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1) Spectrum for the first time as a four-piece in Warburton (Sellers) 2) The delightful little dancing girl

3) Bill and me with the discerning Mark Rogers
gig report
Sat. 27.4.13 Mark Rogers 50th at the Wild Thyme Cafe

Windy and warm at the Wild Thyme
28.4.13 - There was some good-natured disparagement on FaceBook when I mentioned we were playing al fresco in Warburton last night, but the long-range forecasters got it absolutely right and the weather was balmy to say the least. Mind you there was the odd gust of wind and one actually caused the curtains to catch the PA mixer and throw it onto the ground upside down. (It was undamaged).
The night was in celebration of Mark Rogers' (pic 3) 50th birthday and was the first time we've had the full band at the Wild Thyme We got to play a bunch of retro-Spectrum songs we haven't played for a while to the biggest crowd I've ever seen there - and everyone was very happy..

Yes, the trusty old recorder that's on the original recording of Superbody being used again on Superbody (Sellers)
gig report
Wed. 24.13 Mike
solo at The Quiet Man Flemington
The Quiet Man anything but..
25.4.13 - The Clifton Hill acoustic sessions on a Wednesday night have been ticking over for years - maybe even decades now - and Bill and I have occasionally fronted up to the Clifton Hill Hotel at Rod Claringbould's behest and laid a quiet set on an even quieter front bar. When Rod rang for our availabilities recently he said that the Clifton Hill was closing for renovations and they were temporarily moving the acoustic sessions to a fellow Irish pub, The Quiet Man, in Flemington. I thought that, change being in the air, I might try a night sans Bill, so I duly turned up last night at the pub bearing George Martin plus various accoutrements but otherwise quite alone. I had time to join the Drs Sellers, Jude Ocean and Michael Crowhurst for a decent-ish meal at a Malaysian restaurant down the road before my set's advertised starting time of 9.15, but when we got back we found things to be running well-and-truly behind, which meant I didn't actually start my set until closer to 9.45.
Maybe it was due to the public holiday the next day, but there was an unexpectedly large crowd in - and they were clearly in the mood for a chat, so The Quiet Man was hardly living up to its name. Nevertheless, there was a core of music appreciators doing their very best to be attentive to my every note and utterance and Ray Moon had the steam PA chugging to the max to allow me to be heard over the cacophony of conversation - and I think for the most part it worked..
Anyway, I was told by Petrina and Lex that I looked relaxed enough and I'm gradually reducing the quota of fumbles so I was happy with that and left feeling moderately satisfied - although that might've been due to the pot Lex shouted me after I'd eventually packed up George for the night..

Don Hillman's Secret Beach launch their set - I swear I could hear the break crunching onto the Torquay foreshore..

In a universe far, far away..

1) Bill wins the meat plate at the Murray Bridge Rowing Club 2) Something's missing from Cherie's glass, Bob!

3) The heritage-listed room at the Auburn Courthouse Cultural Centre as seen from the stage - sounded good too

4) Bill squints at the camera with fellow bassist, Rod Dawson 5) Kerry and Martin were there..

6) Richmond and Collingwood played on Saturday - pick the loser 7) Phillipa and Mike were cryptically related

