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About Gigs ‘n Interviews

In 2010 I began Gigs ‘n Interviews with the best intentions to showcase a diversity of music. I’m very humbled and honoured to say it’s seen as a platform for emerging artists as well a vehicle for big-named artists to get their voices heard through interviews. I often have a feature called Gigs ‘n Interviews’ Undiscovered Find showcasing promising artists/bands.

The feedback from artists/bands’ and entertainers’ agencies/management is always I’m “professional” yet “easy-going”. Deadlines are never an issue with me as I understand everyone may have other many interview commitments. to attend to.

My stand-out interviews would have to be Ed K from LIVE, the very funny Tim Smith, Ronan Keating, Adam Thompson (from Chocolate Starfish), Hollywood writer/producer/director Doug Hannah and Diesel.

All my interviews are conducted via e-mail.

If you would like to be featured on Gigs ‘n Interviews, you can get in touch with me by filling out this form:

Dragon’s Long Jeopardy

 

Dragon in 2012

Written by Jacqui James


I DOUBT THAT not many people know Dragon formed before Cold Chisel. I certainly didn’t, but with hits like April Sun In Cuba, Are You Old Enough?,April Sun In Cuba and Still In Love With You dominating the 70’s pub-life, Dragon have a certain place in Aussies’ hearts.

Following their success in the 70’s, Dragon found new fans with Rain, Young Years, Celebration and Dreams Of Ordinary Men in the 80’s.

However way before that, Todd and his younger brother Marc were influenced to play music by their Mum and Dad; playing in a band all together at performances. Todd was in a few bands before 1972 when with two of his friends from their previous band called Anteapot decided to form Dragon. Graeme Collins, the lead singer soon left the band saying he didn’t fit in.

Unfortunately drugs and alcohol played a vicious demon as Dragon lost their drummer Neil Storey in 1976. When Marc Hunter joined the band he had his own addictions, so Todd seriously completed breaking the band up indefinitely.

But as it goes, Dragon in 1977 had their breakthrough album called Sunshine which made them Australia’s number one band From then onwards (well not without more controversy with boozey and drugs antics from Marc) the band had major success in Australia.

Tragically Marc lost his seventeen month battle with throat cancer in July 1998. Understandably Todd didn’t know if they could or should continue with the band they had begun over thirty years ago. They did with Mark Williams as their lead singer in 2006.

The current line-up for Dragon have been wowing crowds at recent Day On The Green festivals and now doing gigs until August. (see tour dates below the interview)

I felt really honoured to chat with Todd and Mark. Thanks Todd to allow me to interview you two.
Without stating the obvious, Dragon were one of Australia’s best pub bands in the 70’s! Do you have a favourite pub (if you can remember {laughs})?

Probably the Bondi Lifesaver, it was a wild place. We used to live in the same Street and if a band didn’t turn up the bouncers would come and carry our equipment over and we would play

WOW! Dragon are celebrating their 40 years anniversary as a band this year (or next year?) Which achievements are you most proud of?

To be playing again is the best thing. It’s great to be playing to new generations of people.

When Mark sadly passed in 1998, how difficult was it to decide to find a new lead singer?

There was no band for ten years after Marc died. Then slowly it seemed like those songs should be played again.   In retrospect it was the right thing to do because when you get a few thousand people singing along it’s like Marc and Paul live on in their music.

You’ve been doing gigs around Australia, recently on the Day On The Green tour. I was at the Rochford Estate gig and you guys rocked! Why do you think you guys were the ones who got everyone up and singing?

{It’s} because they know the songs and because we are playing now with more energy than when we were twenty.

Mark, at the Rochford gig, you kept asking the crowd, “Are you pissed?” My question to you is did you in fact, did you get pissed?

No, I don’t drink… if I did I would have been dead long ago.

Which song is your favourite to perform?

Rain… It plays itsefl!

O Zambezi live is one of those tracks that transports your listeners to another continent. Was this your purpose for this song?

Yes, Robert had been reading about Africa and it made its way into the song.

What is Dragon doing currently (besides touring)?

We are recording a new EP at the moment. Expect the unexpected.

Is it difficult trying to preserve the Dragon fans loved in it the 70’s and 80’s, but still progress as a band?

No, the great thing about being in a band is that you have to please yourself. Only then is it possible to please other people.

Is there an ongoing friendly rift between Dragon and Chisel, since not many people know Dragon formed before Chisel?

No, no rivalry, both bands are very different propositions.  We have been playing the same shows as Ian and Jimmy and it’s always good to see them.

 

Thanks Jacqui, all the best.

