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Bound for South Australia

Sometimes the best Spectrum gigs happen in the most unlikely of places on the most unlikely of days
gig report

Fri. 26.5.17 Spectrum to Ariel at the Semaphore Workers Club
Sat. 27.5.17 Spectrum at the Christies Beach Hotel
Sun. 28.5.17 Spectrum at the Barristers Block Wines for SA Variety
Spectrum to Ariel and Spectrum in SA
31.5.17 -
This short interstate tour was cobbled together while Maria and I were in Greece, but it only happened at all after the third piece in the puzzle finally fell into place. For the last I-don't-know-how-many years we've included a gig for the SA Variety mob on our SA tours and they've always been a lot of fun to do, but because it was last minute there was of a dearth of alternative venues and we had to chance our arm on the Barristers Block, an outdoor venue where the weather could play a big part in its success - or not.
We were opening the tour on the Friday night with the Spectrum to Ariel show at the Semaphore Workers Club, (which has recently been inducted into the SA Hall of Fame, hammer & sickle logo and all, with the Cuban ambassador presenting Comrade Dave Pearse with the plaque at the official ceremony filmed by Channel 7!) and Glyn Mason had flown over for the one gig with Robbo and Daz on the Friday morning. We'd arrived early and I was hoping for a decent sound check, but as uusual Dave didn't arrive until late and we were still sound-checking as the first batch of punters started coming in.
There was a pretty good turnout in the end, although I suspect we would've got more in our favoured Sunday evening spot. The show went pretty well too, probably a step up from the Caravan Club playing-wise and, of course, the audience loved us. (Chris Warren put two or three vids up on FB if you haven't seen them already).
The Saturday night was at the Christies Beach Hotel. I'd only found out at the last minute we were supposed to supply lights as well as the PA and Martin from Allpro put up the rig while we were setting up. We weren't supplied with dimmers, which meant digital lights on full beam, which in turn meant I couldn't see the audience all night. I was feeling pretty edgy - luckily some old friends in Edna Gibson and the Wordleys showed up to distract me from my pain. The weather had turned to shit during the sound check and ensured there were no walk-ins to boost the disappointing numbers in the room, but fortunately there were the occasional musical highlights to punctuate the general uneasiness.
On the way home we stopped at Villies Cafe and indulged in some extreme eating by way of compensation. We were all to regret that.
Sunday began as Saturday night had ended i.e. with cold winds and showers, and we weren't looking forward to what was waiting for us in Woodside, nestled in the cloud-shrouded Adelaide Hills. Sure enough it was raining when Variety's Kerry Philcox greeted us at the Barristers Block, but she pointed out the as yet unlit heaters dotted around the place (pic) and reassured us that it was all going to be OK despite the inclement weather - and when happy groups people began arriving our spirits were buoyed. The cups of tea and pizzas from the Barristers' kitchen helped our mood as well.
My old mate Iain Ross tapped me on the shoulder and we had a bit of a chat and then some more familiar faces arrived, so by the time we actually started to play I felt quite cheerful. At least I could see everyone and they were clearly enjoying what we were doing and the mood on and off stage was thankfully much more relaxed than the previous night.
It all ended up very nicely with my dear friends Geoff Miller and his daughter Andie arriving just in time for the last couple of numbers with a very enthusiastic crowd volubly adoring us, so when it came to leave Woodside for Melbourne it was in a very optimistic frame of mind.

1) Hmm.. I'm not sure how things are going. Hold on.. 2) Yes, I think we've got it! Sniff! I'm feeling better now..
gig report

Sun. 21.5.17 Spectrum to Ariel at the Caravan Music Club
The second Spectrum to Ariel show at the Caravan Club
23.5.17 -
Our European adventure in March/April didn't actually end until Maria and I touched down at Tulla on May 3rd so there was precious little time to waste in getting the fingers warmed up and the voice warbling in anticipation of rehearsing with the chaps for the welcome-home gig at The Caravan Music Club on Sunday last (the 21st), close enough to the anniversary of the first Laneway Spectrum to Ariel retrospective gig at the same venue.
I'd not touched a guitar for the whole six weeks away on holiday and the S2A combo hadn't played together since the gig with Brian Cadd last year either, so there was a lot of ground to cover, though to be fair we were coming to it with a little more under our belts than the first time around.
We were very fortunate to have the same rehearsal studio at our disposal this year, Pete Dacy's Secret Sound Studio in Mt Waverley, although this time I was driving from Mt Evelyn, which made it nearly as awkward for everybody except perhaps Robbo in Oakleigh.
Four rehearsals later and we were actually beginning to sound like a band, definitely a step up on last year, so I was a little less apprehensive, despite a head cold threatening to spoil the party.
Glyn, Broc and I popped into Laneway (the show's sponsors) one morning and performed a couple of songs au naturel from the show which elicited a favouable response on FB and helped reinforce my calm.
In the event there was a good turnout, somewhat surprising the taciturn Peter Foley who runs the club and didn't think we could pull as many as we did for essentially the same show as last year. The band made little fluffs here and there but definitely played better overall and the on-stage sound was better than last year, my Parisian shirts, chosen by my personal stylist, nearly stole the show all by themselves and the audience clearly loved it, so everybody went home happy. A good result. Now for Adelaide.
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