8) John Matheson organised the shebang for his partner Reiko's birthday
gig report
Fri. 19.4.13 Mike & Bill at The Courthouse Auburn SA Sat. 20.4.13 The trio at the Prairie Hotel Parachilna SA
It's a long way to the Prairie.. Mike and Bill's big adventure
24.4.13 - It was in early March when Spectrum last played at the Semaphore Workers Club that John Matheson introduced himself to me between sets and gently reminded me that he was still waiting for me to reply to his last email and let him know whether we were interested in playing at his wife Reiko's birthday party at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna.
Since then there's been considerable good-natured correspondence back and forth between John and me with the end result being that last Thursday morning Bill and I headed for the SA border in the van planning to meet Robbo in Parachilna on Saturday evening - Robbo was flying into Adelaide on Saturday morning and hitching a ride to Parachilna with Andrew and Sally who were guests at the party.
We broke up the journey by stopping off in Murray Bridge on the first night and we had dinner at the Murray Bridge Rowing Club, which had a bus service to and from the motel. Bill bought $5.00 worth of raffle tickets - and won a prize! He was offered the meat tray but went for the half-dozen bottles of Carlton instead. (pic 1)
We'd managed to score a gig for the duo on the Friday night in Auburn at The Courthouse, which as the name suggests, is a former courthouse now being used for music nights amongst other cultural events. Bill and I met up with Cherie Harvey (pic 2) who runs the music program at The Courthouse and who turns out to be a fellow Kiwi - from Bluff of all places. She generously offered to put us up at her place for the night and guided us the few kilometeres out of Auburn to settle in before we sound-checked back at the gig.
Bob Charman, (pic 2) the sound engineer arrived and we headed back into town to set up and sound check, after which we wandered down to the Rising Sun Hotel and had a slap-up meal. There were at least a couple of people also dining there who were coming to the show, so we started revising our crowd forecasts upward as we wandered back to the gig where we found quite a healthy sized crowd filing in to the room.
Bill and I have been discussing the duo's relevance recently and decided to be a little more precious about where we present it, (pubs are out for instance) and by our revised definition The Courthouse seemed to be the ideal type of venue. I started off proceedings with about half-an-hour's solo ramble before Bill joined me - Bob got the perfect sound for the room and the punters seemed to be delighted, so I think we'll persevere with the revised philosophy and see where it takes us. If it takes us back to The Courthouse that would be a good result for a start..*
I'm guessing not a lot of you have been to Parachilna - I'd certainly never heard of it before. It's adjacent to the Flinders Ranges some 500 odd k north of Adelaide and anybody that I'd spoken to about it that had been there said it was a very beautiful area. I wish I'd taken some pics on the way up but I suspect they wouldn't do justice to this luminously brooding landscape in any case.
Apart from a brief excursion into the unknown the trip passed without incident and after Robbo arrived we started to set up on the Prairie Hotel's verandah accompanied by clouds of bush flies. The feeling of remoteness is palpable and the hotel is the only permanent building in Parachilna, the extra accommodation being comprised of cabins of varying quality.
John and Reiko had very kindly invited us to the pre-dinner drinks, to which end everybody had been given a card bearing their name - and an inscrutable icon which was supposed to be matched to one other guest's card. My icon was a toilet roll, which turned out to be a match for Phillipa's (pic 7) Ayers Rock (rock 'n' roll - geddit?). I didn't. Cryptic bro' Dick would've got it immediately I suspect.
I was expecting it to be quite cold in the desert night air, but as it turned out we probably lucked it for one of the last days of summer and it was really quite pleasant. The flies that beset us when we arrived had quite disappeared and all the guests had a lovely time, even if some got quite smashed, and the sound on the verandah was as good as it gets, which is as much as a band can ask for really.
It started to rain lightly as we were packing up, which we took as a good omen given there's hardly been any rain up there, but by the next morning it was cold and miserable for the drive back to Adelaide where we were to drop Robbo off for the flight home. Altogether it was a thoroughly memorable trip and even without the mementos I'll always remember the stunning scenery on the long journey to and from the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna.

* Read Judith Dawsons Clare Valley tribute to Mike & Bill on the Correspondence page


1) Brett and Brayden treamed up to help us load out 2) Michael was having a very earnest talk with pink shirted Bill

3) It was Easter Sunday but it wasn't a bad crowd altogether 4) Tom Spanos has his ear inspected by Keaton Robbo
gig report
Sun.31.3.13 The Cabana Lounge East Malvern RSL
Easter Sunday at the Cabana Lounge
1.4.13 -
The booker for The Cabana Lounge (aka the East Malvern RSL), Mae Parker, dropped in as we were setting up to make sure all was well and apologised profusely for booking us on a holiday weekend, but it was a quite reasonable crowd as it turned out. (pic 3) I reckon we must've known most of the audience in any case, so it was a very friendly atmosphere. We were experimenting a bit - our surprise guest (Robbo) brought along his cajon to accompany the Volcano songs and had the Gretsch kit for the blues stuff and I brought George (Martin) along for a couple of songs.
The Cabana Lounge is on the first floor overlooking Darling Park, so we were very grateful there was a lift and that Brett and Brayden (pic 1) helped us with the load out. Yesterday's gig was part of an initial eight week season after which it will be reviewed and its future determined. I hope it keeps on going, even if it's just on the grounds that it's the world's most convenient gig for me, being a mere ten minutes from where I live.

*Unrelated to anything, listen to Mike & Bill's very helpful Podcast recorded on Radio Adelaide's Songcatcher show
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