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Filling a rock icon's shoes

Young guitarist steps in for Screaming Jets' Izzy at Not too Old to Dance concert

It's the stuff dreams are made of.

A big name rocker can’t make a show, and you’re asked to take his place and perform to thousands of screaming fans alongside some of the country’s most iconic rock legends.

For 23-year-old Cristi Jimmieson it's a dream that came true, when he was asked to take the place of former Screaming Jets guitarist Izzy Osmanovic and perform with the Souper Group - comprising Kevin Borich, Mark Gable, John 'Swanee' Swan, Harry Brus and Mick O'Shea - at a concert in Townsville last night (21 September, 2013).

Mr Jimmieson, who was set to play at the Not too Old to Dance concert with his local band Godfathers of Funk was asked to take Izzy's place in the Souper Group after the lead guitarist missed his flight from Newcastle just hours before he was due to take the stage.

According to Mr Jimmieson the priceless opportunity was a case of him being in the right place at the right time.

"I was standing with the event promoter [Margie Ryder] when Kevin Borich broke the news that Izzy missed his flight and she started talking me up as the hot young guitarist in their opening act. Kevin was onboard and before I knew it I was a temporary member of the Souper Group," said Jimmieson.

Not being familiar with the collected works of every member of the Souper Group, Jimmieson was forced to come up to speed quickly before the show.

"Truth be told, there was a lot of furious Googling the guitar tabs of the songs I didn't know, but it turned out very well in the end.

"It was definitely daunting to be in the midst of the150-odd years' combined experience of these legends of the Australian music scene. When I first went out I was a little bit shy, then Mark Gable came over and cranked my amp up, so that was a real experience in itself," Jimmieson said.

"After the show they all shook my hand and said I did well; it was amazing to get some constructive feedback from people I've looked up to for many years.

"I'll probably wake up in the morning and think I was dreaming."