Dragon rekindles fans' nostalgia

23:35, Oct 24 2012
Dragon in Invercargill
STILL ROCKING: Pete Drummond, Todd Hunter, Mark Williams and Bruce Reid at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill yesterday.

Rock legends Dragon may have triggered some nostalgia for Southlanders during their long-awaited performance on the Civic Theatre stage last night, part of their 40th Anniversary Tour down the country.

Familiar tunes such as April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough and Rain were performed to an enthusiastic crowd, along with newer material from bass player Todd Hunter, the only original member of the "emperors of excess" who formed in Auckland before heading to Australia, becoming known as much for their tumultuous, and often tragic, excursions, as the band that defined an era of Kiwi-Australian rock.

The band dissolved in 1998 for the second time, after the death of its lead singer, Marc Hunter (brother of Todd), but has enjoyed a renaissance in the past few years since it reformed with new lead singer Mark Williams, who brings a freshness to the familiar tunes.

Newer members Pete Drummond on drums and Bruce Reid on guitar backed Williams well.

Highlights of the Invercargill concert included a vibrant performance by music hall-of-famers Hello Sailor - in their 37th year as a band - and blues singer-guitarist Hammond Gamble, who thrilled the crowd with new, and older hits from his 2008 album 90 Mile Days.

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