down to the start of the month
just makes it to the stage for the Johnny Be Good
knees-up at Ringwood's Karralyka Centre
Fri. 17 Frankston Arts Centre Fri. Karralyka Centre
Ringwood Sat. 25 Geelong Arts Centre
Rick Price tour winds up
26.7.15 - The Rick
Price From Tamborine Mountain to Tennesse
Sky tour wound up last night at the Geelong
Performing Arts Centre, but there were a couple
of other stops previously on the tour that remain
unreported, namely the Frankston Arts Centre (Friday
17th) and Ringwood's Karralyka Centre (Friday
24th). As regards my part of the show, my right-hand
man Pip Joyce and I got tighter and more relaxed
every performance. Pip's brimming with ideas both
vocally and guitar-wise and it would be an opportunity
missed if I didn't take the combination further,
perhaps in the recording studio?
Up till now I haven't mentioned Greg Champion.
Greg's an intelligent performer and can respond
to audience moods with an endless variety of droll
observations - mostly on football as you'd expect,
but that's his trade after all. He told me last
night he has to come up with eight new footy parodies
a week (!) for the Coodabeens, (only over the
winter months but still!) and still finds the
energy and desire to keep coming up with non-footy
songs ('babies') of his own! Anyway, I'm hoping
to be inspired by Greg's example..
Rick Price's performances were amazingly consistent
and I'm still of the opinion his voice is one
of the very best in Australian pop. His warm,
slightly self-deprecating relationship with his
audience surprised me - for some reason, perhaps
the serious trajectory of most of his songs, I
found the humour unexpected. His singing and playing
were both impeccable on all the shows. He obviously
loves performing and I feel he could actually
go on for longer than an audience might be prepared
I particularly liked his wandering into the audience
to sing a song armed only with an unamplified
ukulele, and that he had a couple of guys up on
stage to sing a song with him - one in Bendigo
and one last night in Geelong. It turns out they
were the winners in his crowd-funding exercise
for the album. Just as well both of them could
sing OK I guess. I wonder what would've happened
had they not been good singers?
There has to be at least one stupid Mike Rudd
story, but actually there's one plus a bonus half.
The silliest was on Friday night at the Karralyka
Centre, the first instalment of which was when
I had to knock on Rick's dressing room door before
his set and inform him that I'd left my D harp
at home and that we'd have to play Johnny
Be Good in the key of G (He was very good
about it, incidentally).
As if that wasn't bad enough I was sitting in
the auditorium with Maria when Rick introduced
Jennifer Lee to the audience and I suddenly realised
that that was my cue and that I was supposed to
join Rick, Jen and Pip on stage for Johnny
Be Good which was coming up next.
I didn't want to be unprofessional and rush up
to the stage from the audience, so I darted out
to the foyer and found the back-stage door.
It was locked. I scuttled uncertainly outside
hoping to find the door we'd come in when we arrived.
I found that I'd left from a different entrance
and was on the wrong side of the building and
didn't recognise anything.
I went to the right. Nothing. I trotted over to
the left. There was a door, but it wasn't the
door I remembered.
I went up to it more in desperation than hope
and turned the handle.
It was locked. I stepped back in despair and panic
The door opened. It was Daniel, half of the on-stage
team of Daniel and Jordan.
'I think they're waiting for you', he said and
I could hear the Rick and Pip on stage in a Johnny
Be Good holding pattern, which apparently
they'd been doing for the past couple of minutes.
I grabbed my harmonica and marched onto the stage,
my arm raised in triumph.
I wonder if there's CCTV of me charging around
in the cold and dark in an absolute panic?
Moments like that aside, the tour was a breeze
and a chance for me to engage with some new faces
as well as reacquaint myself with some old ones.
I've got to thank Dynamic Entertainment's Gavin
Nolan for including me on the bill and for Rick
Price (flying back to Nashville as I write this)
and the rest of the team for putting up with me
and my occasional forays into Seniors' World.
Post Script - Oh yes, the bonus half
stupidity bit. It seems I left my pair of Aldi
special long-johns at the Geelong Performing Arts
Centre last night. That's going to be an interesting
Concert for Ross Hannaford
Ross Hannaford and Ray Pereira 2) Mike appears late
in the evening to do his party trick - again..
