Australian-based rockers Dragon are keeping busy in managed isolation in Auckland ahead of a three-show tour that kicks off in Queenstown on Saturday, before heading to Taupo and Whitianga.
The 'April Sun in Cuba' hitmakers have been rehearsing, and even performing for Newshub in their hotel room. The NZ Music Hall Of Fame inductees are excited to get back on stage, having not performed since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold.
“It’s going to be amazing. It’s like a throwback to before all the insanity,” drummer Pete Drummond told Newshub.
Lead singer Mark Williams, who is originally from Dargaville, says he can’t wait to see an audience after nine months without one.
That's not the only thing he's looking forward to, however. High on his list of priorities is to snack on some of Aoteroa's finest kai moana - particularly smoked eel.
Drummond says they've learnt from their last visit, when stopping off to sample the seafood delicacy was missed off the itinerary
"We actually drove past it, Drummond explained.
"There was some smoked eel somewhere on the road. Mark hadn't had it for so long, and we were like 'nah we can't stop'. He was sad for weeks."
Bassist Todd Hunter said "it ruined the whole tour."
Williams is also missing his brother-in-law’s bacon and egg pie, adding: "I want to give a shout out to him to get that ready."
The band said they're sad not to be heading to the West Coast this time around, as it means no whitebait fritters - however they're now booked out on both sides of the Tasman until New Years Eve.
But Williams says it all depends on the trans-Tasman travel bubble, which is far from confirmed.
"We wait and hope, really. We'll see how it goes," he said.
Hunter said that despite their constant rehearsing in managed isolation, the band "haven't been told to shut up yet, which is great."
Dragon will perform alongside Gin Wigmore, Hello Sailor, Stellar* and The Jordan Luck Band as part of The Summer Concert Tour 2021.