Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Sun Mar 8
Richard Burgman says hello and allows a few moments for the audience to marvel at Peter Oxley’s sunny, flowery shirt; he resembles a psychedelic Wiggle. Bill Bilson takes his place, and Jeremy Oxley straps on his guitar. We are away!
Sunnyboys shone brightly back in the day and, until a couple of years ago, no-one expected to see them again. Yet, here they are. And that’s a good thing. Jeremy Oxley’s songs are unique and memorable, and the band is red hot tonight. It’s loud, it’s fast, and it’s what the fans want. Love To Rule and Tunnel Of My Love emphasise that distinctive Sunnyboys sound. The first single, Happy Man, comes relatively early in the set and is an indicator that this won’t be a marathon gig.
Just for something different, Peter Oxley takes the lead vocals for The Stooge. The brooding, pulsating Show Me Some Discipline shows another side of the band. Almost every song has appeal; there’s the sing-along refrain of You Need A Friend, the ear-shattering volume of Tomorrow Will Be Fine, and the sheer breakneck pace of Thrill.
Burgman’s and Jeremy Oxley’s guitars slice through the unswerving rhythm provided by Bilson’s drums and Peter Oxley’s bass. The guitar playing is brilliant; for the most part it is precise, cutting, and soaring. All four appear to be having a whale of a time.
After an hour-long set, the encore delivers the song that almost defines the band. Alone With You comes last in a bracket of three. There’s time for one more and Jeremy Oxley, minus guitar, grabs the microphone. Sunnyboys then farewell Adelaide with The Seeker.
The overriding notion is that Sunnyboys sound like no-one else, and no-one else sounds like Sunnyboys. When Oxley’s songs work, which is most of the time, few can touch them. Even today.