This weekend, you’re invited to the biggest ‘80s reunion party in Adelaide.
The Absolutely ‘80s show hits town on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of August, playing Norwood Live and Highbury Hotel, respectively.
Starring 1980s music icons Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen), Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men) and Dale Ryder (Boom Crash Opera), the show promises to be the ultimate blast from the past.
Entertainment consultant, tour organiser, and Kids in the Kitchen front-man Scott Carne put together the show ten years ago and has been loving it ever since.
“We’ve been around for a while. Effectively we did a few shows together, that was Brian [Mannix] and I, with another musician and that went sour. Then Brian and I did the Countdown Spectacular in 2006 and we had such a good time together, we decided to go out on the road together with our own ‘80s show,” he says.
“Then we recruited the likes of other ‘80s stars like Dale Ryder, Paul Grey from Wa Wa Nee, Freddy from the Machinations, Ally Fowler from Chantoozies, and a whole heap of them. Brian and I always joke we’ve been in this band longer than our original bands.”
With his successful entertainment agency, Popshop, to run, Scott says the show only plays on weekends, which allows them to keep the production (and themselves) fresh.
“We’re basically weekend warriors; we tour on weekends. It’s a lot of fun that way. We don’t burn out, and we’re playing to packed houses wherever we go as a result so it’s a win, win situation. It’s our version of golf!” he laughs.
Scott’s idea of teaming up with the other ‘80s stars was initially a difficult task, but once the rockers returned to the stage, the show came together perfectly.
“Some of them, to begin with, were somewhat reluctant, but as soon as they got on board, they’ve never looked back. We’re very supportive of each other. We take the mickey out of each other and we’re not competitive on stage. We sing our big hits; it’s a well-oiled machine,” he says.
“At the end of the show we’re all up singing songs together for the finale, which I call the ‘All-in Brawl’. It works really well. People love it and the bands are really good. It’s like stepping back in a time bubble. It’s as close to the original sound as you get. In some respects, I reckon we do it better now than we did back in the day. It’s got the tenacity and it’s got the fun. Everyone is still in good form; we haven’t gone off the other side yet – we haven’t quite gotten to the embarrassing side of our lives yet!”
And while there is camaraderie onstage during the show, Scott says that wasn’t always the case back in the day, and certainly isn’t when they play at some festivals nowadays.
“We weren’t really mates back in the day. It was like playing for the other footy team. It was very competitive. I didn’t really have very much to do with Brian at all back then. We just used to grunt at each other,” he says.
“But Absolutely ‘80s is a bit of a wow-factor show. When we’ve done some of those outdoor shows playing with Ross Wilson or Diesel or those guys, they get a bit shirty with us, because we just come on and go ‘bam!’ and whip the crowd into a lather and then they have to come on after us and the crowd have to sit through their obscure album tracks and new stuff. It becomes the old days all of a sudden; the battle of the bands. But it’s good fun. I enjoy it.”
Scott says he, Brian and Dale are very much looking forward to swinging into town and, in particular, playing the Highbury for the first time.
“When we play Norwood Live, it’s always really well received, people are up and dancing, having a good time; they love it. We’re playing the Highbury Hotel for the first time on the Saturday night which will be good. I’m looking forward to it,” he says.
“Our show is quite long. We play for nearly two hours. We generally have two halves so we give you good bang for your buck. There’s no dull spots because we’re always coming on and off stage. I’ll come on and do two, then Brian will do two, then Dale will do two.
“We stick to our own songs. And then, at the end, we jump up together and sing a bunch of dead guy songs. We sing INXS songs, we sing James Freud’s song, ‘Out of Mind, Out of Sight’, and we do a Dragon song,” he says.
On both nights, the guys will hang around for meet and greet opportunities, and there will be a chance to buy a copy of the CD, which has been put together for the show.
“Absolutely ‘80s has a record out at the moment. It’s a two CD set called Then and Now. It’s all the acts we play with. The A-side is a pre-record of the original stuff and the B-side is a live recording of us playing a couple of years back. We sell them online and at the gigs,” he says.
With a career spanning three decades, Scott Carne has seen and heard a lot in his time, but he says a stand out moment in his career was when legendary music journalist Molly Meldrum introduced him to Princess Diana.
“We were standing there waiting to meet with Prince Charles and Lady Di, and Molly comes up and was introducing everyone before me and he goes, ‘Your Royal Highness, Princess Charles, this is Scott Carne’. It was pretty funny,” he laughs.
Scott Carne, Brian Mannix and Dale Ryder will bring Absolutely ‘80s to town on August 21st and 22nd, with tickets available through Moshtix; dinner and show packages available.
WHAT: Absolutely 80s
WHEN: August 21st and 22nd
WHERE: Norwood Live (97 The Parade, Norwood), The Highbury Hotel (1017 Lower North East Road, Highbury)
HOW MUCH? From $30
TICKETS: Friday at Norwood Live or Saturday at Highbury Hotel
By Libby Parker