Ian Moss @ The Norwood Hotel, Adelaide (26/06/10)

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of rock music. Ever since I’ve been old enough to go out and see live bands, it’s been one of my favourite pastimes. I must have clocked up hundreds of rock gigs over the years. Whether it be a small club with sticky carpets and a dodgy P.A or a huge rock show at the Entertainment Centre, as long as the music was of the rocking variety, I’ve almost always enjoyed going to a gig.

Now I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m getting older or just that my appreciation of a well written song has become more pronounced recently but some of the gigs that I’ve been attending lately are not quite as rocking as they used to be.

It seems that lately I’ve really been enjoying hearing pared down acoustic versions of the songs that I have previously liked hearing much louder electrically.

On this cold, wintery evening at the Norwood, I had the chance to hear one of the country’s best known rock guitarists play some of his band’s rock classics (as well as his solo material and a few covers) in a cosy, intimate gig for just a couple of hundred people who filled the small room perfectly.

As guitarist of legendary Aussie rock band Cold Chisel, Ian Moss has been involved in creating and performing on scores of timeless rock songs which have continued to receive commercial radio airplay for decades now. Back in their heyday, Chisel played some huge, loud, crazy, rock gigs but tonight it was just Mossy on his acoustic guitar.

The show started in a very laid back fashion. Mossy strolled onto the stage, sat down with his acoustic guitar, mumbled a quick greeting, and then rather than start the set on a high note, he opened with one of the most melancholy songs of the night. However, it didn’t take long for the crowd to get drawn into the performance. In no time at all Mossy had the crowd singing along as he breezed through a mixture of classic Chisel songs such as Flame Trees, My Baby, and the crowd pleasing sing-along classics Saturday Night and Bow River, as well as songs from his solo career including Telephone Booth and Tucker’s Daughter, the latter which was definitely a highlight.

As well as these songs, Mossy also covered a lot of material from his latest album Soul on West 53rd, his album of classic soul cover songs.

For a cold rainy Friday night, this was a really easy gig to enjoy. Without the big production, the loud P.A, and the pushy crowd, this was a great opportunity to really hear and appreciate some classic rock songs without the distractions. As well as appreciating how great some of these songs are from a song-writing perspective, it also gave me to chance to really enjoy the talents of Ian Moss as guitarist and singer. Even though Jimmy Barnes has always been the singer most associated with Cold Chisel, the natural timbre of Mossy’s voice combined with his technical ability really makes it difficult to say that Jimmy was the better singer of the two men.

By the end of the set, I felt very satisfied with the performance. I had heard every song that I had hoped to hear from Mossy’s back catalogue and more. It was also nice to leave without the customary ringing in my ears, leaving me intact to enjoy a big rock gig on the Saturday night.