LIVE: THE JAILBREAK CONCERT – Fremantle, 18 Feb, 2018

LIVE: THE JAILBREAK CONCERT – Fremantle, 18 Feb, 2018
Fremantle Prison; Saturday, 17 February
Featuring The Rose Carleo Band, Rose Tattoo and Raise The Flag
Review and photography by Shane Pinnegar

Mick Adkins & Rose Carleo, The Rose Carleo Band

They may not be household names like many of the special guests at Bonfest 2018’s keynote event, The Jailbreak Concert, but The Rose Carleo Band proved to an enthusiastic crowd of well over a thousand people that they should be.

Organised by Doug Thorncroft, one of those primarily responsible for having the statue of Bon erected in his old haunt of Fremantle, Bonfest is an institution, with people travelling from around the country to attend in homage of arguably the greatest rock and roll vocalist of all time.

Organiser Doug Thorncroft

The Jailbreak Concert saw the courtyard of Fremantle Prison – an establishment where Scott himself spent some time a guest of the state in his younger years – transformed into a rock n’ roll venue, complete with VIP area for wining and dining, and a huge space for dancing, singing, carousing and rocking.

The Rose Carleo Band – Carleo herself, guitarist Mick Adkins, and the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Mick O’Shea and bassist Steve King – warmed the early arrivals up with a rock solid set centered around their forthcoming five-track EP. Ten Years, Between The Rock And The Roll and Time Is Now featured from their excellent 2015 album Time Is Now, with the superb Faded Tattoo, Coattail Rider and the acoustic Last Day Alive getting us excited about the soon-to-be-released EP.

The band played as though they were headlining the show, giving it their all, and with pristine sound quality soon won over a lot of those in attendance, but this was far from the end of the day for them.

Simon McCullough & Steve King, Raise The Flag

After a short break the foursome were back on stage and rocking hard again as part of Raise The Flag, now with Simon McCullough on frontman duties and Bob Spencer (ex-Skyhooks and The Angels and currently with Rose Tattoo) on guitar. Raise The Flag storm through some early Easybeats hits including Sorry, and a stomping duet with Carleo through Good Times.

The real joy with Raise The Flag is seeing the versatility of the players and the fun they have with this stone cold classic material, proving of course that Australian rock and roll is up there with the finest in the world.

Jayden Tatasciore

Nine-year-old guitar prodigy Jayden Tatasciore shows some amazing skills as he peels out a few AC/DC riffs, but it’s when The Poor’s Skenie takes the mic – joined by former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans and Bon’s son Dave Stevens on backing vocals – for a fantastic It’s a Long Way To The Top that the kid really comes into his own, even doing the Angus Young duckwalk across the stage as he plays. Jayden has a stellar future if he keeps at it. Thorncroft escorts 40 bagpipers through the crowd to join in the fun, much to the delight of the crowd, who by now were fully into the show.


Skenie delights the audience with a raucous version of The Poor’s More Wine Waiter Please, a favourite to many here, and Carleo dons an acoustic guitar whilst McCullough sings Billy Thorpe’s singalong classic Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy.

For all the popular names joining in, special mention must go to the lesser-sung heroes who gave their all the entire day. Bob Spencer’s pedigree speaks for itself and his playing is always from the heart and second-to-none. Mick Adkins is an incredible player who never misses a note, co-ordinating a lot of the musicians on the day and playing on every song bar the Rose Tattoo set. Mick O’Shea and Steve King are a juggernaut rhythm section, arguably the best in the business, and they play three full sets without their energy levels appearing to flag in the slightest. There’s also the support staff: a road crew who made sure things ran smoothly, looked great and sounded pristine.


Raise the Flag make way for Rose Tattoo to appear as special guests for a short set. Lest we forget, the band now fittingly feature bassist Mark Evans, a veteran of several AC/DC albums and certainly a fitting appearance here honouring Bon.

In stark contrast to their well-below-par performance the previous night READ HERE they are on fire from the moment they hit the stage, with only a couple of funny looks between the members hinting at tension within the ranks. We Can’t Be Beaten is as muscular and rallying as it should always be, and it’s like they are a completely different band from the shambolic performance less than twenty-four hours prior.

Rose Tattoo – Dai Pritchard, Bob Spencer, Angry Anderson

MC Antonio – dressed as Bon with flowing locks and sleeveless denim jacket – provides a little light entertainment before Raise The Flag are back for a huge set of AC/DC classics. For many, this is what they came here for, and the veteran band, along with their star guests, do not disappoint.

Skenie roars through Rock And Roll Damnation, Problem Child and more with the ferocity he has long been known for. McCullough is a lion, tearing Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be and a very special High Voltage featuring drummer Tony Currenti – the very man who George Young tapped to play on the debut AC/DC album of the same name. It’s a special moment in Aussie rock n’ roll.

Mark Evans, Mick Adkins, Tony Currenti – Raise The Flag

Dave Stevens returns to sing Dirty Deeds and If You Want Blood, joined by Mark Evans on bass, and takes the opportunity to remind us that although we’re all here to pay homage to his father Bon, who died 38 years ago on the 19th February, that it takes two to make a child, and his mother Dianne passed a year ago on the 18th. The crowd join him in a heartfelt cheer in Dianne’s memory, and he seems visibly touched by the love and respect shown.

Dave Stevens – Raise The Flag

Skenie is back for Whole Lotta Rosie, before he and Carleo and the full ensemble lead the whole audience in a resounding finale of Highway To Hell, sending goosebumps through us as we watched and sang along.

Bon would be proud.

LIVE: THE JAILBREAK CONCERT – Fremantle, 18 Feb, 2018

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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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