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Interview: TODD HUNTER (DRAGON)

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One of our favourite bands, Dragon, is on the road again. Did I say ‘again’? Well, they never really stopped! And they never stop coming up with new ways to keep the music alive for audiences around the country. In 2016 and 2017, the guys brought us their Countdown show where they not only performed their own songs but the classic hits of other great Aussie bands from the Countdown era. Now they’re back doing it again but with a twist. This time, they are celebrating the songs of The UK 80s Chartbusters with music from such popular UK artists as Duran Duran, The Police, Billy Idol, Queen and much more.

“We’re trying to keep it interesting,” explains founding member and bass player, Todd Hunter, in our recent interview. “It’s a natural progression from the Aussie chart one and the fact is there are some great songs from that era and it just sort of gave us a way to focus in on it; songs like ‘Heroes’, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, ‘Karma Chameleon’, ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, ‘Take on Me’… all that stuff.”

The band has already played a few of these shows and they have been surprised by the obvious affection that the audience seems to have for all these songs. There has been a real revival of 80s music lately and while those of us who remember the 80s love to relive those days, Todd says that a large percentage of the crowd is actually much younger. “It’s great. Because of the internet now, music is more accessible. People know the songs rather than the bands so if they like the song, they like the song which is great.” But the show isn’t entirely about the UK hits. The band will be doing two sets. The first set is the UK songs and the second set, he says, “is all the Dragon stuff. And that seems to keep everyone happy.”

How difficult was it to choose which songs to include in the set?

“It was a process of elimination really,” Todd explains. “If anyone in the band objected to one song, we wouldn’t do it, so we ended up with a whole bunch of songs that everybody liked. I wanted to do ‘Making Plans for Nigel’ by XTC, but nobody else thought it would be a good idea so it didn’t happen. But it’s funny, with shows like this, you can’t just do the really big songs because then you’re like a cover band; but you can’t do really obscure ones either so it’s like a path through an era of songs that work very well. ‘Take on Me’ which Pete sings which is quite high, ‘I Ran’, and we finish with ‘White Wedding’ and ‘Rebel Yell’.”

While they are happy with the songs they have now, he points out that there will most likely be some changes to the set list as the show evolves. “It can be a bit of a challenge with ten songs,” Todd points out, “especially for Mark with all the lyrics that he has to keep in his head plus everything else that he’s doing.” But mixing it up every now and then, he admits keeps it interesting. “It’s not the same thing all the time.”

In between all the gigs, the guys have also been busy recording a new album.  “You can hear some songs from that if you go to the band’s Facebook page,” he tells me. “It’s called ‘Life is a Beautiful Mess’ and every week we release another song and put it up on the page.”

You can catch Dragon as they celebrate Countdown 80s UK Chartbusters at the following venues. Tickets are on sale now.

 

by Sharyn Hamey

Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2018.  All rights reserved

 

 

 

TOUR DATES

 

Friday 1st June 2018

Calamvale Hotel, CALAMVALE QLD

Cnr Compton & Beaudesert Roads, Calamvale QLD

www.standup.com.au/venue/calamvale-hotel | 07 3273 4777

 

Saturday 2nd June 2018

The Alexandra Hills Hotel, ALEXANDRA HILLS QLD

Cnr Finucane & McDonald Roads, Alexandra Hills QLD

www.standup.com.au/venue/alexandra-hills-hotel-0 | 07 3824 4444

 

Sunday 3rd June 2018

The Paddo Tavern, PADDINGTON QLD

186 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD

www.standup.com.au/venue/paddo-tavern | 07 3369 0044

 

Friday 8th June 2018

Rooty Hill RSL, ROOTY HILL NSW

55 Sherbrooke Street, Rooty Hill NSW

www.rootyhillrsl.com.au

 

Friday 29th June 2018

The Palms at Crown, MELBOURNE VIC

8 Whiteman Street, Southbank VIC

www.ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100

 

Saturday 30th June 2018

Heads Bowlo [Shoalhaven Heads Bowling & Recreation Club], SHOALHAVEN NSW

76 Shoalhaven Heads Road, Shoalhaven Heads NSW

www.shoalhavenheadsbowlingclub.com.au

 

Friday 6th July 2018

The Juniors, KINGSFORD NSW

558A Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW

www.thejuniors.com.au

 

Saturday 7th July 2018

Brass Monkey, CRONULLA NSW

115a Cronulla Street, Cronulla NSW

www.brassmonkey.com.au | 02 9544 3844

www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545

 

13th July 2018

Casino RSM, CASINO NSW

162 Canterbury Street, Casino NSW

www.casinorsm.com.au

 

Saturday 14th July 2018

Sawtell RSL, SAWTELL NSW

38-40 First Avenue, Sawtell NSW

www.sawtellrsl.com.au

 

Friday 20th July 2018

The Bridge Hotel, ROZELLE NSW

119 Victoria Road, Rozelle NSW

www.ticketek.com.au | 1300 795 012

www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 438 849

www.oztix.com.au

 

Saturday 21st July 2018

Castle Hill RSL, CASTLE HILL NSW

77 Castle Street, Castle Hill NSW

www.castlehillrsl.com.au

 

Saturday 28th July 2018

Wenty Leagues, WENTWORTHVILLE NSW

50 Smith Street, Wentworthville NSW

www.wentyleagues.com.au

 

Saturday 4th August 2018

Revesby Workers Club, REVESBY NSW

2B Brett Street, Revesby NSW

www.rwc.org.au

 

Friday 24th August 2018

Dubbo RSL, DUBBO NSW

Cnr Brisbane Street & Wingewarra Street, Dubbo NSW

www.dubborsl.com.au

 

Saturday 25th August 2018

Canterbury Leagues Club, CANTERBURY NSW

26 Bridge Road, Canterbury NSW

www.canterbury.com.au

 

Friday 31st August 2018

Dee Why RSL, DEE WHY NSW

932 Pittwater Street, Dee Why NSW

www.deewhyrsl.com.au

 

Saturday 1st September 2018

Hornsby RSL, HORNSBY NSW

4 High Street, Hornsby NSW

www.hornsbyrsl.com.au

 

Saturday 8th September 2018

The Oaks Hotel, ALBION PARK NSW

249 Princes Highway, Albion Park NSW

www.theoakshotel.com.au

 

Sunday 16th September 2018

Toronto Hotel [Beer Garden], TORONTO NSW

74 Victory Parade, Toronto NSW

www.torontohotel.com.au

 

Saturday 20th October 2018

Shoal Bay Country Club, SHOAL BAY NSW

35-45 Shoal Bay, Shoal Bay NSW

www.shoalbaycountryclub.com.au

 

Friday 2nd November 2018

Lizottes, NEWCASTLE NSW

31 Morehead Street, Lambton NSW

www.lizottes.com.au

 

Saturday 24th November 2018

Central Hotel, SHELLHARBOUR NSW

3 Memorial Drive, Shellharbour NSW

www.centralhotelshellharbour.com.au

 

For more information, please visit www.dragononline.com.au

Listen to songs from Dragon’s latest album, ‘Life is a Beautiful Mess’ on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/dragonmusic/

 

 

 

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