Thursday, 18 January 2018
Happy Man/It Comes As No Surprise To Me/You Need A Friend/Gone/Love In A Box/Show Me Some Discipline/Thrill/Alone With You/Safe Life/Trouble In My Brain/Strange Cohesion/The Stooge/Let You Go/It's A Sunny Day/Days Are Gone/The Idealist
Brothers Jeremy and Peter Oxley and Bil Bilson came from the northern New South Wales town of Kingscliff where they played in a garage band called Wooden Horse. Richard Burgman (Kamikaze Kids) came from Wagga Wagga. Peter Oxley, Bil Bilson and Richard Burgman met in Sydney in 1979 and formed a band with Penny Ward, Shy Imposters, which broke up in early 1980. (Phantom Records released a posthumous single "At the Barrier" in 1981). Joined by Jeremy Oxley, they formed a new band, Sunnyboys. The band's name came from a Sunnyboy, an orange-flavoured water ice in a tetrahedron shaped ‘tetra-pack’, once popular with children in Australia. According to Richard Burgman, the band chose the name because it represented ‘bright, happy, young, fun’. The band's first public performance was on 15 August 1980, supporting The Lipstick Killers and Me 262, and it quickly became popular in the Sydney band scene.
Sunnyboys signed to Mushroom Records in February 1981, becoming the first Sydney-based band on the label. Their first single, "Happy Man", was released in July 1981 and peaked at number 26 on the national chart. The same month they made an independent EP entitled Happy Birthday, this was given away at gigs.
The band recorded their second album, Individuals, in the midst of their heavy touring schedule. Individuals was released in May 1982, peaking at number 19. The album's lead single "You Need a Friend" peaked at number 38. Sunnyboys released a "Show Me Some Discipline" in June 1983 which peaked at number 44.
In 1983, Sunnyboys went to the United Kingdom to record their third studio album. Get Some Fun was released in April 1984 which peaked at number 36. Two other single were released in 1984. Internal dissent plagued the band; Jeremy Oxley was battling mental illness and drinking heavily as a result. Sunnyboys announced their break-up in June 1984. Their farewell tour produced the album Sunnyboys Real Live, recorded over two nights in Sydney (29 and 30 June), which was released in November 1984.
In late 1987, Jeremy Oxley attempted to revive Sunnyboys with a new line-up. The new band signed a deal with RCA and released an album entitled Wildcat (produced by ex-Sherbet keyboard player, Garth Porter). Four singles were released from the album, which peaked at number 63 on the ARIA Charts. This incarnation of the band broke up in 1990.
In November 1998 the band reformed for the Mushroom 25 Concert at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mushroom Records, organised by Michael Gudinski. For the concert Burgman was replaced by Jeremy and Peter's younger brother Tim Oxley on guitar. Sunnyboys appeared on the original VHS release of the concert and the 2002 re-release CD and DVD. In October 2010, their 1981 debut album, Sunnyboys, was listed in the top 40 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.
In July 2012 it was announced that the original line-up would be playing at the 2012 Meredith Music Festival on 7 December. The following night they played a show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, which sold out in under an hour. In late January and early February 2013, they supported Elvis Costello and the Imposters on their Australian tour. On 2 June they played a sold out performance at the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.
In December 2013, Warner Music Australia released Our Best Of, a 16-track retrospective featuring remastered songs and rarities. In March 2014, the band undertook a national headline tour and again in March 2015, In March 2016, the band played as part of the 'A Day on the Green' concert series with Hoodoo Gurus, Violent Femmes, Died Pretty and Ratcat.