Classic Kiwi double act coming to town

The current Dragon lineup of (from left) Mark Williams, Peter Drummond, Todd Hunter and Bruce...
The current Dragon lineup of (from left) Mark Williams, Peter Drummond, Todd Hunter and Bruce Reid. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A two-for-one deal is what Oamaru audiences can expect next week when legendary rock band Dragon plays a sold out show at the Opera House with special guests Hello Sailor.

The two acts are known as phenomenal live bands historically and now.

Dragon’s 50th anniversary New Zealand tour starts tonight at the Invercargill Civic theatre before the band travels to Dunedin for a show tomorrow night and then the Oamaru Opera House on April 16.

Oamaru Opera House director Frances McElhinney said the two bands appearing together was a "double bonus".

"It’s fabulous that it’s sold out and they’re coming to Oamaru. Most people would be happy just to see Dragon, but to get two amazing Kiwi bands in a night, that is awesome."

Alike in their loved and recognisable songs, audiences can look forward to Dragon’s hits April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough and Rain and Hello Sailor’s Blue Lady, Gutter Black and Lyin’ in the Sand.

Mrs McElhinney said the Opera House show "sold out quite quickly" after such a period of "famine" in live music.

"There is an appetite to make the most of live music ... we have Six 60 which also sold out and at least four international acts coming up in July."

Formed in Auckland in 1973, Dragon quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting and dynamic live acts in the country.

The band played its first gig at The Great Ngāruawāhia Music Festival in January 1973, alongside Black Sabbath, Fairport Convention and Split Enz.

It endured numerous lineup changes over the following years, refining their sound as time went on, to become the Dragon we know today.

Todd Hunter, Dragon's bassist and one of the original band members, expressed his enthusiasm for the tour.

"New Zealand holds a special place in our hearts, and celebrating our 50th anniversary with our fans in this beautiful country is an incredible honour.

"We can't wait to perform for you all once again."

Over the last five decades, the band's iconic music has continued to resonate with fans old and new.

After the Opera House gig the band continues its tour in Ashburton, Christchurch and Nelson before heading north for more performances and will finish the tour in a grand finale at the Auckland Town Hall on April 27.