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1) Tony Armstrong-Carrigg (and me) 2) Mike plays weird harp in Keep on Dancing (with me) (MG)
gig report
Fri. 23.9.16 Spectrum at the Burrinja Cultural Centrel
From Ocean Grove to the Burrinja Cultural Centre
24.9.16 -
You remember the Ocean Grove gig we did in July? Well, I got a text from the festival coordinator, Tony Armstrong-Carrigg (pic 1) a few days ago suggesting we meet for a coffee on Thursday, which we duly did and had a very pleasant chat about this and that, but more specifically about Spectrum's next appearance at the Light of Day Festival in Ocean Grove. It looks like our role will expand to two days worth of appearances in 2017, which suits me fine as the audience was notably receptive on our first appearance there in July. Now to follow up on an interim summer Spectrum show at Ocean Grove's famous Chicken Shop!
I was the second performer to arrive at the Burrinja cultural centre yesterday afternoon - the show's organiser, sound man, lighting man, blues aficionado, National guitar collector, compere and Spectrum's opening act on the night, Doc White, was already on stage setting up his Bose PA. (I must make mention of this unassuming and highly idiosyncratic sound system, because, although I was at a slight disadvantage not having a fold-back wedge, the general stage sound, (and the sound out front I''m reliably informed), was probably the best we've had in recent years).
We've never played in the upstairs' Black Box room at the Burrinja, although we've played several times at the downstairs café in the past - poignantly it was Bill's last gig before he died back in 2013 - and the eating (or grazing) arrangements for the room on the night were enigmatic to say the least, so it was a concern whether we'd attract our normal volume of punters.
In the event there was close to a quorum as Doc White launched his set of period-style blues songs, at least half penned by himself, choosing from an imposing phalanx of National guitars (plus a mandolin), which all sounded smooth and rich in their various National tonalities courtesy of the afore-mentioned Bose system.
The break allowed me to taste some of the excellent platter from downstairs - I'd inexplicably stayed behind while the others went out to get some Vietnamese - and then we were on. We don't ususally do ninety minute sets so I'd varied the usual set list, which unsettled me apparently, and in addition the lights obliterated my guitar fretboard and I made some uncharacteristic fluffs.
That being said, the audience was very forgiving and my JLo dance routine during Crawling up a Hill got the crowd rolling in the aisles. I enjoyed our free-form add-on to Keep on Dancing (pic 2) and the obligatory renditions of I'll Be Gone and Esmeralda made sure that everybody left the room happy.


1) Greg Carrick loads my USB onto the system 2) Roy Jordan bought this copy of Warts for one dollar!
A night of Rudd trivia and hilarity on the Woori Yallock airwaves
20.9.16 -
Doc White suggested I pop down to Yarra Valley FM in Woori Yallock for an interview on The Bat Cave show to help publicise the show at the Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey this Friday evening. I got there a bit early and met Greg (pic 1) having a smoke out the front of the station where soon after we were joined by his co-host, Dom.
Eventually we drifted into the station where I met Jock, the presenter for the blues show and the Bat Cave's musicologist Roy Jordan, (pic 2) who Greg reckoned knows everything there is to be known about the early seventies music scene in Melbourne. It turned out to be a pretty accurate assessment too - Roy's knowledge actually extends into pre-history with his collection of Chants' recordings from the mid-sixties!
An hour or more (who's counting?) of grilling and banter ensued, which was great fun for me and hopefully the radio audience too. As a result of the interview there's another stupid Mike story - which I know you can't wait to read but which I'll recount to you in next month's Pith & Wind.

Mike explains the inexplicable to a group of onlookers
gig report
Sat. 17.9.16 Spectrum trio at The Lomond Hotel
The Swans win at The Lomond
19.9.16 - We didn't actually see them win, but they were well on the way by the time we started the first set, so Broc at least was feeling pretty chipper. We did start earlier than the time advertised on the venue's website, but the crowd, such as it was, arrived well after 10.30 so the early start wasn't a factor. A fellow muso reported it was light-on all over town, but that didn't help even if it was true.
Still, we could experiment and the instrumental prologue before the R&R Scars' version of Keep on Dancing worked for me. We had to do an encore at the end of the night, so it couldn't have been all bad..
What are you looking at?

1) Broc seeks help from the wings (MG) 2) Mike and Daz back in the comfort zone (Wazz)
gig report
Sun 4.9.16 Spectrum at the St Andrews pub
Father's Day at the St Andrews pub
5.9.16 - Well, the joint was packed for Spectrum's Father's Day appearance at the St Andrews pub and we all arrived in good time to get the set-up accomplished without fuss for the 3.00 start. Mind you, had there been any dramas I would've been struggling so I'll consider leaving home even earlier next time. (Whenever that is).
I felt it worth mentioning to the audience that my new medication regime has left me with energy to burn - I'm getting bursts of adrenaline I haven't had for over three years now - and I celebrated with a manic dance in Crawling up a Hill which I think surprised a few people, including Maria and my son, Chris.
We got most of our rehearsed numbers played this time, including Keep on Dancing, Cypherland Blues, Rock & Roll Scars, The Indelible Shuffle and the rearranged verion of Make Your Stash, but I still managed to avoid Disco Dilemma. Not sure what that means but I'll have to review my poor attitude over the next couple of weeks, especially with the Burrinja gig coming up on Friday 23rd.

Mike, Robbo and Broc accompany Daryl on the B3
gig report
Thurs. 1.9.16 Spectrum at the 303 Bar Northcote
Hapless Hammond takes a beating at the 303
3.9.16 -
It actually wasn't too bad an audience for the 303 Bar on a Thursday night. Deb and Maria 'girled' the door owing to the lack of volunteers Thankfully Deb managed to get a shot of three-quarters of the band, (pic) otherwise there'd be no visual record of the gig ever taking place.
I chatted with John Kotsopoulos at the end of the night - he's sent me an email and said I could reprint some of it.
This is the third gig I have been to since rediscovering Spectrum. My wife and I saw you at Brunswick early this year and I went to one of your St Andrews gigs subsequently. Those gigs and last night were a real

showcase for the band and the enduring quality of your music. Nostalgia may not be what it was as the joke goes but this quality of music and level of performance is deserving of a wider audience.
True John, so let's hope at least part of that wider audience rolls up at the St Andrews pub on Sunday arvo.
I actually called a rehearsal when Broc got back from his trip to the States and with any luck I'll remember at St Andrews to include some of the songs we rehearsed. Daz was not impressed we didn't play Disco Dilemma at the 303 as he'd set up the synth especially for that one song.

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