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Interview: TODD HUNTER (Dragon)

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“It’s not anchored to any particular place or time,” is Todd Hunter’s explanation for why Dragon’s song ‘April Sun in Cuba’ is still popular 40 years after being released.

 I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dragon’s bass player, Todd Hunter about celebrating ‘April Sun in Cuba’ and the Australian songs that TV show Countdown helped make successful.

‘April Sun in Cuba’ will be celebrated in three shows, the first being on April 6th at the Basement in Sydney before the band visit Victoria with a show at Chelsea Heights on April 21st and at Bendigo on April 22nd. The Oz Chartbusters Tour also starts in April with gigs booked right through to November.

In 2016 Dragon toured across Australia singing songs from Countdown as well as their own hits. The tour was well received, so much so that the band received floods of requests to play at different venues across the nation. The 2017 shows will be a two hour celebration of Australian music, played in two sets. “The first set is songs we love from Countdown.”

The idea sprung from the pre-gig preparation. “When we were sitting around backstage waiting to go on singing different harmonies, we thought why not take these songs out front and do it there,” Todd explained. “It’s amazing how well it works. After a couple of beats of a song the whole crowd is going whaaattt! It’s a celebration of songs.”

Choosing which songs to play wasn’t difficult, the band members simply threw ideas out there and the songs everyone liked got chosen. I asked if any songs Todd suggested got rejected. He responded with a cheeky laugh and “no”.

Dragon are encouraging fans to suggest their favourite songs for possible inclusion by logging on to facebook.com/dragonmusic and sending a request. As long as the band like the song and it’s not too complicated to learn they will play it, after all it is all about celebrating music and the songs we all love to hear.

This iconic, Australian band have discovered that some songs by their peers are more complicated to play than the listening ear may have you believe.

“‘Summer Love’ by Sherbet is a terribly sophisticated structure that you wouldn’t know by just listening to it. They keep swapping to different parts, it’s brilliant,” Todd told me.

“‘Help Is On Its Way’ is the most difficult but the one I like playing the most is ‘Counting The Beat’ by the Swingers. It’s totally brilliant and huge fun to play.”

The Countdown Oz Chartbuster tour will take the band to venues they have not played before. When I asked Todd if there is anywhere in particular he is especially looking forward to playing he said he doesn’t care where they play as long as they are playing. “Playing out front is fun. It’s always different, the crowd always brings something to it. It’s amazing.”

The one different thing Todd is hoping someone will bring to the ‘April Sun in Cuba’ shows is a birthday cake! “I hope we get cake!” he said.

After all, as Todd explained about these shows, “It’s a party,” and as we all know, what’s a party without a cake!


by Suzanne Bunker
Copyright © Suzanne Bunker 2017.  All rights reserved

Click here for all Dragon tour dates and further information

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