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Simon, Brian, me, Shane, Richelle, Matt & Roger
Who's the old guy at the back?
30.10.16 -
Maria really said that when she saw this pic. She had left her specs at home, but it was still slightly deflating. Anyway, the pic was taken at the conclusion of the Lost Ragas live-to-air show at the 774 studios on Friday featuring the two tracks from their 'single' with I'll Be Gone as the B side - plus the surprise inclusion of Esmeralda to finish off the session. (Just ended with seconds to spare too).
I arrived to find the temporary foyer (774 is undergoing some major refurbishment) filled to overflowing with musicians, all apparently appearing on the Brian Nankervis show - just before we went to air I was accosted by none other than Russell Morris. Then suddenly we were on the airwaves. Actually, it was fun - you might've heard it.
Lost Ragas version of I'll Be Gone
27.10.16 - Tomorrow (Friday) I'll be popping down to ABC Radio 774 and having a tootle with Matt Walker and the Lost Ragas lads on their splendid new version of I'll Be Gone - and maybe one other song. We'll be on Brian Nankervis' arvo show (playing live) at about 2.30. You can have a sneak preview now if you like (above) and I think you'll be as impressed as I was at what the Ragas have done with the song.

1) Mike & Broc practice their regal obligations in the MG parade 2) The band does its thing at the Crossways Inn (MG)
gig report
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
A street parade to mark Spectrum playing the blues at Marysville
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!

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