Tribute band, Never Ending 80s return to the stage with shows in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast February 2021.
There's a security guard in Perth who knows how obsessed Jason Crewes is with the '80s.
"I was walking to the door to put a friend's name down [on the door list]. As I was walking up, security for my ticket.
"I told them I was in the band, and they said, 'Of course you are. Great costume!' I wasn't wearing a costume; I was wearing my street clothes, but apparently I just dress '80s even when I'm not doing the show," Jason laughs.
On stage, Jason becomes J.C. Hollywood, lead vocalist of the neon-coated nostalgic extravaganza Never Ending 80s, playing the best music the decade has to offer.
The band has toured Australia-wide since 2015, but after a break forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the band is ready to play live again for their Greatest Hits Tour.
For Jason, nothing can beat the '80s. "Everything was better," he says. "The movies were amazing, the music coming out was insane, the cartoons were incredible, and the toys were amazing.
"You had these people who were innovating. [Guitarist Adz Arcardium] and I were talking about keytars and the sounds are there at the push of a button, and it feels like cheating because you've got guys like Jean-Michel Jarre who's got massive computers on stage because he was building all of these sounds from scratch.
"People are still innovating in that way, but it's so easy now not to because we've come so far."
One of the defining '80s figures for Jason is English pop star Adam Ant, so much so Jason often wears Ant's trademark white line across the middle of his face.
"'Prince Charming' was the first album I ever owned, and I think it ended up being instrumental in my musical tastes," he says.
"A few times I've started playing 'Prince Charming' and nobody knows it. It's so weird! At the end of every show people would come up to me and say, 'You didn't play Adam Ant!'," he laughs.
The band cover a lot of the '80s charts, from Bon Jovi's 'Livin' On A Prayer' to Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar On Me', but Jason has a particular fondness for the forgotten hits. "There are a few songs that I've been throwing out that didn't really get a look in.
"For example, 'In A Big Country' by Big Country, which I think is a great song. What we try to do with the show is we put stuff in that you'll find familiar, but is not so tired that you don't want to hear it.
"In the show's encore, I go off on a tangent and sing songs that aren't super known, but that's usually a lot of fun because you'll find one person throw their arms up in the air and say what a great song it is."
From obscure hits to the best-selling Christmas toys, Jason has a genuine love for the era, and he encourages fans to immerse themselves in the time through the show's best dressed competition.
Past shows have seen people dressed as Teen Wolves and Marty McFly from 'Back To The Future', and Jason hopes fans summon their '80s spirits and go crazy. "It was an era of indulgence, and the people weren't scared of being flamboyant," he says.
"To go back to Adam Ant, 'ridicule is nothing to be scared of'. That's my motto, at least."
Never Ending 80s 2021 Tour Dates
Fri 12 Feb - SS&A (Albury) Sat 13 Feb - SS&A (Albury) Fri 19 Feb - Mansfield Entertainment Centre (Brisbane) Sat 20 Feb - NightQuarter (Sunshine Coast) Fri 5 Mar - The Gov (Adelaide) Sat 6 Mar - The Gov (Adelaide) Sun 7 Mar - The Gov (Adelaide) Sat 2 May - Miami Marketta (Gold Coast) Fri 4 Jun - Pier Bandroom (Melbourne) Sat 5 Jun - York on Lilydale (Melbourne)