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1) Dirk Dubois slots back comfortably into the Spectrum line-up 2) It was all Frank Davidson's idea..
gig report
Sun. 28 Twin Waters Resort Sunshine Coast

Spectrum goes corporate - for a night
29.10.13 - Not sleeping the night before going on tour is pretty standard behaviour for me and in this case it lent an extra air of unreality to proceedings that were already quite unusual by our modest standards. Spectrum's never been considered a corporate band, so to be flown from chilly, damp Melbourne to spend a relaxing (warm) day on the Sunshine Coast, to sound check leisurely with a backline and crew supplied and to then be fed royally and play a couple of laid back Spectrum sets to an at least partially enthusiastic crowd of corporate revellers sounds like heaven - and it certainly did have its share of heavenly moments.
It was reassuring first-up to be reunited with philosopher-bassist Dirk Dubois, whom we haven't seen since Bill's Last Gig, as it was also good to catch up with things Uki and Quincy, quite apart from the occasionally euphoric moments we shared together on stage. Dirk had driven up from Uki (not so far away in the Tweed Valley) and had decided at the last moment to bring his speaker cabinet along as well as his bass head - which turned out to be just as well as there was a problem with the cabinet that had been supplied.
Probably the musical highlight of the evening, for me at least, was when we played the Richard Berry classic, Louie, Louie, (which the crowd liberally interpreted as Wild Thing), and which provided me with the platform to express all my pent up frustrations (at finding a large zit on the end of my nose for instance - you'd think all that kind of teen-age stuff was well and truly over at my age) in an extended (read 'epic') solo, which provided one bloke in the audience with the excuse to indulge in a wild table-top strip. (Story of my life - never the females).
There were other highlights, of course, but that was the moment the audience was going crazy dancing and generally peaking with the band - well, when the audience was in the room in fact, because at some stage during the second set I looked up to find just a sprinkling of hard-core Spectrumites and other musical travellers remained.
That didn't stop them from demanding an encore though and the good thing was we didn't have to pack up the gear afterwards, so we thanked our crew, Steve and Ben, and Frank Davidson (pic 2) whose idea it was to book us in the first place and gratefully retired to our rooms to wind down over a hot TV set.
Hard to know if we passed the audition really, but if the offer comes up again we'll gladly masquerade as Spectrum, the band of choice for your corporate function.. (Exotic locales only considered).


1) Sun-Bus 5's Andrew Garton 2) Chip Wardale + sound palette 3) Chip's cog and bell still life

3) Steve Law thinks about leaking to Wikileaks 4) Chris Natoli is Cort in the act as we tuned up

5) Rob Harwood was in control
gig report
Sat. 12.10.13 The Super Slide Show Hurstbridge Hall
Flashback situation getting serious..
13.10.13 -
Yesterday's celebration of randomised synthesisers, keyboards, percussion and amplified natural sounds combined with a light show at the Hurstbridge Hall had me thinking I was back in the mid '70s at the TF Much Ballroom - and if Hugh McSpedden had seen his way clear to attend the show (and maybe Tribe had rolled up as well) the illusion would've been complete.
I'm sure Hugh was there in spirit when the projector failed to cooperate after Andrew introduced The Light Show DVD - a doco about Hugh working with Sun-Bus 5 in 2012 - but eventually the doco was shown and we were at the intermission already. Then Chris Natoli (pic 4) and I joined Sun-Bus 5 in the 1st movement 'intro' and after the 3rd movement we played an extended version of Chris' song, Lullaby for Jarom (written for Chris' very talented son), followed by another impro which morphed into an extended version of I'll Be Gone (the B version) to finish up.
There was only a modest audience of about fifty people, but the music was very well-appreciated - in fact, there was such a warm response that we ended up doing a reprise of Lullaby for Jarom as an encore before finally calling it quits.
It was good to see some old friends there and I was really pleased that my occasional collaborator, Eris O'Brien, made a special effort to attend. Special thanks to my musical cohort, Chris Natoli, who made me very welcome in his home - I'll remember our jamming on his balcony overlooking Hurstbridge in yesterday's warm afternoon sun for a long time to come.

ith or without Hugh, I'm sure that it will be a very interesting show - I'm anticipating some TF Much flashbacks
The Hugh-less Super Slide Show comes to Hurstbridge

7.10.13 - This coming Saturday (the 12th) at the former movie house, The Hurstbridge Hall, there will be a preview screening and launch of the new limited edition Sun-Bus-5 CD/DVD The Light Show in Melbourne's north east.
For the one night only, the artist run label Secession Records presents a preview screening of a new documentary about projection artist, Hugh McSpedden, including a live recording of a new progressive ambient composition and visuals by Sun-Bus-5 (Andrew Garton, Chip Wardale, Kate Adam, Steve Law), with a guest performance by guitarist Chris Natoli and me. Bill had also been invited. (See the August Stop Press page)
The Light Show (see trailer) was a live event, an avant-garde mix of interview and performance focusing on Hugh's artistic practice and created in collaboration with contemporary music ensemble Sun-Bus-5. It took place over four nights at the 2012 Melbourne Fringe festival. The Light Show CD/DVD package contains the The Light Show documentary with extracts from the 2012 performance event highlighting Hugh's fluid effects and multiple projector array. It also includes the entire soundtrack by Sun-Bus-5, remixed by Chip Wardale and mastered by Simon Polinski at Sing Sing Studios.
Hugh was originally involved with the Super Slide Show but has since parted ways with the project. In his most recent email Hugh says 'I was really looking forward to the gig and truly love working with Sun Bus 5, and hope it will happen in the foreseeable. ‘best to you all and I hope you enjoy it, hu.' I hope we'll see you there on the night, Hugh.
The Super Slide Show is being produced with the support of the artist run label Secession Records, the Nillumbik Shire Council, the Hurstbridge Traders Group and the Bridge to Eden Café and is on at 7.00 this Saturday evening at the Hurstbridge Hall, 974 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge. Tickets are $10.00 and booking is essential.
For more info contact Andrew Garton on 0409948280 or at See Super Slide Show flyer


1) The band discusses Mike's new shoes before the first set 2) Broc tries them lot for apples on the Jazz bass (pics Koryn)

3) Luke blows Mike away on his C harp 4) The band and the Vesbar crowd go transcendental in unison (pics Wazz)

gig report
Sat. 5.10.13 Vesbar Wane Lounge Somerville
The Vesbar goes off and Mike has a flashback..
7.10.13 - I'm sure I've registered my thoughts on this before, but every now and then a gig goes off - i.e. the whole night goes exceptionally well for both band and audience - and you're not quite sure why but there's a faint echo triggered in the memory banks that suggests the answer lies deep in the past when everything was new.
Perhaps it's simply that there's a newbie in the band and the old repertoire is sounding, well, refreshed. Or maybe it was just the audience willing it to be a fab night. Or maybe it was my new dancing shoes.
Whatever it was, the Vesbar was abuzz with the sound of deliriously happy punters by the time we pulled up stumps after the second encore on Saturday night. I've done a few solo gigs there over the past year and Ive never actually considered it as a venue for the band - it would tie with the Wild Thyme Café for the world's tiniest gig classification - but it was a special occasion, (Bev and Leigh's 1st anniversary as Vesbar owners) and I thought, what the hell, we'll give it a go.
Broc had a good night, although his amp head lost its grip in the last song - I had to remind him that that's why the world went bloody digital in the first place. Robbo left his conga at home and my Morris nylon-string presented me with two broken strings when I opened its case, but none of these annoying incidentals could detract from our overall enjoyment of the night.
Watch out for more Spectrum trio gigs at the Vesbar..

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