Aimless Missiles still on target for whole lot of fun
AUDIENCE participation is what really hits the target for the Aimless Missiles - a rock band of five over-60s who are all about making sure the crowd has as much fun as they do.
Keyboard and guitarist Warrick Hannon said coming up with a fresh name for the band that captured the notion that they "may be getting older, but we're a little hip, a little out there, and still have loads of energy" had been a long and tortuous process.
Three members - Warrick, Mike Murphy on vocals/sax/guitar and Denis Hodges on drums - have been together since the start 10 years ago, when they were all school principals and began as the Electric Slugs, before becoming The Tragics.
They were joined three years ago by Steve Clark on guitar and Tezz Seaward on bass.
Warrick said the guys now live the old cliché in which retirees question how they ever found time to work; all busy following different interests including travel, golf, volunteering, fitness and socialising, as well as, in some cases, part-time work and, of course, their music.
"We just love it: every one of us really enjoys the music and each other's company," Warrick said.
"And we get a real kick out of audiences enjoying it too.
"We don't play for free, but for us, that's the main pay-off, seeing people up dancing, or just smiling and laughing and tapping their toes in their seats and having a good time."
The band plays everything from rock to funk, acoustic to ACDC, from the '60s to now - although with their school backgrounds, Pink Floyd's We Don't Need No Education might not be high on the play list!
So, what do students and their parents think of seeing the former principals on stage?
"I think they kind of knew what we were like anyway; we're pretty fun-loving guys, although there are definitely a lot less rules now ..." Warrick laughed.
"And it's great to see the parents really lose themselves on the dance floor."
Crowd favourites, he said, include Midnight Oil's Beds are Burning and Abba's Mamma Mia, guaranteed to bring out the most outlandish '80s dancing.
The band has played conferences, parties, charity fundraisers, weddings, clubs and pubs, and host their own RockQuiz nights with lots of audience interaction, including singing and dance-offs as well as the traditional quick questions.
And while he admits some audiences start off more quietly and slowly than others, he says they are usually the ones "going the hardest" by the end of the night.
If the band needs a testimonial, Warrick reckons there's not many performers can claim to have played someone's 60th birthday, having previously played at their 50th, and now been booked for their 70th - they've got to be doing something right!
For information on booking the Aimless Missiles, email email@example.com.