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1) My generous hosts, Leigh and Bev 2) The circle is complete - Martin Woodward booked Ariel a long, long time ago

gig report
Sat.25.5.13 The Vesbar Wine Lounge
The full moon's powers diminished by overcast conditions
26.5.13 -
I don't know how it happened, but I missed the Peninsula Link turn-off on the way to Somerville and ended up in Frankston. I hoped it didn't portend a night of total forgetfulness at the Vesbar, but as it happened I'd only forgotten my music stand this time and Leigh lent me Bev's so there was no drama. Bev had booked a table at the Indian restaurant next door for 6.00 and I happily reacquainted myself with their peerless lamb cutlets before waddling back into the Vesbar and contemplating the modest crowd on hand.
I began playing at 7.45 - a compromise between the time I had booked and the advertised time on the blackboard - and spontaneously decided to make it a thirty minute set rather than the usual forty-five minutes, which meant three rather than two sets over the two hours, but in the end I thought it altogether more manageable for both me and the audience.
I noticed a couple of young girls sitting directly in front of me during the first set and imagined they would tire of me pretty quickly, so I was delighted they remained the entire night and said how much they'd enjoyed it as they left at the end of the night (as I was guzzling my complimentary hot chocolate).
Martin Woodward (pic 2) introduced himself to me after the second set and said that he'd booked Ariel to play in Seaford back in the early '70s and I'd shown him how to play the riff for Some Good Advice which had somehow determined him to take up a life of music. Thankfully he didn't seem to be too damaged by this decision so I was pleased to to play a fragment of Advice, which Martin claimed was a 'completing the circle' moment and which he - and the rest of the room for that matter - seemed to enjoy immensely.
I really enjoyed the night and scarcely stuffed up anything musically speaking so I think I can say things are moving in the right direction for Mike the solo artist.

1) The return of Spectrum Plays the Blues at the Secret Sound studio 2) Pete Dacy sets up the mics

3) Joni, the resident Secret Sound door bitch, lays the trap 4) Bill, the booby, steps right in it
Two dog day afternoons - SPTB's turd blues album underway
20.5.13 - The month of June looks pretty quiet gig-wise, so what better to do than undertake some long overdue recording? There are quite a number of blues tunes begging to be recorded, (like Albatross), so we began work on what will be the third Spectrum Plays the Blues album on Saturday at Pete Dacy's Secret Sound studio, barely five minutes away from my home in Mt Waverley. We got three or four tunes recorded before Robbo had to leave for an appointment the G to see his Pies topple the Cats but we were pretty happy with the way things were going - apart from the moment when Robbo and Daz were complaining about the smell of dog shit on their side of the studio and Bill found he'd trekked in a sole full. (pics 3 & 4)
We assembled at the studio the next morning for round two and re-emerged at 4.30, again pretty satisfied with progress. Pete knows exactly what we're looking for and makes it as easy as humanly possible for us old geezers to do our SPTB thing. Now to approach AMCOS about copyright and start work on some home-made blues tunes Any suggestions for an album title, (other than The Turd Album), will be gratefully considered..
A Mother of a day at St Annies..

1) The Spectrum trio in flight at the Lomond Hotel on Sturday night (Gravias) 2) Maria and Chris at the St Andrews pub

3) Lisa and Keaton at St Andrews 4) The Scallops came out of their shells for Spectrum's Mothers Day show

5) Triple M - Texas Michael, Mike and Mick Newman (Gravias) 6) Cheryl and Kel O'Brien came down from Goornong
gig report

Sat. 11.5.13 Lomond Hotel East Brunswick Sun.12.5.13 St Andrews Hotel
The return of the Classic Double
13.5.13 -
We call it the Classic Double but you might choose to call it the Odd Couple of Spectrum gigs, jammed back-to-back as they are late Saturday night and Sunday arvo. Maria and I arrived early at the Lomond on Saturday evening to share a meal with Dr Wazz before I started to load-in, so it wasn't until we were half way through setting up that Bill asked where the guitar stands were - and looked at me incredulously when I said I'd left them at home. Of course it didn't make any difference in the overall scheme of things and we had a fine night with an attentive and enthusiastic audience. It never ceases to surprise me that it always seems to be a different bunch in the room every time we play there.
The next day was Mothers Day and the St Andrews pub was full to bursting with families celebrating over lunch. Mind you, the bulk of the lunch crowd had drifted away and the Mothers Day dinner crowd was starting to arrive by the last set, but in between time we had fun playing the Spectrum four-piece repertoire, which means that songs like Launching Place Part Two and Little By Little get an airing for a change.
My son Chris (pic 2) had a roaring good time and it was lovely to see Di, Lyn, Heather and Maree (pic 4) again after a long absence. Lisa and Keaton Robbo (pic 3) came to celebrate as well - Lisa hadn't been to St Andrews since the remodelling and was very surprised to find the stage had shifted.

1) Spectrum battles on gamely at the Hellenic Club (Gravias) 2) Suza was surprised to see us not at the Press Club

3) A novel load-in thorough the window at Belluci's 4) Tony's brother Carl Moleta travelled up from Melbourne for the party

5) Adele's friend Nellie's dad was another Spectrumophile in the room (Gravias)
gig report
Sat. 4.5.13 Hellenic Club Woden Sun. 5.5.13 Tony Moleta's 60th Belluci's Dickson ACT
A trippy trip to the ACT
7.5.13 -
Bill and I left Melbourne on Friday morning and arrived at Maria's place about 7.00. Robbo (or Fifo*) was to arrive by plane the next day and Maria had kindly offered to put us up for the night to save on accomm. expenses.
Gaye (Reid) had booked us to play the Hellenic Club in Woden on Saturday night, which was a departure from our usual Canberra run but we just needed

the one public gig to make the Moletas' surprise party the next night a realistic financial proposition.
There was a group of perhaps a dozen people in fancy dress that summed up the experience for us all. It was Dave's 50th birthday it seems and he came up to the stage to ask if we played any rock 'n' roll. I said we didn't but I'd be happy to announce that it was his birthday and sing Happy Birthday for him. 'No, don't bother', he said without rancour. 'Shit band' said one of the girls as they left (at the end of the night, mind you)..
Tony Moleta's surprise party the following night had been in the planning by his wife Liz for quite some time and given the most difficult thing with a surprise party is to keep it a surprise I think they did remarkably well - even down to talking Tony out of going to the Hellenic Club gig the night before. Anyway, Tony's daughter Adele gave us the signal and we launched into I'll Be Gone as Tony walked in - only my harp was all blocked up and the opening riff was just a collection of unmusical squawks. (It warmed up thankfully).
In my defence it was a tricky load-in (pic 3) and we had to tap into the house PA to boot, so we used up every second of the 90 minute load-in time I'd allowed. It was a strange arrangement too with the party being held in the public bar area, meaning there were periods where our music was connecting with at least some of the older partygoers in the audience - who were then bemused by the house music booming between our sets.
Still, we managed to enjoy ourselves and Tony said we'd played all the songs he wanted to hear so we went back to Maria's place and celebrated with wine, beer and Maria's pavlova before going to bed in preparation for the trip back to Melbourne.

*Fifo - fly in, fly out
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