Sat. 18.7.15 A Concert for Ross Hannaford The MEMO
Acland St St Kilda
'do' goes into infinity
19.7.15 - Maria and I were
the first to arrive in the room. It was 7.30. It
was cold. We found our way to the band room backstage
where there were fruit and drinks laid on and waited.
The whole cast of A Concert for Ross Hannaford
must've assembled in that tiny room over the course
of the evening, although the room was only big enough
for a dozen at a time.
Hanna was spirited to the side of the stage just
before 8.30 resplendant in his orange jump suit,
matching beanie and gold boots. The show was due
to start at 8.30 and Brian Nankervis announced to
the packed room that Hanna was going to open proceedings.
Hanna ambled uncertainly onto the stage and said
a few grateful words and was joined by Ray Pereira
(percussion) and Russell Smith (keys and trumpet).
There were a good few minutes of Hanna setting up
his various pedals when you could've heard a pin
drop in the expectant hush - and then he began his
first loping reggae, which happened to be a love
song he wrote for Lorraine when they were holidaying
together in Bali.
Everybody held their breath when Hanna lurched to
his feet in the second number and started swooping
around the stage like some demented orange beanpole
in slow motion, and even though he didn't stagger
or fall we collectively felt the effort must've
taken it out of him.
It was a beautiful moment in time - and then he
was gone, spirited away the same way he arrived.
The show proper then ground into action and it became
increasingly clear that the estimated time of my
contribution was going to be put back - and back,
which I suppose you might expect at such an event.
It was close to 11.30 by the time I took to the
stage, but I got a rousing reception anyway.
Whatever you thought of the entertainment, the indisputably
good thing is that these two MEMO shows are going
to raise much-needed cash for the irreplaceably
singular man and performer that is Ross Hannaford
and hopefully give him an extra lease on the life
that we would all like him to share with us a lot
Prrice and Jennfer Lee's duet continues in Bendigo's
classic Capital Theatre
Thurs. 16.7.15 Rick Price tour at the Capital
Price in Bendigo
17.7.15 - I drove up to Bendigo
with Pip Joyce to find the Capital Theatre was
the very imposing building that looks more like
museum than a theatre next to the Art Gallery
that Maria and I visited not so long ago. Needless
to say the stage area was very chilly but happily
for the audience the auditorium was quite cosy
Rick was having some problems with the sound guy
when we arrived and Pip and I had an indifferent
sound check ourselves, which I took as a good
omen in the 'bad sound check, good performance'
Greg Champion and I had a bit of a chat backstage
about Ross Hannaford. I think Greg is considerably
miffed not to be invited to appear the weekend's
benefits as he worked with Hanna for a number
of years in a couple of outfits. I'll try to remember
to pass on Greg's best wishes at the shows.
During the interval Rick told me there was a 'hard-core'
Rudd fan in the foyer, but after I finished chatting
to him and a couple of other enthusiasts I found
the door back to the stage was locked so I went
and had a listen to Rick from the comfort of the
auditorium. This just reinforced my impressions
from the Warragul show of his abilities as a performer.
The major variation was his inviting a young bloke
on stage to sing one of Rick's songs (unrehearsed)
- I wondered if I'd ever manage to be able to
do the same thing with one of my songs. I doubt
Thankfully I was able to get back to the stage
for the Johnny Be Good rendition which
allowed Pip and I to leave before the show finished
and we were back in Melbourne just after midnight.
& Broc and a barrel full of monkeys at the Winelarder
Sun. 12.7.15 Mick & Broc at the Winelarder
13.7.15 - In one respect it's
good to know that winter can give even Brightonians
pause for thought - but when there were only two
people in the room (and one of those was Maria)
when we began our first set at 5.00 I have to admit
to being a little concerned. Uncertainty about the
starting time might've had something to do with
it because by 6.00 the place was looking pleasantly
filled and the audience was responding well above
its weight, singing along when required and
enthustiastically - and suddenly the winter chill
seemed to evaporate..
