Ross Wilson at The Gov Saturday February 29th 2020
A large crowd gathered at The Gov waiting for Australia’s number one singer/songwriter/producer Ross Wilson. Ross has had a successful rock n’roll career for as long as I’ve been alive! Not only has he been a frontman for at least three Australian bands, but has collaborated with a lot of Australia’s great musicians, he has never retired and judging from the performance on Saturday night, the 72 year old hasn’t lost any energy or showmanship, in what was one of the best live music performances I’ve seen at The Gov.
Ross Wilson commenced the set with a Daddy Cool song Come Back Again. There were four musicians accompanying Wilson, bass, lead guitar, keyboards and drums, complimented with a backdrop of videos and photos projected on the wall behind the band, appropriate to the song which was being played, including original music videos. Chemistry, one of my favourites, was the first of Mondo Rock tune. Then a bit of Rock Trivia, Wilson asked the audience, what was Mondo Rock’s first single? Yours truly, immediately shouted out “Fugitive Kind” and Wilson said “correct”. That song is actually my favourite Mondo Rock song. Released in 1978 around the same time as Dire Straits released Sultans of Swing here in Australia, the song did receive some air play and sneaked into most Australian Capital Cities Top 40 weekly charts. .
Then Wilson went back to a Pink Finks song, his first band in 1965 with Back Door Man and he completed the first set with Rockabilly Women as he exited, he mentioned that they will be back very soon!
In another first, opposite stage right, a gentleman who perhaps had too much to drink, got up after speaking to a lady in a wheelchair fell forwards then backwards hitting his head on the floor. Fortunately my plus one Ann-Marie who knew First Aid, put him on his side and I then went to get a staff member, but two were already on their way, an ambulance was then called. The gentleman was out cold for 3 or 4 minutes and then he regained consciousness, I was requested to go and get the nurse and to mention the defibrillator, which is at the Entertainment Centre, fortunately that wasn’t required as it resets the electrical state of the heart. The staff member who attended the scene was in constant contact with Emergency and handled the situation perfectly, until the ambulance arrived. Once the gentleman was on the stretcher and had left the building Ross Wilson and the band returned to commence set two.The second set comprised of a couple of collaborations, Wilson told the stories of whom he has perhaps most proudly collaborated with, first being Jimmy Barnes performing You Can’t Make Love Without a Soul. The second was with John Farhnam, a song which he wrote for Farnham, A Touch of Paradise which featured on the album “Whispering Jack” and on Farnham’s live album.
Then a surprise, Pat Wilson appeared on stage, Ross’s first wife and the ex-couple began with Living on a Desert Island a song that Pat sang with Rock Granite and the Profiles and You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry. Which most of you would remember from Pulp Fiction, followed by the B side to the Pat Wilson’s hit single Bop Girl, Tacky, followed of course by Bop Girl. Apparently, this was the first time it has been performed live by Pat Wilson in Adelaide, and we were able to spot Nicole Kidman in the fim clip behind.
We said goodbye to Pat and Ross continued with two other Mondo Rock singles Summer of ’81 and Come Said the Boy before moving onto a classic. What I did like about his introduction to Eagle Rock was Wilson gave us a quick account of how he constructed the famous guitar riff and arrangement. To finish off this set he and the band provided the backing for the audience to sing once only, the chorus to Eagle Rock. A brief interlude and encore with Pat commenced with Australia’s best love song in my opinion, State of the Heart, before finishing off with Daddy Cool.
I was very impressed with this show, as I’m sure many others in the audience were.
After the show speaking to a couple of band members and passing on our thanks both to the guitarist and keyboard player, they were in high praise of Ross and said that they have great fun and it’s just like being in a family with him on the road.
Review and photos by Damian Woodards.
Footnote: Looking at Ross Wilson’s website there is no slowing down, he has a few more concerts coming up in Eastern Sates in the next couple of months, when he returns to Adelaide again be sure not to miss him.