BETTER THAN EVER: Scott Carne from Kids in the Kitchen.
BETTER THAN EVER: Scott Carne from Kids in the Kitchen.

Eighties show is the real deal

PULL out your shoulder pads and start applying that glitter gel as we're heading back to the 1980s next weekend. And that doesn't mean some cover band pulling out those done to death hits, this time it's the real deal.

Frontman for original Aussie outfit Kids in the Kitchen, Scott Carne, will be centre stage at the Grafton District Services Club, three decades after he did it the first time around.

He will be bringing his mates from that era in Brian Mannix from Uncanny X-Men and David Sterry from Real Life along for the ride.

Trading as the Absolutely 80s Show, Carne said the idea was spawned after a bunch of 80s hit makers were reunited for the Countdown Spectacular in 2006 and decided to keep the momentum going with their own pop retrospective. So far it's been a smashing success all over Australia as thousand of 80s music lovers relive their youth and the music that shaped it.

Carne said the show had been going so well they were recreating their own musical history.

Brian Mannix from Uncanny X-Men.
Brian Mannix from Uncanny X-Men.

"Can you believe we have now been in this band longer than we all were in our original bands now?" he said.

Carne's career with KITK took off in 1984 as a 17 year-old when he wrote the hit song Change in Mood which made it to the Top 10 on Countdown - the show he said that basically gave every band from that era their big breaks.

"None of us would be here except for shows like Countdown. It was a really good time in music. Anything new and happening would be on that show so if you made it on there you'd be laughing."

Carne said they and many other Australia bands of that era were inspired by the British New Romantic and Nu Wave movements of the time. "We were all listening to that stuff so that inspired us to go that way rather than the post American sound. Brian and the X-Men on the other hand were probably more like an 80s version of Skyhooks."

Carne said the shows were unapologetically about encapsulating the past rather than using the opportunity as a vehicle for their new music.

"People just want to hear the hits and we totally understand that so that's what they will get. You will feel like you have stepped back into a time bubble."

Apart from their huge hits like Change in Mood, Current Stand (KITK), Everybody Wants to Work, 50 Years (Uncanny X-Men), Send Me an Angel and Catch Me I'm Falling (Real Life), the trio will be paying tribute to Aussie artists no longer with us.

He said they feature material from INXS, Dragon and The Models tipping our hats to the late Michael Hutchence, Marc Hunter and James Freud.

"We definitely mix it up a bit as far as shows goes. Brian might start and sing a couple and then I'll come out and do the same and then David. Then we might sing something together. It's an authentic, high energy show full of big hits for lovers of 80s music. We are on and off the stage all night.

Other 80s stars that have joined Carne and Mannix's fold including Paul Gray from Wa Wa Nee, Dale Ryder from Boom Crash Opera and Benny from The Machinations as well as band members from the cream of 80s talent including Big Pig and Black Sorrows.

"There's a bit of rock royalty in there. It's a bit of a revolving door really because we don't work crazy hours anymore. No more six nights a week. We're all weekend warriors."

And while age may weary them a little, Carne said it's amazing how many people come up to them saying they are better than ever.

"We feel like we are at the top of our game if not better in some senses, particularly with our voices. Not a lot has changed really except my belt size may have got a bit bigger and I don't wear them up around my nipples anymore."

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