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The return of Sugar Ray

Author: Jane Stabler
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Glow sticks, medic covered stuffed animals, last minute venue revelations-if such memories bring a wistful smile to your face, chances are you're already getting prepared for the Reunion rave.

A term that is rarely used in its real sense these days, old school raving was a time of underground excitement that has become a legendary thing of the past. Reunion's aim is to recreate that time, and in doing so has achieved what many others have failed to do - bring Sugar Ray out of retirement to hit the decks one last time.

The revered Sydney DJ has been asked before to return to his musical career, but now happily running a boutique fish and chip restaurant on Melbourne's trendy Chapel Street, it's taken a return to the old school to make him dust off his records and return to this city.

'I think it's going to be good,' he considers of why he's finally said yes to Reunion.

'It's going to be the music that has meant the most to me, at the time when I did that DJing it was the best time ever. I haven't played for a long time and I just kind of reached this point where it's not fun anymore and it's not a challenge. It's strange for something that was such a part of my life and I just don't enjoy it in the same way I used to. I turned my back on it all [and] I needed some convincing, I said no at first. Then my friends were all playing [and now] I'm really excited to do it, I haven't played for a long time. I kind of started thinking about retiring seven years ago and it was slowly; it's not something you could do overnight but it's been nice to leave Sugar Ray behind. I'm a bit nervous stepping back into Sugar Ray's shoes.'

Many old school ravers are already hyped with the anticipation of seeing Sugar Ray again, some of his friends now with families have already organised their babysitters for the weekend of the rave. As such an instrumental part of the scene, those gearing up for Sugar Ray's set lived through the rave era with this man's music making up a significant part of their life's soundtrack. Sugar Ray, like so many from the old scene, has very fond memories of the time.

'I can't say [I] miss [the scene],' he admits, 'but I was very proud to be a part of it because it was a really special time. People who go out now, it has music and lights but it's not the same. It was really part of something that was really new and fresh. It was exciting and groundbreaking. It was a movement. Now it's a lifestyle choice, and it's such a mainstream part of culture. Back then music was innovative [and the scene] was a revolution, with the music as well. We'd never had music like that before. The early '90s dance music - there's never been anything too original since then.'

WHO: Sugar Ray
WHAT: Plays Reunion Rave at Metro Theatre
WHEN: Saturday 7 June
MORE: sydneyoldskool.com.au
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