Mi-Sex head line-up
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
Mi-Sex in concert with Steve Balbi on vocals.