If Kiwi rock heavyweights Mi-Sex needed any validation for their decision to record their first new album in 33 years, the live crowds' reaction gave it to them.

The band's fifth album Not From Here was released in September with vocalist Steve Balbi replacing original singer Steve Gilpin, who died in 1991.

Mi-Sex will co-headline the Selwyn Sounds concert in Lincoln on March 4 with Dragon.
Other big acts will include The Jordan Luck Band, Annie Crummer, Margaret Urlich, Debbie Harwood, Sharon O'Neill and Jason Kerrison, reports Christchurch Star.

Keyboardist Murray Burns said the band had been playing a mix of old and new material on their recent North Island tour with The Feelers and Dragon.


"You could tell that some of the younger members of the crowd knew a few of our songs like Computer Games and Blue Day but they didn't really know the other ones," Burns said.

"What was very rewarding for us was that an audience that weren't really familiar with our old and new material responded in some ways stronger to our newer stuff than our older stuff. That made the whole experience of recording new songs feel really worthwhile to us."

After so long without writing music together, Burns found working on new material to be surprisingly easy.

"To jump in a room with someone you have never written a song with, with Steve Balbi, was an amazing experience. Steve is a fantastic songwriter and lyricist and the basic embryos of those songs came together in a matter of minutes."

Burns said the band had been having a great time since they started touring again in 2011.

"We are treating Mi-Sex more as an experience again after 30 years of not playing," he said.

"We are not feeling that we are going to go out and conquer the world, we are not 21-years-old any more, but we are having a really good time playing and we also had a really good time making this record."

When they're not touring, the band members live far apart - in Christchurch, Auckland, Sydney and, in Burns' case, Byron Bay, New South Wales.


"We decide on set lists and things like that when we meet at airports quite often," he said.

Burns produces music for young bands from his own studio but aside from that, doesn't listen to much new music.

"I live in the countryside and I quite enjoy just the empty space because music is a big part of my life. I will be in the studio today mixing for five or six hours and when I come out of the studio I mostly drive around with the windows down and don't listen to much music," he said.

"I listen to the birds in the trees, actually, and the wind."

• Selwyn Sounds will be held on March 4, from 11.30am-8.30pm. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketek and buyers will be able to pre-purchase a return bus ride between pick up points in Christchurch or Rolleston and Lincoln Domain.