Jimmy Barnes hasn’t decided what songs he will play at March’s Selwyn Sounds.
He will choose on the day when he sees the crowd.
“I get to a set and I have a look at the audience – what are they doing, are they having a good time? And I’ll pick the set accordingly,” he said.
One thing’s for sure – he plans to “rock out” and give the crowd a good show.
The legendary Aussie rocker will headline the day-long music festival at Lincoln Domain on March 3.
It follows this year’s inaugural event, which saw Jordan Luck Band, Mi-Sex, Dragon and other Kiwi heavyweights play in front of about 10,000 people.
Barnes, who now lives in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales, said he couldn’t be sure if he had visited Lincoln before.
But he enjoyed playing in small towns. It took him back to where he started as lead singer in Cold Chisel, he said.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a beautiful part of the country,” he said.
“I like to support the area, especially after the earthquakes.”
When his music career began in the 1970s, he never imagined some of the songs would still be crowd favourites today, he said.
Khe Sanh, which was recorded in 1976, was an example, he said.
“When you get up and play it, you can see young and old and they’re all there singing it. The song is as relevant now as it was then. How it connects with people, it makes it all worth it.”
And, in spite of being one of the best-selling Australian music rockers of all time, Barnes said he enjoyed a variety of genres.
He was a big fan of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Paul Rodgers, Stevie Marriott, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Finn and even Sia.
Barnes, who changed his last name from Swan, was born in Glasgow and emigrated to Adelaide as a five-year-old.
Selwyn Sounds will be a real family affair from Barnes. His kids, Jackie, Elly-May and EJ, and wife Jane will perform alongside him in Lincoln.
Barnes said he wasn’t sure whether he would be staying in Lincoln or for how long, but if so, he would likely be out and about looking for a nice place to eat.
So would he make an impromptu performance?
“You never know.”