Home Archives DRAGON announce The Countdown Years National Tour in 2016

DRAGON announce The Countdown Years National Tour in 2016

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Iconic rockers Dragon are hitting the road in 2016 to celebrate an Australian institution, Countdown. The Countdown Years national tour will celebrate the hits of the 1970s and take the band, who recently celebrated 40 years on the Australian and New Zealand music scenes, on an extensive run around the country. Well revered for their enigmatic live shows, this is an exceptional opportunity for audiences to revel in the best music of the 1970s as Dragon take them on a journey through hit after hit.

Countdown was one of the most popular music programs in Australia’s history and 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of Dragon’s first performance on the show. With this in mind, it seemed like the perfect idea to celebrate this special moment that helped catapult the band into the everyday consciousness of music fans nationally. It was September 1975 when the band made their debut on the show with the song Star Kissed. This was the first of many performances over the next 13 years.

For founding member and bassist Todd Hunter, the thought of performing some of the songs that helped break so many new bands during the Countdown era was an opportunity he and the band just couldn’t turn down. “This show is for anyone who watched Countdown when it was on TV, which was around three million people in its heyday, so one-fifth of the population of Australia at the time,” he says. “Countdown had a huge impact on the music scene. Every weekend it got Aussie bands in front of a huge audience. For a long-time Countdown WAS Australian music.”

It is widely recognised within the band that Countdown was responsible for the rise of Dragon in the late 1970s. Late lead singer Marc Hunter was interviewed by host Molly Meldrum numerous times and the band not only appeared on the show to perform their current singles, but also some obscure tracks as well. During the early years of the show, Dragon members would dress up in ridiculous outfits and dye their hair in outrageous colours in a bid to stand out from the crowds of bands who were around on the scene at the time. They had a warm, but complicated, relationship with Molly. He liked the band’s catchy pop songs and raffish charisma, but often had a stern word for them on Humdrum after they had acted in a particularly disgraceful fashion.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dragon dominated the Australian music scene. Their live shows were unsurpassed and their notorious rock n roll outlaw lifestyle was well documented. Ever since then, they’ve continued to release hits, pack live music houses and create generations of new fans throughout New Zealand and Australia. In 1977, Dragon won Best New Group and in 1978 won the Outstanding Local Achievement award for the then Australian music awards TV Week King of Pop Awards. In July 2008, Dragon were again recognised by their adoptive country when they were inducted into the Australian ARIA Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Todd remembers every Countdown performance fondly. “The early performances on Countdown were probably the most exciting,” he says. “We couldn’t believe that we were being allowed on TV. Then we very quickly got acclimatised to it and it became second nature to mime playing your instrument and sing live to a studio full of screaming teens. It was fascinating watching the overseas bands and great meeting the Aussie bands that we were on with. I think my favourite memory of Countdown was when Billy Idol was on the same show as us and he spent an hour in our dressing room singing traditional Maori folk songs with Marc and Paul. I have no idea how he knew the words to them all.”

Dragon will perform two sets on The Countdown Years tour. The first set will be covers of the band’s favourite Top 10 Aussie hits from the 1970s, and the second set – ‘The Dragon Countdown Files’  – will feature the band’s own songs which were performed on Countdown. Just some of the songs in the band’s Top 10 are set to include tracks such as Summer Love by Sherbet, Bad Boy by Rose Tattoo and Yesterday’s Hero by JPY, to name a few. Dragon hits that have made it into the setlist include Still In Love, Dreams of Ordinary Men, April Sun in Cuba, Rain and Young Years. The evening will finish off in fitting style with an encore of the band’s own Are You Old Enough and a homage to the era, a cover of Skyhooks Living In The 70s.

The entire band – which now comprises of Todd Hunter (bass), fellow Kiwi Mark Williams (lead vocals / acoustic guitar), Bruce Reid (electric guitar / vocals) and Pete Drummond (drums / vocals / keyboards) – can’t wait to get the party out on the road. “We are very much looking forward to playing these songs live,” says Todd. “Doing shows like this keep the band fresh. It is very interesting to pull other people’s songs apart, see what made them great and then re-interpret them. The other thing I’m looking forward to is hearing crowds singing these songs. Dragon crowds always sing their hearts out and I can’t wait to hear them sing these great songs that are part of all our lives.”

Check out some of this footage that inspired Dragon to put together The Countdown Years tour:-  Dragon’s debut performance on Countdown performing Star Kissed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI2_erYRiDk | Marc Hunter being interviews on Countdown in the 1980s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKU-IRWnF30

Friday 4th March 2016

Goulburn Workers Club, GOULBURN NSW

(02) 4821 3355 | www.goulburnworkers.com.au

Saturday 5th March 2016

Mingara Recreation Club, MINGARA NSW

(02) 4349 7888 | www.mingara.com.au

Thursday 10th March 2016

Caloundra Power Boat Club, CALOUNDRA QLD

(07) 5492 1444 | www.caloundrapowerboat.com.au

Friday 11th March 2016

Kedron Wavell Services Club, BRISBANE NORTH QLD

(07) 3359 9122 | www.kedron-wavell.com.au

Saturday 12th March 2016


1800 014 014 | www.twintowns.com.au

Friday 18th March 2016


(02) 9349 7555 | www.juniors.com.au

Saturday 19th March 2016

Revesby Workers Club, REVESBY NSW

(02) 9772 2100 | www.revesbyworkers.com | www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 8th April 2016

Terrey Hills Tavern, TERREY HILLS NSW

(02) 9486 3343 | www.terreyhillstavern.com.au

Saturday 9th April 2016


(02) 8868 9200 | www.wentyleagues.com.au

Saturday 16th April 2016


(02) 9822 3566 | www.mounties.com.au

Friday 22nd April 2016

Caves Beach Hotel, CAVES BEACH NSW

(02) 4980 9999 | www.cavesbeachsidehotel.com.au

Saturday 23rd April 2016

Bradford Hotel, RUTHERFORD NSW


Saturday 18th June 2016

Young Services Club, YOUNG NSW

(02) 6382 4565 | www.youngservicesclub.com.au

Friday 24th June 2016

Milton Theatre, MILTON NSW

(02) 4455 3056 | www.miltontheatre.com.au

Tickets for Dragon’s The Countdown Years are on sale now. For more information, please visit www.dragononline.com.au

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