“I take this job very seriously,” Steve Balbi told a packed crowd for Mi-Sex at the Chelsea Heights Hotel in Melbourne on Friday night. And so he should. After a few years of working around Australia fronting the band Balbi is at that stage where he fits Mi-Sex and Mi-Sex fits him.
This is no side-project. Mi-Sex is very much a touring and recording band again. After 33 years there is a new album ‘Not From Here’ with Balbi on vocals and original band members Don Martin, Murray Burns, Colin Bayley and Paul Dunningham performing new music and classics with Travis New on guitar.
In the 80s Mi-Sex clocked up 10 Top 40 singles in Australia and a no 5 album in ‘Space Race’ but despite the impact back then Australian radio seems to have forgotten them today. It is bizarre that about the only song that makes a radio playlist is ‘Blue Sky’ and that is on the easy listening stations like Magic in Melbourne.
Over the course of a one-hour show, Mi-Sex is capable of performing a near all-hit setlist with the exception of the two new songs ‘Somebody’ and ‘My Sex Your Sex’ due next month on the ‘Not From Here’ album.
Steve Balbi honoured the band’s former frontman Steve Gilpin at the show. Gilpin died in a car accident near Byron Bay in 1992. He was 42. Steve’s daughter was at the show, right now the front, watching the band her dad started in Wellington, New Zealand in 1977. Steve was already a name in NZ when he formed Mi-Sex. In 1972 he was the winner of New Zealand’s New Faces.
The live performance of ‘Somebody’ and ‘My Sex Your Sex’ indicates that fans of the original Mi-Sex should definitely check out the new album.
As for radio’s failing memory, it was not reflected in the fans. The power of the live performance of ‘Castaway’, ‘People’ and ‘Computer Games’ with a crowd singing along to every word proves this band is not forgotten in the heartland.
Mi-Sex is both commanding and entertaining in concert. Balbi is a worthy frontman to make Mi-Sex relevant for the 21st Century.
Mi-Sex 19 August 2016 SETLIST
Graffiti Crimes (from Graffiti Crimes, 1979)
But You Don’t Care (from Graffiti Crimes, 1979)
Falling In And Out (from Shanghaied, 1981)
Space Race (from Space Race, 1980)
Somebody (from Not From Here, 2016)
Stills (from Graffiti Crimes, 1979)
Blue Day (from Where Do They Go, 1983)
My Sex Your Sex (from Not From Here, 2016)
It Only Hurts When I’m Laughing (from Space Race, 1980)
Castaway (from Where Do They Go, 1983)
People (from Space Race, 1980)
Computer Games (from Graffiti Crimes, 1979)
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