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1) Eddie invites an audience member get up and conga 2) Rudd goes totally ape-shit (Deb)
gig report

Fri. 22.7.16 Spectrum at the Light of Day Winter festival Chicken Shop Ocean Grove
Jersey boy leads the Light of Day fundraiser
23.7.16 -
Eddie Manion, (pic 1) saxophonist for the E-Street Band, was probably already playing at the Chicken Shop when we arrived in the little sea-side town of Ocean Grove on a cold, showery Friday evening, but it took us quite a few minutes to register and get our attractive fluoro wristbandsands and meet with the affable Tony Armstrong-Carrigg etc. before we drifted down The Terrace with Tony, stopping to chat briefly with Hammond meister Tim Neal outside the Olive Pit where Sarah Carroll was playing her set with her son on guitar.
I've had The Piping Hot Chicken Shop on my list of gigs to investigate for years now, so was looking forward to checking it out as a potential Spectrum venue. I was immediately impressed with the friendly atmosphere that greeted us as we entered the room. No stage as such - the band just sets up in the front window - but the sound was true and there was a full house (it said so on the door) which might've had something to do with both the sound and the atmosphere.
Eddie and his pick-up band were in full swing and Eddie had the crowd mesmerised, (hence my conferring him with 'the hypnotist' monicker) and near the end of his set a large number of punters joined him in a conga-line and happily snaked around the room.
(Why was a sidekick of the enormously celebrated Bruce Springsteen playing at a comparatively obscure gig at a tiny seaside resort in Victoria in the first place? Tony explained to us that Ocean Grove has a sister town in New Jersey of the same name and that in the late 19th century in the Utopian era a group of Methodist settlers had emigrated from Ocean Grove NJ to start a new congregation in Victoria and naturally called it - Ocean Grove.*
Bruce Springsteen fans will know that Ocean Grove in New Jersey is the centre of the Jersey Shore and as such is Bruce's home base. While the Light of Day Foundation is Michael J Fox's baby set up to generate funds and provide support for Parkinson's Disease sufferers, Bruce and Ed Manion are notable Light of Day 'ambassadors'. Some years ago Light of Day Australia partnered with LOD in the States and Shake It Up Australia and and has been running The Winter Gigs fundraiser in Ocean Grove Victoria ever since, growing incrementally each year).
I mentioned my association with the late Peter Dawkins at one point during our set by way of explaining why we were involved. Peter, a fellow Kiwi and Spectrum and Ariel's producer for a number of years, suffered from Parkinson's and had one of Australia's first radical Deep Brain Stimulation**procedures that was broadcast on ABC TV.
Anyway, we took a little longer than our alloted time to set up and started a few minutes late, but right away I knew we were onto something good. The crowd sensed it too. To be honest it was refreshing, because there aren't too many gigs for Spectrum these days where we're made to feel even slightly special. I guess we're seen mostly as a curiosity, a relic of an era that's fading out of living memory, but the palpable expectation in the room this night energised me and the chaps to deliver a magic forty or so minutes. Even the drunk guy that grabbed my mic during Crawling up a Hill seemed to be a scripted part of the show and as a result I was still buzzing as we headed back to Melbourne. Maybe we'll be asked to be involved again next year, but let's hope we can at least get a gig or two at the Chicken Shop in the meantime.

*Ocean Grove's origins ** Deep Brain Stimulation


Tony Hargreaves (left) joins Mike, Robbo and Broc for a few tunes (MG)
gig report
Sat. 2.7.16 Spectrum trio at The Lomond Hotel
The Lomond time shift
3.7.16 -
Stephan asked me when I was making the booking if I wanted to persist with the earlier start at the Lomond and I said I did - our audience these days can't be bothered with anything later than 11.30 and with the 12.30 finish we're left on our own. Mind you, with the 8.30 start we were pretty much on our own too, so maybe a compromise is in order.
We had fun though, and Tony Hargreaves joined us on the house piano (pic) for a few blues tunes to finish up the night.
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