I am most excited about is the Bluesfest debut for The Living End (what took so long?). The Living End are Australian rock royalty yet are the most down-to-earth blokes.
Formed in Melbourne in 1994, the band catapulted into fame in 1997 when they released a double A-side single featuring Prisoner of Society and Second Solution; songs that would become festival anthems around the world. The band’s blistering live performances have ensured they remain one of Australia’s premiere live outfits and at the top of festival bills for nearly two decades. They have consistently delivered hit after hit, which has allowed the band to grow a loyal (and rabid) fan base around the country.
The Living End are sure to bring some surprises to the Bluesfest stage. Do y’self a favour etc, get thee to Crossroads on Friday.

Wunderbar Energy Plus

Author: Unknown


The Living End rose to fame with the release of the groups double A-sided single Second Solution and Prisoner of Society. The band went on to become of one Australia’s biggest rock, racking up six ARIA awards, two number 1 chart debuts, eight studio albums and countless hit singles: All Torn Down, West End Riot, Roll On and White Noise to name a few. Renowned for their energetic live shows, The Living End is touring its new album, Wunderbar, now – so make Friday night December 28 a night to remember by catching the group in the auditorium at Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba. Tickets are on sale at the club or through its website.

The Living End’s ex-manager Rae Harvey lashes out after shock sacking

Author: Mikey Cahill

A respected band manager has ditched the amicable split template to call out rockers The Living End for sacking her after 22 years of service.

Rae Harvey has taken to social media to bid her “farewell to the music industry”.

“After 22 years of faithful service, my management agreement with The Living End was suddenly terminated a couple of weeks ago,” she wrote on Facebook.

 “Having dedicated the best years of my life to a band I assumed were a part of my family forever, what a kick in the guts. It is at my insistence that I’m honest about this and there’s no wishy-washy statement about splitting amicably, that’s not my style. I was fired. There…. I said it.”

The Living End were managed by Rae Harvey for more than two decades before sacking her without notice.

Harvey helped steer the Rowville band to multiple ARIA Awards, national and international tours and Triple J success.

Her hard-nosed style is widely respected by industry veterans.

“After 30 years industry experience and 20+ management under my belt, I needed very little to be effective, my 20 minutes would take hours or days in less experienced hands,” she wrote.

“(Working for) That many years and all the hard-forged relationships managing a now legacy band heading into their twilight years — I could do it standing on my head.”

Harvey lost her house and animal shelter in a fire in far north NSW three years ago.

“Regrettably, this has come at an inopportune time for me, it was sudden with no discussion or time to plan, just ‘seeya’,” she wrote.

Harvey writes she will continue running her Wild2Free Inc. Kangaroo Sanctuary.

She continues: “On a somewhat comical ending, the W2F name was the one we settled on for exactly that reason WTF? And that statement applies right now, as it does for so much we see in our once beautiful world and the people in it. WTF indeed. Watch this space.”

Harvey previously managed 360, Children Collide and Gyroscope.Engaged

The Living End have not yet commented.

Meanwhile, yesterday the band’s frontman Chris Cheney posted an April Fool’s Day joke on Instagram that the band was calling it quits.

“Melbourne trio to retire immediately with no farewell show”, the post read.

The Living End

Author: Unknown

Australian punk-rock powerhouse The Living End have unveiled they’ll be letting loose a new record. The band’s eighth album, Wunderbar was recorded in Berlin and will drop on Friday September 28 via BMG. With the reveal also comes the news that they’ll be making their way around the country in November, following a stack of festival appearances and headliners across Europe in the lead up. Adelaide’s West Thebarton has been recruited as support. The Living End will bring Wunderbar to The Forum on Saturday November 3.

The White Album – The 50th Anniversary Concert

Author: Unknown

It’s one of the most successful Beatles events ever staged in Australia. Following two sold-out tours, in 2009 and 2014, Chris Cheney (The Living End), Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon), Tim Rogers (You Am I) and ARIA Award-winning solo artist Josh Pyke are reuniting for a special 2018 tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ White Album (Beatles’ self-titled ninth studio album). They’ll perform the White Album from start to finish – with a few surprises along the way – while being backed by a 17-piece rock orchestra, led by musical director Rex Goh, with guitars, strings, horns and two drummers. And don’t stress, they’re not pretending to be The Beatles – this is a celebration, not a tribute band. Catch it at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on July 13 & 14. Tix via www.whitealbumconcert.com/

The Living End

Author: Cory Perla

[PUNK] Second-wave punk band the Living End formed in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia, inspired by American rockabilly bands like Stray Cats. Despite a lengthy career that has earned them a spot on lists of the best Australian bands of all time, frontman Chris Cheney says he wouldn’t necessarily do it the same all over again. Maybe he’d record his vocals differently, or maybe the band should have moved to the States earlier, Cheney said in a recent interview with website Faster Louder. The band has also dealt with alcohol and drug problems, prompting lineup changes in the past, but for over a decade the lineup has remained constant—Cheney, bassist Scott Owen, and drummer Andy Strachan, who joined in 2002. Their latest album, Shift, is their most personal album to date, says Cheney, who has traditionally written about the world outside of him rather than his inside world. “It’s brutally honest and it’s the most personal record [yet],” the 41-year-old singer says. The Living End comes to the Waiting Room on Friday, November 18 with support from Counterpunch and the Abruptors.

