Mike & Broc practice their regal obligations
in the MG parade 2) The band does its thing at
the Crossways Inn (MG)
Sat. 15.10.16 Spectrum
at the Marysville
Jazz & Blues Weekend Historic Crossways Inn
Sun. 16.10.16 Mike In North Melbourne Tonight
at the Comics Lounge North Melbourne
street parade to mark Spectrum playing the blues
17.10.16 - Last
year's inaugural Jazz & Blues Weekend in Marysville
was such fun that I was wondering if there was
going to be an inevitable second year let-down
- but I'm happy to report that wasn't the case.
Broc and Kathleen met Maria and me at Fraga's
at 11.30 and Broc took me over the road to show
me the Artist registration desk that I couldn't
find by myself. Then it was on for young and old
as Broc and I joined the MG Parade to speed through
the town in our classic red MG (pic 1) driven
by our MG collector Brian while Dianne bravely
preceded us on foot carrying a placard advertising
the afternoon's gig at the Crossways Inn. Broc
might've felt slightly inhibited perched precariously
on the back with his bass in hand, but you wouldn't
know it, and I had fun safely in the front seat
tootling on my B harp - and got a sunburnt forehead
for my troubles.
We had a hilarious lunch at Vibe with a classic
bit of muddled service (the food was OK though)
before going for a wander down to the Choclate
Shop and having a nice cuppa there. While Kathleen
and Maria looked at clothes I saw an acapella
outfit called Men in Suits - neither jazz nor
blues mind you, but I imagine they're a hit on
the corporate circuit.
Bo Jenkins was in full flight when we arrived
at the Crossways Inn for our 3.15 start, but I
was only half-way through decanting my gear from
the Poodle when Bo was off and we were due to
start - in just ten minutes! I did the best I
could but I wasn't entirely ready when we started.
The crowd was 'in the room' and very receptive
(pic 2) and so I was surprised when we
were told we had time for only one more song.
We trotted out 'the song' that everybody had been
waiting for and then we were off - although there
was just enough time for a Keaton Robertson drum
solo, concluding Spectrum's contribution to the
second annual Marysville Jazz & Blues Weekend.
So, that was Saturday done and dusted, but I had
another assignment on Sunday evening at The Comics
Lounge in North Melbourne to finally wrap up my
weekend. In North Melbourne Tonight has
been a fixture in the Spring Carnival for a number
of years now, but Tony Cavanagh assured me that
this year's venue was the best yet and that the
addition of a musical director and stage manager
would ensure the show would run more smoothly
than it had in previous years.
Tony also told me that he wanted to make this
show a special dedication to the late Bill Putt
and so he'd invited Bill's partner Rosemary and
her daughter Georgina (who was almost entirely
responsible for putting the Bill's Last Gig
commemoration together) as special guests
on the night. In addition to my standard solitary
contribution of I'll Be Gone, (Tony calls
it 'the anthem') I was requested to say a few
words about my late mate Bill and sing the last
song we wrote 'together', It's a Lottery.
It was a cold and rainy night and road works in
Errol St meant I had to park some distance from
The Comics Lounge, but as soon as I walked in
the room (to be greeted by Anthony Hurry) and
I'd had a look around and assessed the PA sound,
I had to concede the venue was indeed
perfect for the INMT audience.
In addition, the show was actually running
smoothly and my two songs went over very well
to boot. Tony traditionally encourages young 'unknowns'
to perform and while they and me were truly unknown
to each other, I was greeted cordially by nearly
all the regular cast of INMT, including MD, Michael
Cristiano, Wendy Stapleton and Paul Norton, Nic
Lyon, Bobby Bright, (who performed to the backing
track of a really neat song from his new album),
Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Ronnie Charles, Paul O'Gorman
(who kindly introduced my appearance), Terry Dean,
Mick Hamilton, Buddy England and many more.
It was still damp when I re-emerged into the night
and I got home just after midnight. It was a very
busy weekend altogether. More please!