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Bill, Robbo (and Keaton), Mike and Daryl at the Debonairs Chrissy luncheon - more on that to come.. (pic Lia Robbo)
Another year, another Chrissy card..
4.12.12 - I mouth off a lot about Christmas, but it is a good opportunity to kick back, crack a relaxant of your choice and reflect on the human condition. The band got together socially today at the Debonairs Chrissy party and had the annual band shot taken by Lisa Robbo (again) and here it is on the band's Chrissy card. There's young Keaton Robbo providing the human interest and there's the band looking optimistically into the New Year. What lies ahead for our intrepid grey gonads? Stay tuned in 2013 and find out.

.See I Play My Guitar guitar solo on YouTube courtesy of Peter Carolan
gig report
Sat. 8.12.12 Lomond Hotel
A spesh night at the Lomond
9.12.12 -
The header's misleading 'cause it's always a bit special at the Lomond, but I get the impression from resident piano player, Tony Hargreaves, that it's just a little bit more special each time we play there.
I feel the same really. I don't know if it was just people getting into the Chrissy spirit, but we sold lots of CDs - and with no prompting from me, so the audience clearly enjoyed it as much as we did.

1) Alana's pleased to have got her licence 2) The patient Dr Wazz and Jude Ocean
gig report
Wed. 5.12.12 Clifton Hill Hotel
Miss Vicki - sure do!
6.12.12 - Next year it'll be twenty years since Bill and I played at the inaugural Wednesday night acoustic sessions hosted by Rod Claringbould. Then it was at The Victorian Hotel on Beaconsfield Pde, but it's been at the Clifton Hill Hotel for years now and Bill and I have remained regular contributors.
For some reason we've not always felt comfortable at these sessions, but last night things seemed to fall into place. Mind you, the night began inauspiciously with my not leaving home until the very last second and then discovering I'd left various items behind in the rush, but as it turned out there weren't any dire consequences - apart from neglecting my good friends, Dr Wazz and Jude Ocean. (pic 2) On reflection I think Miss Vicki, (the honourary sound engineer), has been the missing piece in the puzzle - the sound last night was spot on and that makes it so much easier to stay focused. And then we're older, of course..
Anyway, whatever the reason, the audience seemed to be very happy with our part in the evening's entertainment. Rodney tells me there's going to be a 20th anniversary show in late May next year - I hope Miss Vicki's in town..
Jingle bloody bells..

1) The Robbos' family portrait - Keaton's already got an attitude 2) David Pepperell and Wilbur Wilde chatting

3) Arch conspirators, Dom and Wilbur successfully add to the confusion 4) Gloria and Jimmie Sloggett say hullo

5) Bill sulks as his vego dish finally arrives - cold 6) Rob O'Toole told me all about his recent trip to the States

7) Steve Romig goes soul-o..
The Debonairs' Chrissy luncheon
5.12.12 -
I generally find the Debs' functions a little too noisy for my taste, added to which is my embarrassing tendency to forget everybody's names, but the Chrissy one is a chance to get the band together socially and pretend that it's a dedicated Spectrum party - and get the band's pic taken for the Chrissy card. Although we were sitting as far away as possible it seemed to be even noisier than usual for some reason - just as well Keaton was wearing some very becoming ear muffs while Steve Romig (pic 7) was doing his soulful thing.
It was good to see the family Robbos there (pic 1) and Rosemary even turned up in a dress bought especially for the occasion. I think it was Daryl's first time.
Unfortunately the food was sub-standard and Bill's vego meal (pic 5) didn't arrive for a good half an hour after we'd eaten our first course - and we'd all left before the promised mud cake arrived. Well, I assume it eventually arrived.
Anyway, it's all for a good cause (Support Act) and we'll be back again next year..

ASFD - the greatest of all our albums?
A Strange Fantastic Dream now available on CD Baby!
4.12.12 -
We finally ran out of the CDs a couple of weeks ago, so I've now got Ariel's A Strange Fantastic Dream album available as an mp3 download on CD Baby. What does that mean exactly? Well, simply go to the CDs page and scroll down to the selection of Ariel albums and click on the CD Baby link and you'll be able to purchase the album, or individual tracks for that matter, and download them to your hard drive.
It's easy - and it's quite modern too. I know there's still a significant demand for this album, which is easily the most virtuosic of all our recordings, mainly due to the sublime guitar playing of Tim Gaze, and so I recommend you pay CD Baby a visit and sample the quality of the sound before you buy, if that's a concern. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
In the meantime, it's possible there'll be some developments shortly in the area of distribution and further back-catalogue releases, so stay tuned..

Harpist Selwyn and Phill Raymond play more in hope than in anger
gig report
Sat. 1.12.12 The Music Man Bendigo
A quite splendid night in Bendigo
2.12.12 -
I'd been reading a report about the latest Rolling Stones' concerts in London where The Telegraph writer referred to the Stones as 'cadavers' and so I was already feeling a bit sensitive. We nearly always mention that Bill and I have been playing together for a long time (forty three years this year), which means our audience is likely round the same vintage as we are, and so when our host Phill Raymond took the stage with his harp player Selwyn (pic) and played a set with virtually nobody in the room, we started to think that maybe our luck had
finally run out and nobody might turn up at all..
We adjourned for a meal at The Hotel Shamrock, an enormous gold-rush period edifice that Bill had fancied as we drove into town, and by the time we arrived back the other support, The Old Buzzard Medicine Show, had thankfully attracted a few more punters. (Before we started playing I had a chat with former Vibrants' guitarist Marc Leon who was playing some very tasy licks and was making his SG sound uncannily like an arch-top).
The hoped-for large crowd never eventuated, but the room looked presentable enough and they were a very enthusiastic bunch. For our part we revelled in the excellent stage sound (thank you Paul) and, with the audience's encouragement, responded with a bravura trio performance. Hooray!
It's a shame we won't get to play at the Australia Day ceremony at Lake Weeroona next Australia Day, but hopefully Phill will find a way to get us back to Bendigo before too long.
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