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St Annies rocks again..

1) People actually up dancing - and not all of them Scallops either! 2) Chris watches his dad from the wings
gig report
Sun. 29.9.13 St Andrews Hotel
St Andrews welcomes Spectrum home
30.9.13 - Funnily enough I had absolutely no feelings of apprehension about Spectrum's first gig with new bassist, Broc O'Connor. I guess the couple of run-throughs at home with Broc had convinced me that he knew what he was doing and so it was simply a case of turning up and doing it in front of an audience. As for the size of that audience, you never can tell the day after GF day, but in the event plenty of Spectrum's St Andrews' regulars turned up and made the arvo another typical Spectrum celebration.
My son Chris came along with us (pic 2) and sat with the Sellers', the Robbos and Broc's lady Kathleen and watched the band - the Scallops even prevailed on Maria to get up and join the dancing late in the afternoon. (pic 1) There were plenty of friends there besides the Scallops; Peter Carolan and Bob, Barry and Claire Murnane, Peter Dacy and the beautiful Julie with son Jack, Neil Clark, Aaron Schembri, Michael Granat and many more - Bill's partner Rosemary put in an appearance too which was pretty special.
Cameron was more than happy with the crowd and enjoyed the band as well, so it was a grand debut for Broc.

I don't know if you've seen this, but in case you haven't, check out this Madder Lake track from their new World CD.


1) Dan Hall delivers a typically smooth set 2) Nick Charles shows me how a guitar should be played

3) Mike and Ross Hannaford on stage at the Clifton Hill 4) What it's all about - the double album of the gig
gig report
Wed. 25.9.13 20th Anniversary Acoustic Sessions Clifton Hill
20th anniversary show goes and goes..
26.9.13 - If you were to ask him, Rod Claringbould would tell you candidly that many of his Wednesday night Acoustic Sessions over the years at the Clifton Hill Hotel have been poorly patronised, which makes his tenacity in keeping them running for more than two decades all the more laudable. Last night's 20th anniversary show was remarkable for the near-capacity crowd but it was also special because it marked the release of The Long Run double CD featuring most of the musicians who have played the Sessions over the twenty years - and for the completion of the refurbishments at the pub which have seen the Sessions temporarily relocated to The Quiet Man for the last few months..
Maria and I arrived shortly after 7.30 and had time to check out the refurbishments before Dan Hall, (pic 1) with Miss Vicky driving the new Ray Moon-mystifying digital PA, opened the evening's musical proceedings. Dan finished off his typically ultra-smooth set accompanied on stage by his mum and dad, which was a nice touch - but not the last odd coupling of the evening.
Then it was my turn. (pic 3) Thankfully my voice was pretty much under control but there were a couple of guitar blemishes I had to swallow along the way - luckily they were forgotten or at least forgiven when Ross Hannaford, (looking sensational in an orange American corrections facility outfit), joined me for the last three numbers of the set, after which the dutifully attentive audience gave us a wonderfully warm ovation.
Nick Charles (pic 2) was up next with his teeth-gnashingly impeccable finger-picking stylings and I got to chat to Wayne Duncan at the bar where Hanna was already swaying happily with a scotch in hand. I got a G&T and my freebie album and said hullo to Brod Smith before I decided it was time we left.
It had cooled appreciably and was raining and I was half way back to the van when Heather screeched at me from across the road that I hadn't even said goodbye - and so I rushed back and gave her a birthday hug. The Scallops were all there and I think they'll be there again this Sunday arvo at the St Andrews pub to see the first New Seekers - sorry, new Spectrum gig

Broc is relieved not to be sepia and Robbo is just relieved he's relieved..
Broc on track for St Annies..
25.9.13 -
Still smarting from being pictured last week in sepia and wearing specs, Broc rolled up with a new bass guitar last night to have a run through what's left of the repertoire with Robbo. (pic) I guess it's coming along OK - we'll only find out when we actually take to the St Andrews stage on Sunday arvo.
In the meantime I've got a solo spot at the Clifton Hill Hotel tonight with Acoustic Sessions' veterans Brod Smith with Shane Bourne, Jimi Hocking, Nick Charles, Dan Hall and Ross Hannaford. Hooray!

Frog and Mike hang out in front of Songland Records
Unplanned meeting in the ACT to pay off
20.9.13 - Maria and I popped up to Canberra on Monday to pick up some of Maria's things and say hi to her parents. While I was there I got a message on Facebook that Frog from Songland Records was trying to get hold of me - in the nicest possible way, of course! So on Wednesday we headed out to Songland Records in Weston Creek and met up with Frog (he insists on being referred to as Frog) and had a long chat over a cup of tea and the shortest of shortbreads. It's always nice to meet someone that's enthusiatic and knowledgeable about music and records and Frog is at the high end of both scales. He believes there's a market for 'heritage' acts and his thriving record shop is eveidence of that. Maybe we'll link up in future?

1) Broc O'Connor gets down and brown on the bottom end 2) Bo Jenkins chats to party host, Leigh Fraser
Broc O'Connor to play bass for Spectrum and a party at the Vesbar
7.9.13 -
First things first - with Dirk Dubois unable to become a permanent replacement, Broc O'Connor (pic 1) has agreed to pick up the vacant bass guitar position in Spectrum. Broc has played in bands such as Kevin McLaughlin and the Murrumbidgee Orchestra in Canberra back in the '70s and Dear Enemy in the '80s and has had a longer on-going musical collaboration with our old mate Ross Ryan. (Read the full Broc O'Connor bio)
Maria and I cast our votes today (don't blame me) before picking up Chris and heading down to Somerville to join in the afternoon party celebrating The Vesbar's co-owner Leigh Fraser's 'retirement'. We ran into his partner Beverly dispensing pizza pieces on the way in and she said that Leigh was down the other end of the room talking to somebody or other - who turned out to be none other than Bo Jenkins (pic 2) We chatted about kookaburras mostly, but Bo offered to join me on guitar at the Vesbar sometime, which sounds like a very fine idea..
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