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Celebrating 35 years with Sunnyboys

Sunnyboys offer so much thirst-quenching tetrahedron shaped freshness.

You may say the same for the ‘80s post-punk pop band of the same name. They dished out fresh hits to the thirsty masses and have done so sporadically over the last 35 years. Now the guys are snipping off the corner and allowing us access to their cool sweetness once more.
 
This February, the east coast is going to get their hands around their favourite Sunnyboys with shows lined up for the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne in honour of their 35th anniversary and the original lineup are raring to go. “We feel quite humbled by the fact that we actually can play, and we play well. If we were really shithouse and we played badly, we wouldn’t go anywhere near the stage,” says the band’s bassist Peter Oxley.
 
They’ve been pretty selective with their appearances over the last decade or so, playing shows like Day on the Green in 2016. “We’re careful about how we present ourselves, we don’t want it to be like “Oh no, not them again,’ ” Oxley says. 
 
The last three and half decades have had their highs and lows for the band as singer Jeremy Oxley battled with schizophrenia and the other band members went out on their own endeavours. Peter Oxley even opening a woodfire pizzeria in Newtown because “…essentially I needed a job,” he says.
 
During the 16 years operating the restaurant, music was never off the menu for Oxley as “Ed Cooper called and said ‘Pete, do you want to play bass with me?’ and I just said ‘Sure,’ I didn’t even need to think.” Oxley sums up his career thus far simply, “Food and music is what I’ve been involved in mostly.”
 
They’ve played some pretty major gigs over the years, Oxley recounting one of his personal and professional highlights as being the day the documentary The Sunnyboy (a film about Jeremy’s journey with schizophrenia) was premiered.
 
“It’s a great documentary that was premiered at the Livid Festival in 2013 and we played the concert hall at The Opera House afterwards. That was a real highlight for us as a band and also for Jeremy’s story being told in a very sensitive way.”
 
While they’re ensuring that we aren’t going to curse their incessant touring and airplay, they still aspire to create new material for their loyal fan base. “We’ve been quietly gathering [new songs]… we’ve just started getting our head around recording in little computer rooms and sending it off to other little computer rooms.” Oxley says. “We’re not interested in setting the world on fire, but we’d certainly like to make a little record for our fans, do a 7” four track vinyl EP,” he says.
 
When asked about their playing style now, Pete says, “When we were younger we used to play really fast, now we play similarly fast, but we’ve got a lot more swagger. When you’re a bit older you feel a bit more confident with your instrument, it’s really cool.
 
“Yeah, we got swag.”
 
By Asha Collins

Sunnyboys will play The Croxton on Friday February 10.