After the show we wandered over the road with the
Drs Sellers and Rackman CEO, Martyn Sullivan to
a Greek restaurant where Maria was doted on by the
management and we all enjoyed a slap-up meal as
a result. Hooray!
in Gippsland a man is singing his heart out..
Price invited Jennifer Lee on stage for a duet in
Sat. 11.7.15 West Gippsland Arts Centre with Greg
Rick Price tour kicks off in Warragul
12.7.15 - The much-heralded cold front
was nudging its way into Victoria as I took to the
Monash for the uncharted territory of Warragul -
I don't think I've ever played there over my extended
career on the road. I arrived at the appointed hour
just as most of the crew and Rick himself arrived
- that is a good three and a half hours before kick-off
at 8.00. Rick refreshingly eschews foldback and
so when it came time for me and Pip to soundcheck
we tried a similar approach at his suggestion -
and it worked!
Ever the professional, Greg Champion arrived a few
minutes before his opening spot and predictably
had the crowd in the palm of his hand and equally
predictably in stitches. Pip and I opened with Xavier
Rudd is not my Son which I think lost something
by comparison so we might try opening with Jamaican
Farewell next time, which despite its recent
history (see Spaz attack gig report below)
works well with Pip's complementary guitar work.
The set went OK and the crowd joined in the appropriate
parts in Esmeralda and I'll Be Gone
despite being slightly bemused about who the hell
I was. Rick was very generous in his comments about
my place in Aussie rock history during his set so
hopefully there'll be a couple of his fans taking
the time to Google me today.
Rick spent a very generous two hours on stage and
although I was intending to stay anyway I had no
choice in the end as I'd lent him my guitar stand.
He's probably the most accurate singer I've heard
in the pop field and clearly enjoys singing hugely.
I wasn't expecting the moments of self-deprecating
comedy but it lightened the mood when it was needed.
His guitar playing was rhythmically agile and again
accurate and his piano playing opened up new melodic
possibilities - I think that's where his hits were
He said on the Conversation Hour that his home was
now Nashville and there was a perceptible American
burr in his patter and an American slant in the
presentation of his music, neither of which detracted
from the show as far as the fans that had ventured
out on such a chilly evening were concerned.
Jen, Pip and I joined Rick for Johnny Be Good
but there was still another thirty minutes
to go, including the encore. If you're a Rick Price
fan or simply want to catch an Aussie expat at the
top of his game before he returns to Nashville you
should make an effort to see his show. Check out
the Gigs page for
and Rick outside the Arts Centre before grilling
Price tour kicks off this Saturday
10.7.15 - The first step was
meeting up with Rick and promoter Gavin Nolan this
morning at the Arts Centre before toddling down
to the ABC for an interview at 774 with Leon Compton,
who's filling in for Jon Faine while he's in Greece.
Rick's pretty easy to get on with and we had a bit
to chat about, there and at the studio.
Mark Seymour (and guitarist Cameron) chatted and
played a song from Mark's new album, Mayday,
and Mark sat in while Rick played Tennesse Sky
from his new album of the same name. Then the three
of us chatted with Leon and his Double J offsider
Jacinta until midday, had our photos taken and then
headed back out into the brisk outdoors.
tomorrow in Warragul and I'm looking forward to
hearing Rick's solo set. His preference is performing
solo and he's obviously very comfortable in that
role. Check out the songs and the interview on the
Splat! Mike gets it right, sadly after the night
Wed. 8.7.15 Clifton Hill Pubbrew Acoustic Sessios
attack spoils the fun
9.7.15 - I was half looking
forward to this one. The Clifton Hill can feel like
the gig you have when you haven't got a gig, which
is mostly true of a Wednesday night anyway, but
I was in the mood to experiment with my trusty Canora
nylon-string acoustic in place of George Martin
whom I find can be a little prickly.
I'd decided to do the original version of Jamaican
Farewell second up and had just launched into
it when I realised I couldn't see the dots on the
guitar neck in the gloomy light and started to miss
chords left, right and sideways. I nearly stopped.
Probably should have. So today I touched up the
dots with a white-out pen.. (pic)
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