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Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes has formed a new band

Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes has formed a new band

Australian rock hero Jimmy Barnes has formed a new band.

The Cold Chisel frontman has started a rockabilly outfit with Chris Cheney, of the Living End, and Slim Jim Phantom, of the Stray Cats.

“We’ve got three quarters of a rockabilly album finished,” Barnes, pictured, told AAA. “Half originals, half old covers. Slim Jim and I have been talking about doing this for 20 years.

“When you think about making a rockabilly album, you don’t think about making it over the internet with people in different continents, but that’s how we had to do it because of COVID and it’s actually working out well; we’ve got some great guests.”

Barnes has kept busy during the pandemic. He’s been writing a novel, a cookbook with wife Jane and recording Flesh and Blood, a sequel to 1993’s acoustic release Flesh and Wood, including new songs written by himself, Neil Finn and Don Walker.

“It’s quite current, lyrically,” he said. “When the world is dropping around you, you look at your life and what you’ve done and what you want to do.”

As well as plotting “some kind of show” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Soul Deep album later this year Barnes is also uploading all the isolation videos he and wife Jane posted on social media to his You Tube channel.

“Sometimes we were out of tune, sometimes I forgot the words, we were flying by the seat of our pants trying to do something to keep everybody entertained. If you went to the studio and polished it you might lose that charm and it’d just become covers,” he said.

“I learnt a lot about singing, we did everything from Van Morrison to Matt Monroe to Doris Day. We almost did Metallica. It stretched me as a vocalist and Jane taught herself guitar, she’s quite accomplished now.”