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Dragon Celebrate Four Decades Of Iconic Rock
The Legendary Band Brings Their
40th Anniversary Tour To Cairns
Friday 14 & Saturday 15 June | 8.30pm Nightly
Vertigo Cocktail Bar & Lounge, The Reef Hotel Casino

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DragonThere 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. Now, four decades after they burst onto the music scene, Dragon are celebrating their 40th anniversary and will be bringing their hits to Far North Queensland for two special nights.

“Forty years is a very long time in rock n roll,” says bassist Todd Hunter. “Most bands last two years and then break up. After all this time, and the thousands of shows that we’ve played, Dragon is more a way of life than a band. We’ve seen good times and bad, and everything in between – and we still go out every weekend and play somewhere in Australia and New Zealand and have a great time. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to play songs that are part of people’s lives and we never take it for granted. In this 40th anniversary concert series, we are playing all the songs that people want to hear and digging back through our canon to find interesting and obscure songs that we’ve neglected til now. When people come to these shows they can expect a great night of singing and dancing to celebrate 40 years in the April Sun with us.”

The 40th anniversary tour coincides with the recent The Dragon Years – 40th Anniversary Collection album – released late last year. The album features a 40-track, full career retrospective. Disc one features all the original hits – with legendary Kiwi frontman Marc Hunter on vocals. Disc two features new material recorded since Dragon’s reformation in 2006, with the current line-up of founding member Todd Hunter (bass), fellow Kiwi Mark Williams (lead vocals / acoustic guitar), Bruce Reid (electric guitar) and Pete Drummond (drums).

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 a swag of 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 is something about Dragon’s music that speaks to music lovers of all ages. Todd says the band is fortunate that their songs are played frequently on radio, earning them a new demographic of followers. “Maybe these songs have stood the test of time because they’re melodic and accessible and not tied to an era,” he says. “There is something about the way that the [current] line-up plays the songs that makes them as fresh as when they were newly written. Whatever the reason is, we’re happy to play them and leave lots of sections of the songs for the crowds to sing. In the 70s and 80s, the paradigm was different. The band was up on stage dishing it out to the crowd in a way that the divide between band and audience was quite pronounced. Now, everyone in the room is in the band and has a part to play. The feeling of solidarity when everyone is singing along is amazing and we love it. The songs are part of our shared history and belong to everyone.”

Dragon performs at Vertigo Cocktail Bar & Lounge in The Reef Hotel Casino on Friday 14 & Saturday 15 June. Dragon is supported by The Montgomery Brothers [Friday 14th] and Eddie Skiba [Saturday 15th] from 8.30pm nightly. The party continuing until 1.30am with the Tall Poppies.

*** These are free shows at Vertigo

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