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Christmas Eve at the Grand Hotel

1) Handsome couple, Mark and Debbie, actually invested in a CD 2) Bill with Yarra Valley FM's Barry Murnane
Healesville sanctuary for Mike & Bill
26.12.04 - It was a quiet night on the balcony at the Grand Hotel in Healesville on Christmas Eve - too quiet really. But, for Mike and Bill it was a chance to stretch themselves without the comfort of Robbo glueing things together on drums and percussion - not to mention good vibes. Naturally we missed him, but actually there was nothing we attempted that didn't work in its own way, and we tried a couple of things (Voice Of The Andes and Living On A Volcano) we haven't done for a while. In fact, the evening went so fast we didn't actually get round to trying everything we were intending to. Oh well, I'm sure there'll be another opportunity soon..
CDs of the Year..

Sunday Mail Inside Entertainment 12.12.04 (thanks to Greg Brown)
Live in the past - it's cheaper
22.12.04 - Dave Dosser sent me this flyer reminding me of how cheap it was to see the best entertainment available in times of yore. What can you get for a dollar (plus booking fee) these days? Don't answer that.
In other news - well, there is no other news. I'm almost used to the panic and guilt associated with this time of the year - and then, suddenly, it's all over. Another year wakes up sleepily and we try and forget the embarrassment of another crap MCG pitch..

Distressing scenes at Spectrum Xmas party
21.12.04 - Spectrum's manager, Jenny Klepfisz , threw her by now traditional Xmas party last night. Over-catering was the order of the day, (despite forgetting the prawn course!), and everyone was grateful that the cake was omitted this year.
There were some shocks though - Jenny was caught (pic left) playing with some mini bubble wrap she'd sneaked in to the party. 'Bubble wrapping' is the latest fetish sweeping the inner suburbs, and has supplanted anorexia and weird pets as the fetish of choice. Signs to watch for over Xmas are 1) the fetishist throws away the Xmas gift in favour of the wrapping and 2) surreptitious popping sounds when you're conversing with the fetishist by phone.
There is a help line being planned for Wrapping addicts.

Fresh @ Elwood

1) Eris plays another chord I don't know 2) Ross does his Santa impression

3) Mike takes time off work to show Eris one of his chords 4) Eris and Pat Wilson
Fresh is the word..
19.12.04 -
You know Melbourne's weather - too hot one day, blustery and cool the next. That's why we love it so. Maybe the blustery bit put people off, or maybe they were just elsewhere Xmas shopping, but it was quite a small crowd of enthusiasts that braved the Elwood elements to soak up some singer/songwriter good vibrations at Fresh @ Elwood this afternoon. The mainstay of the arvo was Eris O'Brien, who played his finely nuanced songs with much artfulness. Ross Wilson turned up as a guest and played a mixed bag of embryonic new songs and some oldies, and Jessica Paige (left) needed no second invitation to play. Pat Wilson, the proprietor of Fresh, joined Eris for a couple of tunes, and even I got up and did the solo thing briefly, and later jammed with Eris and Ross on harp and guitar. It was fun - I'll do that again methinks..
A new feature
17.12.04 -
As we slip deeper into the mire that is Xmas, there are the odd chinks of light that make life worth living. After the debacle of leaving Andy Baylor's image off the No Thinking CD, I can go slightly further down the path towards papering over my embarrassment by reporting that Andy is throwing a Christmas Blues Party (pic) down at the World Famous Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy next Wednesday the 22nd... You should be there.
Andy got back to me after I sent out our Xmas Greetings to the World e-mail, as did a number of other folk. Some of the e-mails were so touching I've initiated a Correspondence page featuring a few examples. Why not check it out and let me know what you think - about anything. You never know, you just might get published.
Eris O'Brien at Fresh
You may have missed him a few weeks back, but it's happening again, so put it in your diary for 2.00pm 19th of December. The Ross Wilson and Eris duet on the 28th November held all spellbound till sundown. But Ross will tell you that it's Eris's arvo and he'll enthrall you with his unique style, voice and songs drenched with melody and poetry. (In case you didn't know, as well as doing a bit of noodling with me the other week, Eris is Ross' main co-writer: e.g. Bed Of Nails, Slave To My Emotions, Time Destroys, This Little Baby Is Born Again and many more).
Eris is performing this Sunday arvo, the 19th of December, from 2.00pm in the outdoor courtyard at Fresh @ Elwood / Organic Cafe, 130 Ormond Rd, Elwood 9531-4130
The food is good, they're licenced, there's no cover charge, and it's a rare chance to hear Eris do his excellent thing in a beautiful setting. While you're there, pick up a copy of his great album Blessed Fool.
Speaking of Ross Wilson, he's on the Derek Guille show tonight at around 8:30. Ross says: 'It's various singers with the big band - I'm doing a swingin' medley of At The Rockhouse and Eagle Rock arranged by John McAll w/overview by moi - we get one run-through, then its showtime!'
Aaaarrgh! It's really started!
12.12.04 - Did I say the madness begins? Whatever - the floodgates have opened and Xmas cards are clogging up the postbox again. Oh, the guilt! But, I must be strong. I'm not doubling up on cards and e-mails this year, so this is your lot. Just click on the envelope to get your Spectrum card, especially drawn by OZ, at  
And so the madness begins..

1) James proves that he's a two martini screamer. 2) Robbo comforts guest, LRB's Derek

3) The band in full swing doing their blues thang 4) Mike, kitted up for the sun, blows that
harp (3 & 4 by James Thomson)
James' Xmas party ends in tears
6.12.04 -
The first Xmas party of the season was going swingingly - the band was actually enjoying themselves and the assembled throng was lapping it all up. Then, just before the last set was about to kick off, the power went. All bets were off. We played an acoustic version of I'll Be Gone - and then packed up (or 'down' as Bill says), and went home. James Thomson, (Bill's and my osteopath), said that we owed him another set. Only too happy to oblige, James. See you next year..
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