Dragon’s Tour Dates:

Apr 2012 THE CRUSING YACHT CLUB – ROCKINGHAM – WA

Sat 21 Apr 2012 THE RED HILL – GERALDTON – WA

Sun 6 May 2012 DAY ON THE GREEN – SIRROMET WINERY – QL

Fri 11 May 2012 THE BRASS MONKEY

Sat 19 May 2012 PORT DOUGLAS FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

Fri 8 Jun 2012 LIZOTTES – KINCUMBER

Sun 10 Jun 2012 LIZOTTES – NEWCASTLE

Sun 10 Jun 2012 LIZOTTES – NEWCASTLE

Thu 5 Jul 2012 SUPER WELCOME FESTIVAL – TOWNSVILLE – QL

Sat 7 Jul 2012 BRONCOS BRIS

Iva Davies – A Man Of Talents

Written by Jacqui James

IVA DAVIES IS CURRENTLYcelebrating 30 years with Icehouse (briefly known as Flowers until 1981) who unexpectedly found themselves re-grouping this year after years of concentrating on his solo projects including composing ballets and the scores on movies including Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe.

Icehouse won so many awards including a highly honourable sixteen 16th “Mo Awards” (Australian Variety Artist Association) for “Best Male Performer”.

Fast forward to 2011, one night unexpected patrons who were queued outside Melbourne’s iconic Espy Hotel witnessed what would be Icehouse’s first gig in several years. With the gig getting high publicity and praise, their White Heat album was released. It has a massive thirty hits on it as well as a DVD spanning Icehouse’s career as one of Australia’s influential bands; featuring such chart-toppers like Walls, Hey, Little Girl, Great Southern Land, Crazy, Electric Blue, My Obsession and Man Of Colours.

In 2012 Icehouse are supporting Hall and Oates when they tour nationally and as it will turn out 2012 is the 30th Anniversary of Primitive Man and Great Southern Land plus the 25th for Man Of Colours.

(photo by  Scott Barbour)

As someone who had her first ten years in the eighties until ’87, it’s been a real honour to Iva about his solo projects, Icehouse’s comeback and what would the future holds for the band. So a massive thankyou to Iva for your time and a thankyou to Rebecca, the Senior Publicist at Six Degrees Creative.

You’ve recently played sold-out show at Espy, which was totally kept well-hidden. You’re also in the Homebake line-up so had you and the other guys decided to regroup ages ago?

The decision to start playing again was quite recent and came about after the unexpected success of (and interest in) the Flowers/Icehouse 30th Anniversary Edition which was released in May this year. Suddenly a bunch of promoters and venues offered shows to the band and there were enough for us to look at it and make a couple of runs of dates. The band members were all available and enthusiastic so we said ‘yes’.

With the new technology in music now, what are the differences in the sound?

The sound is similar – perhaps a bit fuller – but the technology is more compact and reliable than when we were first using synths, modules and computers in the 80’s.

Next year you’re supporting Hall and Oates. Without stating the obvious, are you and the band excited about that?

Yes, everyone involved in and around the band are all H&O fans. John Oates co-wrote Electric Blue with me which went on to become one of the most recognised songs of my career. So it will be a privilege to share a stage with him after all this time.

As you’ve mentioned, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Flowers/Icehouse. Where does the time go?

I feel that the time goes into making the work, in my case songwriting and recording plus performing. Between 1979 and 1994 I really didn’t have much time off between recording and promoting eight albums and the singles from them. And I was fortunate enough to have my music accepted around the world so there was a LOT of touring.

In those thirty years Iva, what other projects have you done?

Among other things, I’ve composed ballets (Boxes and Berlin for Sydney Dance Company), composed the scores for a couple of movies (Razorback, Master & Commander) and a TV series (The Incredible Journey Of Mary Bryant), written pieces for the opening of the Olympic Games and the Games in DOA, composed and performed a piece called The Ghost Of Time for the millennium celebrations in Sydney, and at one time I played guitar in a band for Japanese superstar.

(photo by  Scott Barbour)

From the 80’s do you have one stand-out memory for the better or worse?

Not really – there were so many extraordinary times with fantastic people as we toured the world making music.

What’s your viewpoint of the music industry today?

I don’t really get caught up in the ‘industry’ side of things so I don’t feel qualified to comment. However, I think there are some truly exceptional Australian acts coming through over the past few years and I think musically we are in a very exciting time.

In your bio it says you learnt to play the bagpipes as a young boy. Can you still play them?

If really pushed I can but I haven’t played them for many years. I still regularly play the oboe {looks like a clarinet but is made out of wood} which was the instrument I went to following bagpipes

Can you see Icehouse making a new album?

It is really hard to know whether an audience would be interested in new material from Icehouse.

What’s next for Iva Davies?

I’ll complete the touring we have planned over the summer and in the meantime will look at making all the other existing albums available again but with enhanced packaging and added material, all of which takes time to find and put together. 2012 is the 30th Anniversary of Primitive Man and Great Southern Land plus the 25th Anniversary of Man Of Colours so they are what I’ll concentrate on first. And it seems there may be some offers to play overseas which could be fun if it all works out.

You might still be able to pick up tickets for Hall And Oates featuring Icehouse. Check Tickmaster for availability.

 

 


FEBRUARY

2 – The Plenary, Melbourne, VIC
4 – Centennial Vineyards, Bowral, NSW
5 – Sirromet Wines, Mt. Cotton, QLD
8 – Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, NSW
11 – Peter Lehmann Wines, Barossa Valley, SA
12 – Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, VIC

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