The Sunnyboys are back in Newcastle! A string of shows this year have seen the band celebrate lead singer, Jeremy Oxley’s recovery from mental illness and the boys hope this show at Newcastle Panthers on October 10 will make up for a gig in the same room that they cancelled at the last minute many years ago.
Dan Beazley had the opportunity to chat with Sunnyboy’s guitarist Peter Oxley about their Newcastle show, what it’s like to be back on the road and what actually happened on the night they canned a show at ‘the workies’ all those years ago.
There’s been such a buzz about this tour since it was first announced. So I thought I’d start our chat by asking Peter why he thought The Sunnyboy’s music still resonated for so many all these years later.
“I think there was something special about Australian music around that time. The 80’s produced so many great bands. We had lots of fans, but were only really on the road for 2 and a half years before we pulled up stumps. There’s seems to be a longevity there. Jeremy’s lyrics are still relevant and the music does’t sound like a classic 80’s band” Peter says.
As for the hype about the tour, Peter thinks there’s a good chance a lot of fans didn’t get the chance to see them play back in the day.
“People in their late 30’s and 40’s who were into our music but didn’t get to see us play were pretty excited about the announcement. And possibly their children who’ve gone through Mum and Dad’s record collection and have become fans and are keen for the shows too”.
I asked Peter what has been the most enjoyable thing about the tour they did in March and then this new run of shows.
“We did seven shows through March this year, and sold out the Enmore theatre (in Sydney), that was a highlight. It was quite incurable to see and hear people singing all the songs and for Jeremy to really enjoy it. It was cathartic for us as we never thought we’d play again. The shows are basically a celebration of the fact that we CAN play again. We’re all playing well, it’s not forced and the audience are loving it”.
The conversation leads Peter to recall another time the band were billed to play the Newcastle Workers Club (as it was known then) and it didn’t go quite to plan.
“We were on our way to play this show at Newcastle Workers. We’re heading down the highway and there’s this traffic jam. The road was blocked and back in those days there was no other way to get through. We made the call and told them we just couldn’t make it”.
Supporting the band at Newcastle Panthers (as it’s now know) this time around are local band New Christ’s. Peter tells me there is a strong connection between the Sunnyboys and New Christs.
“When we first put the Sunnyboys together Rob Younger (the lead singer of New Christs) was actually our lead singer. Jeremy was writing all the songs, and would sing the melodies to Rob. One day Rob said we didn’t need him because Jeremy was a great singer anyway. We’ve reminded great friends and are happy to have them on the bill”.
The Sunnyboys play Newcastle Panthers on October 10. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from their website.