Mi-Sex head line-up

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

The Waikato now has its own mu­sic fes­ti­val again thanks to Wolf Event Man­age­ment, set to have its in­au­gu­ral event at Lake Kara¯ piro on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 2.

Blue­wa­ters Mu­sic Fes­ti­val will be head­lined in its first year by rock/pop leg­ends Mi-Sex.

The Kara¯piro event builds on Waikato’s strong links to mu­sic fes­ti­vals of the past — in­clud­ing New Zealand’s in­au­gu­ral three-day rock fes­ti­val — The Great Nga¯ru­awa¯hia Mu­sic Fes­ti­val — plus The Hin­uera Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Raglan’s Straw­berry Fields and Sweet­wa­ters.

Mi-Sex, who played at the in­au­gu­ral Sweet­wa­ters in 1980, shot to in­ter­na­tional fame after their 1979 al­bum re­lease Graf­fiti Crimes, driven by their smash hit sin­gle Com­puter Games which peaked at No 1 in Aus­tralia and was a Top 10 in New Zealand, Canada, Ger­many and South Africa and charted in the US.

An­other no­table sin­gle from the al­bum was But you Don’t Care.

This al­bum was fol­lowed by Space Race, which went to Non1 in New Zealand, Shangaied and Where do they Go? — al­bums full of hits such as Peo­ple, It Only Hurts When I’m Laugh­ing, Fall­ing In And Out and Blue Day.

While Mi-Sex is thought of as an Aus­tralian act, it was New Zealand that gave birth to the band. A name and a sound that grew out of com­bin­ing the col­lec­tive cre­ative en­er­gies of a cabaret singer Steve Gilpin, art-rock bass player Don Martin, a tal­ented south­ern drum­mer Richard Hodgkin­son, a frus­trated gui­tarist/song writer Kevin Stan­ton and a funk/ dance key­board player Mur­ray Burns.

Th­ese five con­nec­tions quickly dis­solved their pasts, as they re-in­vented them­selves, pass­ing into the new era of new wave/elec­tronic mu­sic and unit­ing fully as the sound that was to be­come MiSex.

Their de­but al­bum Straight Lad­die saw them set­ting house records in New Zealand and they quickly set their sights on Aus­tralia.

Within a short time, on the strength of their highly en­er­gised and semi-the­atri­cal live shows, they were soon one of Syd­ney’s top bands.

They were signed by leg­endary A&R pro­ducer Peter Dawkins and the rest is his­tory.

Mi-Sex went No 1 in Aus­tralia cul­mi­nat­ing in what many con­sider their land­mark per­for­mance at the Syd­ney Opera House in the “Con­cert of the Decade”.

In 1984 Mi-Sex semi-re­tired from tour­ing to take a well-de­served break and seek solo ven­tures. Al­ways re­main­ing the very clos­est of friends, they came back to­gether in the late 80s for two more Aus­tralian tours and in the sum­mer of 1990 be­gan writ­ing fresh ma­te­rial when trag­i­cally Steve Gilpin was killed in a car ac­ci­dent, putting the band on an in­def­i­nite hia­tus.

The band re­u­nited for the fundrais­ing con­cert fol­low­ing the 2011 Christchruch earth­quake, re­cruit­ing for­mer Noise­works bass player Steve Balbi to take on vo­cal du­ties.

An Aussie, Balbi had been a mem­ber of Kiwi band Kevin Borich Ex­press be­fore Noise­works — the band whose lead singer was New Zealan­der Jon Stevens.

The new line-up has been blow­ing away crowds with the high en­ergy and songs that cap­ti­vated the mil­lions all those years ago.

The band are in­cred­i­bly ex­cited to play at the in­au­gu­ral Blue­wa­ters Mu­sic Fes­ti­val and are promis­ing a highly en­ter­tain­ing show full of all their hits.

They will be joined by Tiki Taane, House of Shem and the Fleet­wood Mac Trib­ute Show — The Fleet­woods — amongst oth­ers.

Free shut­tles are oper­at­ing all day from Cam­bridge to Lake Kara­piro and buses are avail­able from Hamil­ton and Te Awa­mutu.

■ All event in­for­ma­tion and tick­ets are avail­able from www.blue­wa­ters­fes­ti­val.co.nz

Photo / Sup­plied

Mi-Sex in con­cert with Steve Balbi on vo­cals.

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