Mi-Sex is one of the acts that will be headlining at Solid Gold, a touring show featuring some of the best-known bands from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.There are a lot of illnesses and accidents you expect to befall a musician.
But a stroke is not one of them. And yet that’s just what happened to Mi-Sex keyboard player Murray Burns while on stage at a gig in the Yarra Valley.
“I had a stroke, believe it or not,” Burns says.
“I couldn’t stand up. I just had no idea, it was just the most surreal feeling you could ever imagine. I basically went to sleep within about 10 minutes and I woke up three days later.
“I thought I was OK but apparently it was quite funny to hear me talk because there wasn’t much happening.
“I had to learn how to walk again, but I feel fantastic now.”
But, while he’s better, guitarist Kevin Stanton has had to leave the band due to ongoing back problems.
They’re not the sort of injuries the band would have had to deal with in their heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The band best known for the song Computer Games got a surprising rebirth, when former Noiseworks member Steve Balbi said he was keen to sing for the band.
Balbi replaces original lead singer Steve Gilpin, who died in a car accident in 1992.
“We stopped playing when Steve died and we really never gave it much thought,” Burns says of a reunion. “Don [Martin, bass player] had been involved in other things that weren’t to do with music. He said, ‘right, time to put down my pen and computer. I’d like to play again occasionally, just for fun’.
“Steve Balbi and Don got together and Steve said, ‘I’d love to sing for you if you ever decided to play again’.”
A one-off show went so well that Balbi became the new frontman for the band. While Gilpin had a very distinctive voice, Burns says Balbi doesn’t try and copy him but rather brings his own approach to the songs. “He has a totally, totally different voice,” Burns says.
“Steve Balbi really relates to the theatrical side of a lot of Kevin Stanton’s lyrics.
“He doesn’t sound in any way like Steve and we don’t expect him to.
“In fact we love that he brings his own flavour to Mi-Sex songs.
“Some of them, he does his own thing with the songs. The songs are still strong enough to stand up on their own and be totally recognisable.”
He’ll be putting his own take on some of those songs when the band takes part in Solid Gold, a touring show featuring bands from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
For Burns, the shows – and the reunion as whole – gives the band’s younger fans a chance to see them play live.
“Because we stopped playing at the end of 1983, there would have been people 13, 14 years old who watched us on Countdown but never actually got to see us play live because they weren’t old enough to get into pubs,” Burn says.
WIN Entertainment Centre, May 30
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