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Dave Warner's From the Suburbs - Mug's Game - 40 Year Anniversary Show

Mugs Game will be performed in its entirety by the original band

Dave Warner's From the Suburbs - Mug's Game - 40 Year Anniversary Show

4:00pm, Sun 24 May, 2020

Event Details


Mugs Game the iconic album by Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs is being re-issued on vinyl through Bicton Records, as a double album. The extra record includes previously unreleased material from the 1976-7 era.  

The original band, minus the late Johnny Leopard, will play Mugs Game in its entirety plus some other classics. The line-up is Dave Warner, Tony Durant guitar, John Dennison keyboards, Paul Noonan bass, and Howie Johnstone drums.


Released at the end of 1978, Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs album Mugs Game was the definitive Australian album of the era, striking such a chord with the ignored kids of Australia’s suburbs, that it rocketed up the charts and went gold within three months.

Around this time on his Rolling Thunder Tour, Bob Dylan declared Dave Warner, along with Richard Clapton, as his favourite Australian artist.  But a year and one album later, tired of life on the road and looking for new challenges, that Suburbs line-up split.

Now, with the exception of Johnny who died in 2005, all the members of the band who recorded Mugs Game are heading back on the road for a short reunion tour. There will also be a vinyl re-issue of the original album with an extra album of early, unreleased material from 1976 and 1977. 

`The tour was something we floated at various times but John and Paul were always snowed under with real work. Then last year Paul saw I was doing a gig and texted to say he’d love to play again sometime and that settled it.’ 

Dave said the idea would be to celebrate Mugs Game by playing every track on the album. `Suburban Boy was the single and the hit from the album but in those days, people didn’t buy singles if they were getting the album. Convict Streak and Mugs Game were equally well loved and known. Oklahoma and Campus Days are very personal songs that suburban kids of my era related to. Eve of Destruction, a rare cover, was as good a version as anyone has ever done, apart from the original.’ 

But as there are only eight tracks on Mugs Game, more material will be added for the tour.  Warner will have a variety of material from which to choose. His 2017 album WHEN is likely to provide a couple of tracks and there are plenty of early tracks to mine. 

The one gaping hole of course will be the absence of Johnny Leopard.

`Johnny Leopard was, in my opinion, the greatest rock showman Australia has ever produced: not just guitarist, I’m talking singers, the works,’ says Warner. `You can’t replace Johnny. We all miss him greatly.’ 

Despite the absence of Leopard, the band believe the fans will love what they hear, and relate to it.  Warner says people constantly request Convict Streak and demand it should be the national anthem.

`Sometimes they don’t see the satire, but most understand that song says we’re flawed but not evil.’

Suburban Boy still stands up as a great rock single.  Warner’s own favourite is Oklahoma, a song he wrote about the gap between father and son. `The irony is I am now the age my dad was when I wrote that song,’ he says. 

As for Mugs Game, the characters Warner created are embedded in the consciousness of anybody who ever heard that song.

After all, forty years on not that much has changed – it is still … a Mugs Game. 


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