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St Andrews Hotel on the brink
29.2.12 - Somebody told me about this at the Boppin'
the Blues gig on Sunday, but I didn't want to believe it.
The following extract from the Diamond
Valley Leader appears to confirm my worst fears however.
Closure threat to St Andrews hotel
The popular St Andrews Hotel is under threat of closure after
going into voluntary administration.
The Kangaroo Ground-St Andrews Rd pub was placed in the hands
of Queensland-based administrator HAK Australia by an unknown
financial institution last Thursday.
The live music venue has 30 days to balance its books or it
will be forced to close.
HAK chief executive Ian O’Reilly said his company had
been given the task of recouping an undisclosed amount of money
within 30 days.
“What we would like is for former patrons to come to meet
the new manager and try us out again,” he said.
Diamond Creek police confirmed they were called out to a family
matter at the hotel about 3.30pm last Thursday but would not
the Blues for Neale Johns
The man of the hour, Mr Neale Johns, was a very contented man
2) Bill and Bobby Bright talk to the salad bowl
Cummings wasn't even on the bill 4) The Trollops had a table
and weren't gonna move for anybody
TV was there - it'll be on Channel 31 6) Wilbur Wilde and the
house band play one of Joe's songs
Acoustic Beatles 8) Spectrum's guest and compere for the entire
day, Kenny Murdoch
Neale Johns' benefit Sun. 26.2.12 Caravan Club
house at The Caravan Club
28.2.12 - The weather's cooled down a bit
since the weekend and I've managed to catch up on some sleep,
but both Bill and I were feeling a little sleep-deprived on
Sunday. We'd decided to get to the Neale Johns' Boppin'
the Blues benefit early; 'cause Bill in particular likes
to catch up with old friends and we have a curious habit of
leaving these sorts of functions as soon as we've done our bit.
We arrived at 3.30 and so had plenty of time for catching up
as our set wasn't till 6.45, but the room was already chockers
- the show had been sold out quite early in the piece. I'm not
sure what that tells me; is it that people are prepared to come
out en masse for a good cause or if the bill's good
enough, or is it perhaps simply if the weather's good?
Bill and I had turned up for a rehearsal last week with Kenny
Murdoch, who pretty much single-handedly put together the entire
show, and he was excited to be playing with Spectrum. He was
still excited as we clambered onto the stage for our set, which
was some achievement given that he'd scarcely been off
the stage the whole afternoon. I had plenty of time to sort
out my effects board and my borrowed Marshall while the raffles
were being sorted, but I was still shocked when we finally started
to play - Marshalls are just different.
Kenny played like a Spectrum veteran and was even happier when
we'd finished our three numbers if that was possible. In fact,
he insisted we play an encore, (I Just Wanna Make Love To
You) which we dedicated to The Trollops. (pic 4)
As predicted, Bill and I mutually decided on leaving immediately
we'd finished, but we weret intercepted by the Asylum crew (pic
5) on the way out and bandied a few words with Shane Laffy
- there'll no doubt be some footage going to air in the near
future on Channel 31. Pity I can't get it.
Walter exits stage left leaving the crowd wanting more..
Myer Music Bowl Fri. 17.2.12
triumphs at the Bowl
18.2.12 - I forgot to ask if Denis Walter's
band regails under any particular name, but I was a guest anyway
and Denis gave me a handsome introduction before we launched
into the baritone's version of I'll Be Gone. It got
a great reception from the full-ish house, (Denis'
daughters went to see Rod Stewart at Rod Laver), and the rest
of the set went down very well too. I enjoyed Greta Bradman's
singing, but we left before Il Divo took the stage. The roadie
who set up my mic thought their star was on the wane..
Walter as he is best known today at Radio 3AW
Rudd and Denis Walter?
16.2.12 - It's one of those moments
you would never seriously have dreamt of - Mike Rudd appearing
(briefly) with Denis Walter tomorrow (Friday) night at the Sidney
Myer Music Bowl. Yes, I'm accompanying him as he sings his version
of I'll Be Gone, which he recorded at Pete Dacy's Secret
Sound Studios last year for his Great Southern Land
album. I was pleased to be able to make a contribution by adding
the crucial harp lines, albeit an octave and a bit lower than
the original, but quite befitting the rich bass tones Denis
lends his interpretation.
