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1st BASE goes interstate

1) The pack for 1st BASE is easy - apart from Jeremy's bass 2) The flight home was much like the flight there

3) Jeremy welcomes me to the stage at The Old Mt Gambier Gaol on a brisk night by anyone's standards
gig report
Fri.24.2.17 1st BASE at the German Club for the Fringe Sat. 25 1st BASE at the Old Mt Gambier Gaol
Two nights of pleasure and pain in South Australia
28.2.17 -
You might imagine that air travel would be a breeze for me after all these years, but your imagining would be wrong, especially if, for a start, Jetstar couldn't be bothered telling me that they've moved to a new terminal at Tullamarine since I was last there. Nevertheless Jeremy, George and I eventually found the terminal, arrived safely in Adelaide, picked up the hire car, (pic 1) checked in to the accommodation and had a late lunch with time to spare for a quick snooze before sound check at the German Club, 1st BASE's much anticipated first interstate gig for the Adelaide Fringe.
It was good too, although the numbers were less than I'd hoped. If there is a next time I might opt for multiple appearances in a smaller room, like the room Matt Fagan was playing in (again) this year.
The next day we were hitting the road for Mt Gambier, a good four and a half hours drive from Adelaide.and an inaugural Mt Gambier Fringe gig, this time in the unusual setting of The Old Mt Gambier Gaol, where we were also accommodated.
We had time for another late lunch in town before George suggested we check out the famous Mt Gambier sink-hole, virtually in the centre of town, where we were surprised to run into none other than James Morrison, who in town for a function at his James Morrison Academy.
We sound-checked satisfactorily in the gaol's courtyard before retiring to our cells to prepare for the show, but when we re-emerged we found the cold, blustery wind had intensified and was both colder and more blustery. A hardy band of locals huddled together for warmth under shelter at the opposite end of the courtyard (pic 3) but there was no such respite for the band and if you thouight the lights might've warmed us up a bit, I can tell you that digital lights are as cold as hell. I couldn't stop shiivering despite wearing three layers of clothing and just managed to make meaningful contact with my guitar strings - mostly.
Despite all of this, the crowd simply adored us and a bunch of them assembled in the prison chapel after the show with a splendid offering of foods and wine to help restore the blood flow to our extremities and general bonhommie. Bloody heart-warming I call it.
Poor planning by me meant that we had to drive all the way back to Adelaide the next morning (waking up in prison at 6.30am is no joke) to return our hire car and fly back to Melbourne. Notwithstanding the early start to the day and other minor mishaps the band vibe remained buoyant throughout and we're all looking forward to the next 1st BASE gig at the Lomond Hotel on Sunday from 5.30 - 8.30. Personally I won't care how hot it might be..


The Chicken Shop's burgers rule - OK?

The room as seen from the stage at The Chicken Shop in downtown Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula
gig report
Sat.18. 2.17 Spectrum at The Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill in Ocean Grove
A marvellous night for a half-moondance

19.2.17 - My last appearance at the Chicken Shop was in November last year as a side-man with Greg Champion's band, The Cool Rockin' Daddies, which included the late Wayne Duncan in the line-up. Aside from that sobering memory I was chuffed that 1) Maria agreed the burgers were fantastic and 2) the room was chock-full of punters, particularly given I was chancing my arm on a door deal. Mind you, I was reasonably confident we'd get a crowd on the night given the elated reaction there at the Light of Day benefit in July combined with the enterprise of the venue's owner, Ben Chudoschnik, but it's still pleasing.
My first shock of the night was when I opened my gig bag and discovered that I'd managed to divest myself of my wah pedal since the Mornington gig. I've not yet established if it's in another bag or still crying for me in Mornington. Other than that there weren't any other significant equipment malfunctions and the inevitable lyric blanks were incorporated seamlessly into the performance. Keaton's bonus drum solo during the intermission wowed the crowd - his techniques have taken another quantum leap since last year.
Actually it was a splendid night musically and socially with lots of familiar faces in the audience, including the Sellers', Brian Pieper, the Ramsays, cousin Kev, Sarah Carroll and of course Maria, Lisa and Deb. (pic)
I'd made a commitment to Maria we'd be home by 1.30 and so we loaded out briskly and piled into the van. It had rained quite heavily earlier in the evening but the showers had cleared and we were escorted all the way home by a bloated half-moon. It was indeed a marvellous night for a half-moondance


Geoff has a run through with rhythm section, Cam & Ben 
gig report
Sat. 4. 2.17 Mornington Peninsula Blues Sessions Summer Showcase
Old codger drops in on Blues razzle-dazzle
5.2.17 -
I fully expected to be the oldest bugger on stage but I was hoping not to disgrace myself too much on the night. It was not to be. I pulled all sorts of senior-type stunts, one of which stopped proceedings altogether and threatened to derail the show, but in the end my super-duper buddies helped me over the line and I got away with it again.
The stars of the show, Lloyd Spiegel and Geoff Achison were each incandescent in their own way and the inevitable guitar duel was a blistering triiumph. I could only look on in awe along with fellow guest performer Cass Eager and the delighted audience.
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