SAMANTHA LLOYD (PHOTO CREDITS: SAMANTHA LLOYD PHOTOGRAPHY)
Ian Moss is a huge name in the Australian music industry, from his time with Cold Chisel and throughout his solo career he has been met with voluminous amounts of fans and after attending his show tonight at the Robin 2, Bilston, I’m really not surprised that he’s so popular back home.
The night began with the usual hard stuff (a half pint of coke!) from the bar before I settled into a chair at the rear of the seated area. I hadn’t actually attended a gig at the Robin2 where the whole audience was seated so it was new to me, half seated half standing was normal for a weekday show, but this was different, so I knew from the offset that this was going to be a more intimate evening (excuse the cliché).
Gwyn Ashton, a Welsh-born Australian singer songwriter and master of the guitar, took to the stage first with his one man blues and soul performance. He currently lives in Bewdley and he is one of the most underrated live musicians that we have residing in the UK. His voice is full of soul, he never relies on a set list or the use of a backing track, and he makes it look so easy! His up-tempo music, his enthusiasm and charisma shines through in every song he performs while stomping away throughout his set on his Ludwig Bass drum.
His set consisted of tracks ‘Leave that Girl Alone’ a huge blues number with intense strong vocals that you just can’t help but stamp your feet along to. Ashton is set to release his new album ‘Solo Electro’ on October 20th, so he played a few new tracks from his upcoming album ‘ Please Allow Me’ and ‘In Your Blood’, another stomp along up-tempo rambunctious track that is full of blues, jazz and country all blended into one unique style. Other songs in his set were ‘I Can Feel That Mojo Working on Me’, ‘Cool Cool Water’ (a yet unrecorded track), ‘Moravian Rhapsody’, ‘Ain’t my Style’, ‘Prohibition’, and ‘Mad Dog’. Ashton delivered a blistering set of real soul stirring, bluesy groove music that really warmed the audience up for Ian Moss. Great Set!
You can find Gwyn at:
After a quick refill at the bar I retake my seat. It’s nice to feel a buzz in the air, everyone is in high spirits and chatting to each other, and there’s a really comfortable yet lively energy throughout the Robin2 as Ian Moss takes to the stage and the crowd give a cheer. He picks up his guitar and settles himself while the audience becomes suddenly quiet, a hush settles as he strums the first chords of ‘Cry me A River’. Wow! I wasn’t expecting him to sound better live than he does on an album, just wow! Ian Moss is regarded as one of Australia’s most iconic musicians and was a member of the band Cold Chisel (who found huge success in Australia but unfortunately who were unable to gain any traction anywhere else).
Tonight he delivers hugely satisfying and silky vocals whilst playing the guitar with masterful ease. The toe-tapping, head bobbing bluesy ‘Green River’ elicits a woohoo from the crowd, the up-beat and uplifting ‘Telephone Booth’ taken from his Matchbook album gets a huge cheer, while the slower ‘Message from Baghdad’, written mostly by Moss’s brother, commands the attention of the audience with its deeply meaningful lyrics, he says ‘I hope I can do it justice!’ which gives me the impression that it’s a very personal song for him. Moss plays a variety of fan favourites such as ‘Choirgirl’, ‘Bow River’, ‘My Baby’ and ‘Cheap Wine’ which are welcomed by cheers and applause as the audience sing along.
He weaves a kind of spell over the audience during the evening which is hard to explain unless you were there, but you can feel the sheer love that these fans have for him. His delivery, his vocals and his interaction with the audience makes the evening such a wonderful experience, despite the few technical difficulties that were encountered with the microphone, 4 changes later and we seemed to be back on track. ‘Saturday Night’ demanded a huge interaction from the crowd where Moss gets the guys in the audience singing the title ‘Saturday Night’ and the girls singing ‘do do doo do do do do’, which the audience loved! People were having fun with it and when Moss asked them to reverse roles he asked the guys if they were going to struggle with the high notes, advised them to squeeze their balls to hit the notes or if they’d brought along a female companion that maybe she could squeeze them instead and help them along. Laughter ensued!
‘Tucker’s Daughter’ brought a huge cheer from the crowd, whistles and shout outs that seemed to mark the end of the performance as Moss exited the stage, but it was a ruse and he returned to deliver a track from his new album ‘Pictures in the Sand’ that is due for release in March 2018. He dedicated the new track (written by Don Walker) to the working classes all across the world. It’s a great song with a catchy rhythm and huge vocals. It seems that Moss has finally got himself some management who have put all his songs, albums, and live recordings onto iTunes and Spotify that are available now for download. My favourite song of the evening is undoubtedly ‘When the War is Over’ (written by the late Steve Prestwich – drummer for Cold Chisel), the crowd were singing along and Moss exhibited such strong emotions throughout the whole song, loving the interaction, urging the crowd to sing more. Just wow!
He finished the set with a beautiful rendition of ‘Georgia on My Mind’. I cannot fully explain how much I enjoyed both performances from Gwyn Ashton and Ian Moss, all I can say is if you ever get a chance to see them live then go, buy a ticket, you really won’t regret it.
You can find Ian Moss here:
**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF SAMANTHA LLOYD PHOTOGRAPHY / DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**