The name Jagger will no doubt ring a bell for music fans of all ages. This weekend sees Chris Jagger, Mick’s younger brother, visit Bendigo to play three gigs.

Remarkably, these gigs are Jagger’s only Australian dates.

He plays at the Handle Bar in Mitchell Street tonight, Friday, March, 24. Tomorrow afternoon sees him play an intimate show on the Blues Tram. And to round off his ‘World Tour of Bendigo’, Jagger will play at the Rifle Brigade Hotel tomorrow night.

He’d just played in New Zealand when I caught up with him last weekend.

“Never having been to New Zealand before it’s like some kind of dream world. I brought my raincoat! Of course, the climate and much else is a bit like England, and everyone is very friendly.”

Jagger admitted to a few nerves ahead of his Bendigo visit. “It’s unusual for me to play solo so I am a little nervous. My fiddle player, who grew up in Melbourne, is very jealous that I’m playing without her.”

Jagger has long-standing Australian connections. “One mystery is why my nan left Australia during the first world war and sailed off back to the UK with four sons and my mother in tow. Otherwise we might all be good Aussie lads settled down to a comfortable life around NSW where the rest of them stayed. I would love my grandchildren to be here to see everything with me.”

This is a first visit to the Goldfields though. “Yes, I’m looking forward to prospecting for gold. What are the chances?” He joked.

Chris Jagger’s career has encompassed a variety of creative pursuits including acting, journalism and clothes design, as well as, inevitably really, music.

He appeared in repertory at Glasgow’s Citizen’s Theatre with Pierce Brosnan, Nottingham Playhouse and London’s ICA as well as on TV and in movies. Jagger’s writing has appeared in a number of British national newspapers as well as Rolling Stone magazine.

He also wrote and presented a three-part series about Alexis Korner, the pioneering British blues musician, for BBC Radio.

Jagger’s own musical career has been a bit stop-start though.

“I reckon I’ve written and recorded over 100 tunes down the years and that’s with a 19-year break between making records.”

He first recorded during the 1970s with David Geffen in Los Angeles. After a long break, he worked with his brother Mick on the Rolling Stones’ 1980s albums Dirty Work and Steel Wheels.

Jagger junior then focused on his own material, resulting in the critically acclaimed Atcha! – blending his own distinctive song writing with Cajun elements.

Playing his Bendigo gigs solo sounds as though it might be something of a liberating experience. “Last night I began with Snow on The Mountain, which I wrote in Scotland. Fact is when you play solo you can just go ahead and play whatever. As long as you can remember the words!”

Chris Jagger’s three shows are:
At the Handle Bar, today, Friday, March, 24 from 6pm. On the Blues Tram, tomorrow at 2pm Saturday with Bill Barber. Tickets from Bendigo Visitor Centre on 1800 813 513. At the Rifle Brigade Hotel, tomorrow from 6pm with supports Midweek Blues and Steve Davis.