Legendary rockers Cold Chisel are reforming for their first summer tour — including a special one-off New Zealand show.

Led by iconic frontman Jimmy Barnes, the Aussies will bring their Blood Moon 2020 tour across the Tasman to perform at Tauranga's Wharepai Domain on February 5.

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They'll be joined by beloved Kiwi band The Mutton Birds, who will be the main support, critically acclaimed West Auckland group The Bads, and Gisborne punk outfit Sit Down In Front.


"We've only done four tours since the early 80s, so we need to make each of them count," explains Barnes, who recently performed three New Zealand shows during his own Shutting Down Your Town solo tour.

"We knew that if we were going to get the band back together for another full tour it would have to be something really special. We wanted great line-ups and unusual places so that people would remember these gigs for a long, long time."

The Mutton Birds original line-up will join Cold Chisel for their Tauranga show. Photo / Spplied.
The Mutton Birds original line-up will join Cold Chisel for their Tauranga show. Photo / Spplied.

After forming in Adelaide way back in 1973 and breaking up following their infamous Last Stand in 1983, Cold Chisel has reformed for just four national tours of Australia and played New Zealand gigs only in Auckland and Christchurch.

Now, for the first time in their colourful career, Barnes, together with fellow founding members Don Walker (piano/keys), Ian Moss (guitar), Phil Small (bass) and drummer Charley Drayton — who replaced the late Steve Prestwich — will play 14 outdoor shows.

Fans can look forward to the band performing classics like Khe Sanh, Flame Trees, Bow River, My Baby, Cheap Wine, Saturday Night and You Got Nothing I Want, while the group is also putting the finishing touches to some new material.

The tour takes its name from a lunar eclipse where the sun, Earth and moon all briefly align before returning to their own orbits — a sighting almost as rare as a Cold Chisel concert.

"You might see a blood moon once in your life," explains Walker, the band's main songwriter.

"Apparently there's going to be one just before dawn when we're in Melbourne on this tour but we didn't actually know that when we chose the name. Maybe it's a sign."


The Mutton Birds formed in Auckland in 1991, with singer and songwriter Don McGlashan, guitarist David Long and drummer Ross Burge, joined by Alan Gregg.

They enjoyed huge popularity with two platinum records featuring Kiwi anthems such as Anchor Me, Dominion Road, Nature and The Heater, and McGlashan won the APRA Silver Scroll for his songwriting.

A stint in the UK followed in the mid-90s and the band developed a following throughout Europe before eventually disbanding in early 1999.

The Bads provide the outlet for Brett Adams and Dianne Swann's musical vision, with drummer and producer Wayne Bell, multi-instrumentalist and producer Dave Khan and bassist, producer, songwriter and guitarist Ben King joining them for their live shows.

Fresh from supporting Barnes across three shows in Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland, Sit Down In Front will also share their raw punk sound. The youngsters have built up a solid following playing regular headline sets and opening for the likes of Villainy, while their single Rain spent three weeks in the Official New Zealand Music Charts.

Pre-sale tickets will be available at 2pm on Monday, with the general sale starting at 11am on October 21 via Ticketmaster.