If you're interested, you could have a listen to Denis' version
on mp3. I quite like it, even the subtle change of lyric. Check
out Denis' I'll
+ dancers adjust to the new stage (pic Newman)
St Andrews pub Sun. 12.2.12
'new-look' St Andrews pub
13.2.12 - We'd heard there'd been changes
wrought at the St Andrews pub, but it was still somewhat of
a surprise. It makes sense, especially visually-speaking, but
it took us quite a while to work out how the on-stage sound
had been affected. Generally it's more 'squishy' - the bottom
end has been enhanced and the low mids and mids have been subsumed
by the bottom end, leaving the top mids and treble quite clean
and separate. Despite the Whittlesea Show and the St Kilda Festival
we had a pretty decent crowd, led by the incorrigible Trollops
and Drs Sellers. (pic) I dunno what the thoughts were
from the new management, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.
look a little sullen but the vibe was great at the de Wolfs
Simon de Wolf's pre-60th Mt Martha Sat. 11.2.12
13.2.12 - Texts were flying back and forth
up until the moment we left for Mt Martha, mainly concerned
with the state of the weather. In the end, Simon, whose 60th
birthday it will be in July, decided to take his chances, and,
as it turned out, the few showers we did have didn't dampen
the collective enthusiasm. There were a couple of generations
present, but everybody seemed to enjoy the music on show, first
from Wayne Jury 's band and then the Spectrum trio.
of the Earth one last time..
- that's the Mentals' Greedy Smith in Wollongong 2) AND - that's
Glenn A Baker with Lior and me in Sydney
view from our dressing room at the Opera House 4) We had John
Grant playing our Steinway grand piano..
Ariel's drummer, Nigel 'Catbrain' Macara with Tim Gaze and me
6) Pam Cleary made it to Sydney as well
Entertainment Centre Wollongong Fri. 3.2.12 & the Sydney
Opera House Sun. 5.2.12
Morning of the Earth goes out with a bang
7.2.12 - The WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong
is essentially a sports stadium, but it's modestly proportioned
so the level of intimacy most suitable for the presentation
of the Morning of the Earth show is still possible. The testosterone
charged support band was possibly not the ideal complement musically-speaking,
but the audience seemed to enjoy their contribution (so what
do I know) and we were getting the vibe back-stage that nothing
was going to stop the audience having a good time tonight. And
that's the way it turned out too - meeting up with Greedy Smith
(pic 1) at the signing table after the show was a bonus.
Perhaps amazingly we've not met before - he claimed it was the
first Friday night out to see a show he'd had in thirty five
years and he absolutely loved the show!
We drove back to the Mercure Hotel in Sydney after the show
looking forward to a day off on the town before our two shows
at the Opera House on the Sunday. My cultural attaché
from Canberra was to meet me in the morning, but she came down
with a mystery illness the previous day and sadly had to cancel
her trip, so I went through the motions of the day's planned
activities, but on my own. Coincidentally, one of the highlights
was to be going to the opera Turandot at, you guessed
it, the Sydney Opera House, so I took the train in and had a
very interesting, though solitary, evening's entertainment,
which I might describe in more detail on the ASR page.
We'd brought some very good weather with us, and after I'd enjoyed
a relaxed breakfast with my publisher Gus McNeil and Margaret,
we negotiated the throngs soaking up some long-overdue summer
sunshine down at Circular Quay before descending into the labyrinthine
depths of the world-famous Sydney Opera House.
The dressing-room assigned to Lior and me was to die for - the
views (pic 3) were iconic and we had the luxury of
a Steinway grand piano at our disposal. Neither Lior nor I are
a piano-player's arthritic elbow, so we enticed the 'reverend'
John Grant in (pic 4) to provide some suitable background
music just for us! Aaah - the high life!
If anything, playing a matinée and an evening show made
us feel like a real professional touring show, but by the end
of the night we were starting to realise that this was indeed
the last hurrah. Meeting up with Glenn A Baker (pic 2) and
Ariel's Nigel Macara (pic 6) at the post-show signing
was pretty special, but it was actually good meeting all the
various audiences at the signings - everybody seemed to be thrilled
with the show and I was constantly surprised at how many youngsters
had picked up on the music and had obviously taken it to heart.
There was a party in the Green Room while the crew packed up
the gear for the last time. A real sense of camaraderie
had developed over the tour, and the cast and Bold Jack touring
company (and crews) all got on famously throughout. I feel especially
privileged to have been invited to participate as a 'principal',
particularly as I had nothing to do with the original recording.
I thought the last time we toured the MOTE show that there couldn't
possibly be another one, so I'm not discounting the possibility
of MOTE hitting the road again. I'll look forward to it too.
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