The Sunnyboys’ 40th was One Hell of a party.
From the time I turned up at the Miami Marketta, you could feel it was a party. Old friends and good times were on the menu. If you have Kingscliff Punk Rock Royalty at the gig you know it will be on. So many friends there it took almost an hour to get to the front of the stage, to see the support act, Melbourne rockers, Rocket Science really shake things up.
They are all such accomplished players of their instruments, and the sound is powerful rock and roll combined with electronic grooves; you have just got to move, dance and rock out at the same time. Lead singer and keyboard player Roman Tucker is a great frontman, and when using his electronic vintage keyboard and contraptions, including the theremin, he looks like a mad scientist crossed with Nick Cave. The rhythm section is fantastic, grooving and driving the whole sound, Dave Gray is like a second lead guitarist on bass, Kit Warhurst thumping will and solid and all over drums. Everyone was moving by the end of the set, and were a most impressive support act.
The parties pies and sausage rolls had been served, and it was time to get the party going on with the Sunnyboys, a 40-year celebration. I had heard from my friends on the Sunshine Coast that they were on fire, a little warm-up with ‘Love to Rule’, before dropping into the classic ‘Tunnel of My Love’ where the opened up the carbies and were firing on all 8 cylinders as they did back at the Playroom back in the 1980s.
They went back to one favourite after another, and the whole crowd was singing and joining in, everyone knew the words. Jeremy Oxley, the songwriter and voice of the Sunnyboys, was in some of the best form for years, his voice strong and playing the best since the heydays of the Playroom, Jet Club, and Bombay Rock. Richard Burgman, guitarist and the communicator was ripping through the tunes, his playing and rhythm as sharp as a tack. The glue that holds the Sunnboys together is the best rhythm section in rock and roll, Bill Bilson still solid as a rock and pumping out the beats, and Peter Oxley an artist of accuracy and groove on the bass. I can tell you that it all came together as a conglomerate, of rock and roll, love, groove, and singalong happiness.
The crowd was ecstatic, and you could tell the Sunnyboys were feeling the love as well. They were absolutely cooking! The set wrapped up with ‘I’m Shakin’, but there was no way they were getting away with just that. The full house at Marketta did not want to see them leave that soon. They came back for an encore, starting with the Beatles ‘Birthday’, followed by ‘Lovers’, and then wrapping it up with their classic ‘Alone with You’. Wow talk about a sing-along. But the crowd would still not let them go, so back the came and finished up with the Sunnyboys anthem, ‘The Seeker’. Wow if only there was more. A great night at a great venue, surrounded by beautiful people, friends, lovers, brothers, sisters all as one in the light of the Sunnyboys…. I can’t wait for the next time.
Images (C) Peter Wheeler Photography