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The Lomond and Tago Mago weekend

1) Sunday arvo at Tago Magio and Portmanteaux plays a dazzling selection to a cheerful crowd

2) Henry Jackson drops some chops 3) Tago Mago's Calvin goes al fresco after a big Saturday
gig report
Sat. 21.12.13 Lomond Hotel East Brunswick Sun. 22.12.13 Tago Mago Thornbury
Consecutive gigs wrap up Spectrum's 2013
27.12.13 - The last gigs for the year for the Spectrum trio happened to be on the same side of town, beginning with the semi-regular Lomond Hotel gig on Saturday night where I was ambushed by Marg Sellers as I walked in and subsequently enjoyed a meal in the bistro with the good Doctors - and Broc - before loading in and setting up. I wasn't expecting a big crowd but in the event a good crowd rolled up - and stayed the whole night too. I brought out the Michael Kelly Les Paul-style guitar that Matt Croke gave me a couple of years ago and used it to play It's a Lottery and a few other blues numbers - Peter Carolan was there and filmed it on his iPhone. Real Guitars' Brenden Mason has done a magnificent job setting it up for me and I think it will eventually prove to be perfect for the blues set.
The next day we arrived at Tago Mago in Thornbury with no firm idea as to how the afternoon was to proceed. The other band on the bill, Portmanteaux, was setting up and eventually ground into action nearly an hour later than the projected starting time with an entertaining mix of mostly instrumental covers and the occasional original.
While we listened to Portmanteaux' set from the High St footpath Tago Mago's co-owners Calvin (pic 3) and Peter told me about their big Saturday with eight bands and I scoffed some calamari and chips from Mario's. Eventually it was our turn to play and thankfully some of the crowd hung around for our couple of sets. I was exhausted by the time we finished but enjoyed a meal in Northcote with the Sellers' before stumbling home to Mt Waverley and falling gratefully into bed.

Don't talk with your mouth full, children!
4) Broc has lunch (mouse over for message) 5) Our turn now - the trio finally hits the stage at Tago (Dr Wazz)

The dying rays of the evening sun warm the trio before the night closes in (Gravias)
gig report
Sat. 14.12.13 Wild Thyme Cafe
Wild Thyme, cool time..
18.12.13 - Allan Seppings and friends were literally banging in the last nails in the new stage in the Wild Thyme Café's courtyard as we drove in, so there was no way we could've pleaded a case for playing indoors - and it was bearable for most of the night, but in the end I think everybody was relieved when I pulled up stumps before we all froze, potted fire notwithstanding..
Musically speaking it was great fun, with lots of favourable comments from the stalwarts braving the elements. I threw in Hard Way To Go without notice and Broc was unfazed, but I forgot to do It's a Lottery. Local photographer Robert Hitchcock took some great shots which you can see on the Wild Thyme FB page. (I mucked around with one of them just for fun - I hope he doesn't mind). check it out..

Senor LegsyBoy gives bad head
The spirit of LegsyBoy returns to deliver LegsyBoy's Big Ones
13.12.13 -
Every year for the last however many, Legsy Boy (pic) has been producing a sought-after list called Legsy Boy's Big Ones which is comprised of mostly discerning, occasionally outrageous no-holds-barred reviews of nearly everything he's listened to over the previous twelve months. It's necessarily idiosyncratic but nonetheless informative and even a little thrilling for those of us who for one reason or another don't really pay enough attention to the world of musical recording to get a feel for where the world is heading.
Legs and his family have been trapped on the Iberian Peninsula for the last year, but it hasn't slowed him down one jot and the latest carefully collated list all the way from Barcelona appropriately entitled LegsyBoy's Grandes appeared as an attachment on a recent e-mail and a double CD of selections from the list turned up in my PO Box a couple of days ago.
You could do worse than check it out - you'll definitely learn something..

Shannon Bourne plus resonator guitar with Mandy Connell
gig report
Wed. 4.12.13 Acoustic Sessions at the Clifton Hill Hotel
The only bloke on the bill at the Clifton Hill
5.12.13 - I'm looking forward to the day when I don't get tense and worked up about the occasional solo gigs that I do. It mostly manifests in the edgy-bordering-on-erratic guitar playing - but throw in the Jam Man as well and you have the potential for panic-stricken disaster. That being said the solo gigs are generally on the improve and last night at the Clifton Hill pub's Acoustic Sessions seemed to go over OK with the modest audience as well, which has to be a little bit gratifying.
Shannon Bourne and Mandy Connell (pic) were playing when I arrived. Shannon's looking forward to playing on Russell Morris' second album - now there's a story..

Where's Maldon?

1) Spectrum gets down at the Maldon Blues Club's end-of-year knees-up 2) The Sellers' got the intrepid trekkers award
gig report
Sun. 1.12.13 Maldon Blues Club's Chrissy do at the Maldon Hotel
A warm return to the Maldon Blues Club
2.12.13 - I don't remember doing the Maldon Blues Club last year - maybe we didn't do it. Anyway, Les made sure he booked us early this year - so early in fact that he had to enquire whether we were still up for it after Bill's sudden departure. I almost remembered how to get there and we arrived in time to have lunch before embarking on the first set to the good-sized crowd that had assembled in the meantime, presumably to cop a good serve of the blues given that it's a Maldon Blues Club gig - we always get round to the blues eventually.
It all sounded good too, from up on stage at least, and the audience only waxed more enthusiastic as the afternoon wore on, which is always good for the soul. We opened the blues set with the band's first attempt at playing Bill's Lottery song, the demo for which quite a few people have listened to on the Demos page, and happily it went off pretty well.
In fact the whole day was fun, but by the time we got home we were all pretty weary - and Broc had another hour to drive before he got home. It must be a bass player thing..

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