SUNNY SIDE UP: Tweed's favourite sons the Sunnyboys are back on the road in 2017.
SUNNY SIDE UP: Tweed's favourite sons the Sunnyboys are back on the road in 2017. Kaye Harrison

Sunny days ahead for cult 1980's rockers

TWEED'S favourite sons The Sunnyboys are ready to tour again in 2017 following a 2012 return after a 28-year hiatus.

In April of 2012, the original line-up of Kingscliff brothers Peter and Jeremy Oxley and school friend Bil Bilson reformed under the name of Kids In Dust for the Dig It Up concert series with the Hoodoo Gurus at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney.

Peter said Kids In Dust was a name the group used in the 1980s for a quiet show or to play new material, which seemed appropriate again after such a long hiatus.

"We hoped we were going to be the goods but until we played that first show we didn't know whether we'd ever be playing again,” he said.

"I was going 'oh man', as we didn't know what the feeling was for the band. We didn't have any idea if there was an audience that still wanted to hear our songs, but we found out there was.”

As sure as the sun rises in the morning, the mark The Sunnyboys made on Australia's music scene in their four-year stint in the early 1980s will always remain.

It's been 35 long years since the group, released their debut album Sunnyboys, with its blend of hi-energy, pop hooks and brooding wordplay enrapturing teenagers of the time and generations to come.

There were brief returns like a one-off reformation in 1998 for a gig at the MCG to celebrate Mushroom Records' 25th anniversary, but more wasn't possible due to lead singer and guitarist Jeremy's ongoing battle with schizophrenia, which he was diagnosed with in 1984.

"Because of Jeremy's illness we never thought it (reforming) would be possible again,” Peter said.

"We'd just let it be as Jeremy was very unwell and we knew it just wouldn't work. It wasn't a wise decision to pursue it but it was always on our mind.

"It was during the making of the documentary (The SunnyBoy), that we were talking about it as the band was being talked about.

"It was essentially just Jeremy and I doing a low-key thing and I spoke to him about it and he said let's do the whole thing. I said 'what Sunnyboys?' and he said 'yeah electric'.

"The first time we plugged back in was scary. We played the first song and thought 'wow, we've still got it'. It was a good feeling.”

The group have gone on to play two A Day on the Green events and will play Gold Coast's Nightquarter in their only Queensland show on February 3.

While the group continues to tread carefully, their re-emergence continues to draw audiences.

"We're careful about the shows we play and we don't play too often. We want the shows to be special,” Peter said.

"Jeremy is enjoying playing and the shows are really good. We have more of swagger, and we're older, more confident.

"Our audiences are bringing their 20-year-old kids to see us, that's great as they're into our music and generation.”

The Sunnyboys




Friday, February 3


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