Returning to the microphone with his band Boom Crash Opera after a three-year hiatus felt, Dale Ryder says, like "coming home".
"Thirty seconds, that's all it took. Mazzy counting in Great Wall at [the band's] first rehearsal with me after three years and I am feeling totally at home, like I was never away," Ryder says.
"It's uncanny that all the lyrics to songs I hadn't sung in years just came back like a teleprompter. We did our first gig last week with James Reyne and it was really good. We had great fun. It felt normal. It felt like home. It was a great feeling."
Ryder is joining Peter 'Maz' Maslen, Peter Farnan and John Favaro for a tour which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band's second album These Here Are Crazy Times. He says there was "nothing sinister" behind his decision to leave the band three years ago - it was simply a matter of "scheduling".
We did our first gig last week with James Reyne and it was really good. We had great fun. It felt normal. It felt like home. It was a great feeling.Dale Ryder
Boom Crash Opera were one of the biggest Australian bands of the late '80s. They cracked the US with the album These Here Are Crazy Times which featured the hits Onion Skin, The Best Thing, Great Wall, Get out of the House and Dancing in The Storm.
The band's anthemic and infectious tunes make them permanent fixtures on Australian radio, even today.
"Look, they're good songs. They've stood the test of time," Ryder tells Weekender.
"We did a gig the other day and I was very surprised at all the young people up the front - now I'm talking about people in their 30s rather than their 50s. Maybe their parents played our music when they were little."
Ryder is happy to open rather than close festivals these days. After all, as he laughingly tells Weekender, he is 65.
"When you open you get in and get out. You don't have to wait hours for your slot," he explains. "Constant gigging is a little taxing but my voice is in fine form which is the main thing. Just don't expect me to run up and down the stage."
Joining Boom Crash Opera on the These Here Are Crazy Times tour is '80s synth-pop band Machinations comprising three of the four original members. The are known for songs Precious Way, No Say In It, You Got Me Going Again, My Hearts on Fire and Do to You.
Boom Crash Opera perform at Newcastle's Cambridge Hotel on November 17, and as part of the Red Hot Summer Tour at Roche Estate on February 15. Tickets to both are on sale now.
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