Australian rockers Sunnyboys ensured their iconic status during their brief first run in the '80s.
Since reuniting in 2012, 28 years after disbanding, Sunnyboys have lasted longer than their original incarnation and proven unmissable.
On the first stop of their latest tour at The Tivoli Theatre (25 January) in Brisbane, the venue was packed with fans ready for a hit of magic.
Sydney punks Celibate Rifles opened with a blistering set. Singer and former Brisbane resident Damien Lovelock sneered his way through songs and banter, asking “Does Greenslopes still suck?” before dedicating their song ‘Netherworld’ to the suburb.
Guitarist Kent Steedman thrashed barefoot across the stage, making his instrument hiss like an alley cat on an explosive cover of The Stooges’ ‘1969’.Click here to view photos from Celibate Rifles' Sunshine Coast show at The Shed 27 January, 2018.
Sunnnyboys arrived to the jangling of The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’, a humorous choice for its non-subtlety.
Hunched over his guitar, frontman Jeremy Oxley played the opening lick of ‘What You Need’, his bandmates snapping in without missing a beat.
Akubra-sporting guitarist Richard Burgman and bassist Peter Oxley hyped up the crowd during Bil Bilson’s drum break, with Richard joining Jeremy for a dual guitar solo. The band has become a tighter unit in their resurgence, adding forcefulness to tunes like the heavy-riffing ‘Show Me Some Discipline’.
It wasn’t until ‘Tunnel Of Love’ I noticed troubling lyrics underneath their jangling guitars. Jeremy’s health struggles were revealed in the documentary ‘The Sunnyboy’, but it was only then I truly heard the cries for help present the whole time.
While pain and loneliness could be heard in the lyrics to ‘Trouble In My Brain’ and ‘My Only Friend’, Jeremy beamed throughout. “He’s pretty good, isn’t he?’ said Richard, pointing to a bashful Jeremy while he effortlessly shredded the solo in ‘I Need A Friend’. Applause showed fans agreed.
There was only one guess what Sunnyboys would finish their encore with. The jangled opening notes to their classic ‘Alone With You’ sent shockwaves through the crowd. Not only did fans sing every lyric, but they also sung along with each of Jeremy’s solos, surely a sign of the song’s legendary status.
It would’ve been a perfect end, but the band had other ideas closing with ‘The Seeker’. As Jeremy began to keel over during Richard’s solo, a nurse ran out, placing a cape over Jeremy and leading him off. Just like James Brown, Jeremy threw off the cape for one last chorus.
After so many years of pain, it’s great to see Sunnyboys having so much fun with fans and each other.