Happy End

Author: Unknown

THE Happy Accidents are back at The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill for a special show on August 30.

Andy Strachan (Living End), Simon Dawe and Tim Neal (and guests) will be cooking up their own unique brand of solid, high energy Funk with smatterings of Reggae all smothered in Soul.

Joining them on the night are guests ‘Last Coast’.

Last Coast hail from Barwon Heads and over the course of 2014 have been developing their brand of rock atmospherica.

Tickets are $15, available from The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill, get them early as it sold out last time. Tel: 52551566.

Still Rolling On

Author: Stephen Bissett

The last time Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes graced the stage at Bimbadgen Winery, all 8000 tickets sold out on the first day. So, you can be pretty sure that his upcoming Hunter show to celebrate 30 years as a solo artist will be one for the ages – especially with the likes of the Living End, Baby Animals, Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates and Nick Barker on the bill.

“Mate, this show is going to be absolutely huge,” Living End drummer Andy Strachan told TE.

“It’s been a little while for us so to be hitting the stage with not only Jimmy, but also the Baby Animals, who are just an amazing band, Jimmy’s daughter and Nick Barker is very exciting for us.”

The Living End’s inclusion on the bill follows on from their recent collaboration with Barnes on a reworking of his classic track Lay Down Your Guns, from his upcoming 30/30 Anniversary album that also features collaborations with Little Steven Van Zandt, Tina Arena, Jon Stevens, Journey and Keith Urban.

If you’ve heard the 2014 version of Lay Down Your Guns you’d already know that this is Barnes in career-best form while the Living End provide a ferocious backing -possibly the only band in Oz that could match it with Barnes’ powerhouse vocals.

“The guy just blows me away,” Strachan said. “We basically did the song in one take – he just rocked up to the microphone and yelled ‘g’day boys’ down the mic and we just ripped into it – we didn’t really overthink things, we just went in there and belted it out.

While the Living End have been pretty quiet on the touring front this year, after two and a half years of solid touring off the back of their latest long player The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating, Strachan said that there had been talk of new material, although distance has made it a bit difficult.

“We have been a little bit quiet – I mean I’m in Melbourne, Scott [Owen, bass] is in NSW and Chris [Cheney, guitar] is in the US so it can be a bit tricky, especially when we’re the type of band that likes to do everything live – but we are definitely looking to record again in the very near future.”

However, Strachan added that punters could expect the band to pull out all the stops at the Bimbadgen show.

“We treat playing live like a footy match – we like to start big and end bigger.”

Catch Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, Baby Animals, Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates and Nick Barker at Bimbadgen Winery on Saturday, November 8. Tickets are on sale now via ticketmaster.com.au

Concert in a class of its own

Author: Jolene Ogle

TICKETS are flying out the door to Noosa’s first major music festival, with event organisers expecting the family-friendly concert to sell out.

The Originals Music Festival on 13 September will feature a tasteful blend of local talent and some big-name Aussie acts on two stages for the one-day concert.

Ash Grunwald will team up with The Living End band members, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan, as the headline act along with Triple J darlings Sticky Fingers, Kingswood, Bonjah and local heroes, OKA and Carl Wockner.

The funky reggae-inspired ln2Nation will also take to the stage, plus local acts Ayla, Bec Laughton, Electrik Lemonade and Sahara Beck.

The Originals Music Festival is the latest offering from East Coast Originals (ECO), the team that delivers the free community concerts, Peregian Originals and Cooroy Originals, every month.

The two Originals concerts have proven a huge success with more than 800 people gathering to hear the

latest in local, live talent every month, but the loss of major sponsor Peregian Surf Club left the group facing an uncertain future.

Event organiser Marcus Pluckhahn said the Originals Music Festival is designed to ensure the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the all-ages event for years to come.

“The Originals Music festival aims to keep its grassroots, family-friendly vibe for years to come,” he said.

“The idea of an Originals music festival was hatched to capitalise on the popularity of the Peregian and Cooroy community concerts, which will hopefully ensure a long life for the events.”

The festival will focus on a mix of local and national acts in an effort to remain true to the community concert’s focus on local talent.

“There is so much amazing music in Australia. We want to steer away from big headliners and pick great music that goes with our culture,” Marcus said.

“It’s very important for us to have people come to our festival because they trust the Originals will be a great day, no matter who we put on.

“It has worked with ECO for 14 years, so we see no reason to change the formula for the festival.”

The inaugural Originals Music Festival will be held at the Noosa AFL Grounds, Weyba Road, Noosaville, on 13 September, from 10am.

Tickets are available now from $40 for adults, $25 for children aged 13 to 17-years, and $5 for children 12 and under.

To grab your ticket before they sell out, visit www.originalsmusicfestival.com.au or get along to any Peregian Originals or Cooroy Originals community concert.