Remembering hits of all our young years
IF THERE'S one thing after 40 years on the road that legendary Kiwi band Dragon knows, it's how to party.
Not so much as they did back in the 1970s when their notorious rock'n'roll antics were well documented, but more in the good ol' fashioned, boot-stomping, sing-along way their set demands of audiences today.
Headed by original band member Todd Hunter - who, along with his late brother and frontman Marc Hunter, led the band to fame in the '70s and '80s with hits like April Sun in Cuba, Young Years and Rain - Dragon is touring like there's no tomorrow on round two of their Countdown tour.
"The tour has been going really well. It has been a lot of fun,” Todd Hunter told the Daily News this week.
"We are coming to the end of the run now. We did a few shows last year and there was a huge reaction to it - there were so many requests coming, we just said to the agent 'say yes to everything'. It is great, it is the best thing to play, it is so good.”
The recipe for fun is simple: the first set is comprised of a selection of old favourite hits from the Countdown years - the TV show that made bands like Dragon and Split Endz household names - backed by a second set comprised of Dragon's own hits.
"The crowds just go nuts. It's ridiculous, because there is so much affection for the songs,” Hunter said.
"We were caught quite by surprise. We just did it for a bit of laugh and thought it would be good to do but it has ended up being huge.”
And the reason for the success?
"It's less nostalgia, rather that the songs are imprinted on everybody's brains,” he said.
"It's only when you hit the first chords of Will I Ever See Your Face Again? and the whole crowd just roars. It is ridiculous and lots of fun. Then we have a bit of a break and a lie down and a cup of tea and then we come back and do all the Dragon songs. It's great fun.”
"The big reward for us is just being able to play. Every weekeend we meet at the airport and go somewhere different, it's great.”
Reforming in 2006 after an eight-year hiatus following Marc's death from cancer, Dragon is now comprised of Todd Hunter, Mark Williams, Bruce Reid and Pete Drummond - all accomplished musicians in their own right.
"We have worked on those songs and backwards engineered them,” Todd said. "It is not like doing the same thing again ever.
"We have a built-in thing against that: as soon as it gets boring or we're sick of it, we'll just stop.
"We are always looking forward, there is so much stuff happening coming up all the time - we are booked practically every weekend until next March.”
What: Countdown Oz Chartbusters & The Best Of Dragon
When: Saturday, December 30
Where: Lone Star Tavern, Mermaid Beach