Dragon are a band who have never shied away from their history, instead they mark their experiences and milestones by celebrating them with audiences far and wide. In September Dragon are revisiting a part of their musical history that made them the band they are today – and kicking off a special acoustic tour throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Sunshine to Rain Live tour will play select venues along the East Coast, as well as 10 shows in churches and cathedrals throughout New Zealand, all in a special acoustic mode.
With a pile of hits to their name, all of which are ‘big’ songs, it’s not often that a band decides to pull it all back and perform acoustically. However, if it wasn’t for giving Dragon’s hits the acoustic treatment, the current line-up of the band may never have come to fruition. When Todd Hunter reformed Dragon in 2006, the band was largely an acoustic proposition. They played unplugged as a way of finding their own voice in the vast back catalogue of Dragon hits. They recorded Sunshine to Rain that same year, an acoustic album released through Liberation and toured this way for a couple of years – finding their feet back in the Australian music scene (and into the hearts of the music loving public).
The band’s line-up - Todd Hunter (bass), Mark Williams (lead vocals / acoustic guitar), Pete Drummond (drums) and Bruce Reid (electric guitar) – soon found it necessary to step into a full band sound. In fact, it’s well documented that they had to pick up their electric instruments and start playing loud so that they could be heard above the singing of the crowds at their gigs. Since then they’ve played more than 500 shows together and the wheel has turned full circle. Dragon are now ready to head back on the road in acoustic mode for a special series of shows.
“Playing our songs acoustically is an excuse to revisit these songs with a different musical mindset,” says Todd Hunter. “It’s not about whipping up the crowd so much as it is about the interplay between instruments and giving the harmonies a chance to breathe. It means we can play songs like Show Danny Across the Water, Smoke and Same Old Blues – songs that there just isn’t room for in the rock set. There will still be singing but I suspect it will be more choir-like than the rugby grand final vibe we normally go for.”
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dragon dominated the Australian music scene. Their live shows were unsurpassed and their notorious rock ’n’ roll lifestyle was well documented. Ever since then, they’ve continued to release hits, pack live music houses and earn many new fans throughout New Zealand and Australia. In 1977, Dragon won Best New Group and in 1978 won the Outstanding Local Achievement award for the then Australian music awards TV Week King of Pop Awards. In July 2008, Dragon were again recognised by their adoptive country when they were inducted into the Australian ARIA Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. There are few bands whose music is as pertinent today as it was four decades ago, but legendary rock n roll warriors Dragon can claim this virtue. With an infectious raft of hits such as April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough, Still in Love with You, Rain, Young Years and Dreams of Ordinary Men, plus many more, Dragon have cemented themselves into the Australian psyche.
The band will bring with them a collection of acoustic instruments for this tour, from mandolins and guitar-leles to Bruce Reid’s BanSitar (which is a cross between a banjo and a sitar). Dragon fans are in for a treat with the Sunshine to Rain Live show – this is a very special night of acoustic Dragon music – an opportunity not to be missed.
Thursday 26th September 2013
Lizottes, DEE WHY NSW
Friday 27th September 2013
Lizottes, NEWCASTLE NSW
Saturday 28th September 2013
Lizottes, KINCUMBER NSW
Friday 11th October 2013
The Vanguard, SYDNEY NSW
Saturday 12th October 2013
The Brass Monkey, CRONULLA NSW
For more information, please visit www.dragononline.com.au