They had the look back in the 80s, but who would have thought Roxette still had the pulling power to warrant a show at Vector Arena?

The Swedish band - made up of core duo Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle - have already sold out the 12,500-capacity Sydney Entertainment Centre on February 17 and are down to play Auckland on February 11.

Roxette came to New Zealand once, back in the late 80s, for a promotional visit at the height of their success following songs like The Look, Dressed for Success and ballad Listen to Your Heart from 1988 album Look Sharp!.

"We landed in a helicopter in a school somewhere - and there were lots of kids in school uniforms," remembers Gessle during a recent interview with TimeOut. "Everyone was, like, crazy, like something from a Beatles movie or something," he laughs.


Because that visit was only for promotional purposes they never got to play, and he says they are looking forward to coming back and doing a proper show as part of the world tour for latest album, Charm School.

So far, says Gessle, they have played 50 shows and most of them have been sold out. While they haven't been on the music radar of late due to Fredriksson's slow but steady recovery from a brain tumour in 2002, they have never stopped making music and so far they have sold around 75 million records and clocked up more No 1 top 10 hits in the United States than their fellow countrymen Abba. So Roxette are still pretty big, it seems.

Tickets to the show go on sale on September 5 at Ticketmaster.

Eerie British trip-hop act Portishead are another blast from the past who will be playing Vector on November 11. The band of Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow, and Adrian Utley return to New Zealand for the first time in 14 years to playsongs from 1994 classic Dummy, 1997's self-titled release, and last album Third which came out in 2008 following a long hiatus.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at Ticketmaster.

Meanwhile, Australian punk veterans Frenzal Rhomb release their latest album, Smoko at the Pet Food Factory, this week and have announced two dates at Bodega in Wellington on October 28, and the Kings Arms on October 29. And lastly, after recently wrapping up an extended jaunt around Europe with a slot at Britain's Big Chill Festival, future soul crew Electric Wire Hustle head home for a nationwide tour including dates on September 3 at Sale St, Auckland, and the YOT Club in Raglan on September 4.

- TimeOut