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Thompson back with Original Sinners

Jack Thompson is used to being in front of a camera.

He's even used to performing in front of crowds for the Sydney Theatre Company.

But, sitting on stage at Bluesfest with a few thousand punters ready for the blues was something entirely different.

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"After the second verse it was Jack's first solo and there's sil- ence," Normie Rowe tells Pulse.

"His eyes were like dinner plates. It was so amazing to see this stunning performer just being in a moment of absolute fear, which you would normally see with absolute novices."

Rowe and seasoned Aussie rock'n'roller Kevin Borich performed with the acting great at this year's Bluesfest for their debut public performance.

They had such a great response they're back again for a gig at Twin Towns, Tweed Heads.

The collaboration came about after Thompson's 70th birthday party.

The three jammed together on the night and the offer of a slot on the Bluesfest line-up soon followed.

Thompson plays a mean blues harmonica, Borich sings and plays guitar, Rowe also sings and plays guitar while Harry Brus and Mick O'Shea fill the line-up on bass and drums respectively, making up Jack Thompson and The Original Sinners.

"We had a few sessions up there in the hills around Byron Bay ahead of the Bluesfest gig," Borich says.

"We talked about music, life and all the naughty things we did in our younger days. And there was a lot of harmonica playing too."

You can expect to hear St. James Infirmary Blues, Shakin' All Over and Stay With Me Baby as well as other blues-infused greats, Borich says.

Borich had been in the Northern Rivers recently, not only on stage at Bluesfest but at the Ballina RSL where he played with his Party Boys outfit.

"That ended up being the last gig of the tour," he says.

"The rest of the tour got wiped out because of the Queensland floods."

Rowe, who is best known for his solo work in the '60s, is happy to take a side step to have Thompson centre-stage.

"We just love working together," Rowe says. "It's nice not having to fill it all by myself. I've never really been a side man. I'd like to work with them all the time. I think as a frontman sometimes you don't quite understand how the other guys are feeling. So this is a nice change."

Rowe doesn't see himself as a great guitarist, though he says Borich has been encouraging him.

"He did say something, which may be a bad thing because now I have to live up to it," Rowe says.

"He said, 'if I knew you were such a good guitarist I would have given you more solos', which is flattering but I do all the things I need to adequately, but I've never been great on guitar."

Jack Thompson and The Original Sinners play Twin Towns, Tweed Heads on Saturday, December 10, 8pm (QLD time). Tickets $40, www.twin

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