LIVE REVIEW: Sunnyboys @ Factory Theatre, Sydney (08/10/14)

photo by Catherine Croll
photo by Catherine Croll

Sunnyboys have been on a musical and emotional roller coaster over the last few years since they reformed for the Dig It Up Festival in 2012, the film on Jeremy Oxley and subsequent touring. Now they’ve scaled it back, eschewing extra musicians and venues like the Opera House for a show that focused firmly on the music.

Carrie Phillis & The Downtown Three warmed up the arriving audience with a strong set of soulful power-pop that was big on energy and sass without losing sight of catchy hooks. Phillis in particular was a ball of charisma, shimmying and shaking her way through the songs while delivering both sweet melodies and rock n roll screams with a smile and a snarl.

Sunnyboys have always had that juxtaposition between light and dark, sunshine and gloom and their performance during Mental Health Week highlighted that unique contrast. With the audience in full celebratory mood and the band seemingly equally relaxed the emotional shadows in Jeremy Oxley’s lyrics are clearer than ever. Sunnyboys’ music may be a bookmark of nostalgia for many in the room but it still sounds visceral, primal and intelligent. Richard Burgman’s rhythm and lead playing was energetic while the rhythm section was both solid and fluid. Jeremy Oxley’s guitar was high in the mix, its combination of nervy, wired tension with treble that sliced through through the room during his solos and chiming Byrdsian chords. The songs hardly need mentioning, all the required highlights were present from ‘Show Me Some Discipline’ to ‘The Seeker’, ‘Tunnel of Love’, ‘Happy Man’ and ‘Alone With You’.

Ultimately this show was about the songs and the audience and band’s connection to them. That communal feeling generated in a room full of passionate fans and a band now unshackled from expectation, relaxed and in control of their legacy. Sunnyboys were just a band brilliantly kicking out the jams and most likely that’s all they want to be.

Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music (Oct ’14)

LIVE REVIEW: Sunnyboys @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney (29.03.14)

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The Frowning Clouds played an opening set that would surely have won them a barrel of new fans with a sound rooted in 60s beat and garage rock. They’re only a young band with one album under their belt yet their air of self-assurance and equally self-deprecating nonchalance perfectly suited their melody-rich guitar pop. They were a near-perfect package both visually and sonically with the primitive and catchy hooks of ‘Shoe Suede Blues’ a particular highlight.

The Stems were contemporaries of Sunnyboys at their peak in the early ‘80s, making them a perfect act on the bill and no doubt evoking strong memories for many of the 40+ vintage crowd. They’re still a mighty strong band live with the added guitar work of Ash Naylor (Even). The riffs were both tough and shimmering as required with favourites like ‘Sad Girl’ and especially the chorused jangle of ‘At First Sight’ causing swaying and dancing throughout the theatre.

Sunnyboys entrance was prefaced by a short montage film of the band in the ‘80s and it was a wonderful introduction, creating emotion and context for the current reformation. Things got off to a shaky start with ‘As I Walk, probably due to the song being one of their lesser popular tracks and early nerves making their playing tentative. As soon as they segued into ‘Love To Rule’ they quickly hit their groove and went on to sustain it for over ninety minutes with single after single drawing cheers, raised arms and possibly tears for a few fans bathing in the musical memories of their formative years. The whole band was rock solid and reveling in the music as they surged through ‘Happy Man’, ‘What You Need’, ‘Let You Go’, ‘You Need A Friend’, ‘Show Me Some Discipline’, ‘Alone With You and more. Guitarist Richard Burgman was a kid in a candy store, bouncing and grinning throughout while Jeremy Oxley was cheeky, his playing full of spark and vigour. This was a triumphant night built partly on nostalgia but overwhelmingly on clever and emotionally-connective guitar pop songs.

Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music

NEW RELEASE: Sunnyboys debut to be reissued

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NEW RELEASE: On March 14th a Deluxe Edition CD and digital version of Sunnyboys’ debut album will be released.

The album has been remastered and includes 24 bonus tracks – the entire album sessions, including later b-sides Stop & Think, Guts Of Iron & Physical Jerk. Also included for the first time on CD and download are the live tracks Thrill and Why Do I Cry? The later a cover of legendary sixties group The Remains and both previously only available on the cassingle release (an Australian first) of the Happy Man single. Also included is the 17 song demo session recorded at Studios 301 in January 1981.

TOUR DATES:

March 14th: Byron Bay, The Northern + The V-Rays.
Tickets $55.00 + bf on sale from thenorthern.oztix.com.au, phone 6685 6454 or in person at all Oztix outlets.

March 15th: Byron Bay, The Northern + The Windy Hills. 
*SOLD OUT*

March 21st: Melbourne, The Forum + Ron S.Peno & The Superstitions. *SOLD OUT*

March 22nd: Melbourne, The Forum special guests Huxton Creepers
Tickets $70.95 (inc service fee, credit card fees may apply) from ticketmaster.com.au, phone 1300 111 011 or in person at all Ticketmaster outlets.

March 23rd: Adelaide, The Gov. special guests The Frowning Clouds
Tickets $60.00 + bf from thegov.com.au, phone 8340 0744 or in person at all Oztix outlets

March 28th: Brisbane, The Tivoli + special guests The Stems. *SOLD OUT*

March 29th: Sydney, Enmore Theatre + special guests The Stems plus The Frowning Clouds & Dig It Up! dj’s. *SOLD OUT*

NEWS: The line-up for Meredith Music Festival 2012

The first list of acts performing at this year’s Meredith Music Festival in Victoria has been announced and as usual it looks to be a great mix of electronic, psychedelia, rock and hip hop. Check out our Rdio playlist featuring bands appearing at the event that takes place from December 7-9th.

There is a ballot happening so if you want to increase your chance of being allocated a ticket you need to head to www.mmf.com.au before 10pm Tuesday 21 August. Round One has been drawn and results hit inboxes Wednesday 15 August. Round Two results out Thursday 23 August.

 

WATCH: Dig It Up! sets from Sunnyboys, Died Pretty, Red Kross and more…

The Dig It Up! festival held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth earlier this year was a huge success both critically and in terms of the vibe and attendance. The festival was curated by Hoodoo Gurus to commemorate their 30th anniversary and featured the likes of The Sonics, The Fleshtones, Sunnyboys, Red Kross, Royal Headache and Died Pretty. Now you can relive or experience for the first time some of the sets from the show courtesy of Moshcam.

FULL SETS

Hoodoo Gurus

Sunnyboys

The Sonics

Red Kross

Died Pretty

Hard Ons

The Fleshtones

Tek & Younger