Uncanny friendship

MARVELOUS REUNION: Brian Mannix and the Uncanny X-Men return to Sphinx Hotel next month.

By Luke Voogt

The Uncanny X-Men return to Geelong for the first time in 30 years next month after reuniting in September.

“It’s been great,” lead singer Brian Mannix told the Indy.

“We’re one of the few bands that actually like each other. As good as it is to get together and play, it’s been great to just hang out and have a laugh.”

He and other band members have played in Geelong with other groups, like Absolutely 80s, in the 30 years.

But their gig at Sphinx Hotel on 12 January would be their first time in Geelong together since splitting in 1987, Mannix explained.

“We all live in different states, so we get together far and few between,” he said.

The X-Men will play their chart-topping album Cos Life Hurts, along with their other tracks.

“This is it, you’d better get down,’ Mannix said.

“(Fans will) have a whole heap of fun, and if they don’t (turn up) we’ll look ridiculous.”

Mannix, who is famous for his onstage antics, started early as an extrovert.

At age 8 he become ’Mr Ocean Grove’ after a family friend entered him in a beauty contest during a holiday in 1971.

“I was on a 100 per cent strike rate so I left on a high,” he said.

“I bought a rubber mask with the five dollars I won.”

He and original bass player Steve Harrison named the band after the comics they used to import from England.

“I doubt Marvel would let you do it today,” he said.

Back in the ‘80s every radio station was playing their hits like 50 Years and Party, and they performed on Molly Meldrum’s iconic Countdown.

“You’d go on that show and suddenly 3 million people had seen you play,” Mannix said.

“You could work anywhere in Australia, from Kalgoorlie to Tasmania, and people would know you.”

But the band split when their songs stopped getting airtime.

Mannix and current bass player John Kirk were enjoying being on back on the road again.

“We’re all fit and well and actually like each other, so this tour is us at our best,” Kirk said.

“We are all super excited to perform for our loyal fans again.“

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