Sunday, 27 November 2011

A long awaited treat

Last week was a pretty special one. I finally got to fulfill a long-standing ambition. I got to see Cold Chisel play live.

You folk on the other side of the world probably would have no idea what this is about, so I guess I better explain. Cold Chisel are the great Australian rock band. They cut a swathe through the Aussie music world in the late-seventies and early-eighties before self-destructing. In little more than 5 years, they released 5 albums, all gems, and developed a reputation as amazing live performers. All just a little before my time.

Sure they've reformed a couple of times previously, but I was never organised enough to take advantage. When I heard they were touring this year (first time since the '90s), I made sure to score tickets.

And what a night it turned out to be. Things opened with the support act, You Am I. They're not exactly unknowns - they've been around nearly twenty years, hold some sort of record for albums debuting at no. 1 on the Aussie charts, and have toured with The Who and The Rolling Stones. But you could tell that most of the audience was from an older generation and here for the Chisels only. The applause was polite but quiet. Not that that deterred the band who ripped into their set with relish, oblivious to the lack of attention they were receiving.

Then time came for the mighty Chisels. For two hours, they ruled the stage, reeling out hit after hit. Nearly thirty years after their first break-up, it was amazing to hear that the power, the energy, not to mention the musicianship, was all still there. And the crowd lapped it up, singing along to every song.

It was definitely worth the wait.

Three days later, I'm still finding myself breaking into Chisel songs and reliving the experience. What it's really done is underscore for me the value of the creative life. What this band meant to so many people is quite extraordinary.

I don't ever expect to be in a position where I can touch anywhere near as many people as Cold Chisel have. But in the short time I've been putting my books out, I'm amazed at how the creative act of writing and putting out a book can enable connection with other people.

And You Am I also inspired me. They showed me that even if you're not getting the appreciation you deserve, it should never stop you going out, doing your best, and loving what you do. Because part of the joy of being creative is the act of creation itself.

So that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'll keep working at getting my writing out because that's what I love to do. And at those moments when I do get a response, and do make a connection with another reader, then that will just make it doubly special.

And I can't finish this post any other way than posting up a clip from the concert. This is Cold Chisel in intimate acoustic mode doing one of their classics, When the War is Over. If I can win a few more fans for this great band, especially from outside Australia, then I'll feel that I've done something worthwhile. So enjoy.

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