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gig report / Mike plays a couple of tunes at the Melton Library with Peter Evans 22.3.18

1) The imposing exterior of the Melton L:ibrary 2) The less imposing but serviceable room for the Sunbury book chat 3) Melbourne Books' David Tenenbaum

4) Our modest annexe is on the right, but you can see the scale of the building and the masses of wooden beams giving you the impression you're in a forest
The Sunbury book gets Mike some exposure in the far-western township of Melton
25.3.18 -
I've never been to Melton. I thought I'd passed it on the Calder Hwy on the way to Bendigo, but that was actually just the turn-off to Melton, which is some thirty or so minutes farther away. So, two hours after I left Mt Evelyn I finally arrived in Melton, albeit quite shaken by my adventure with traffic snarls on the Tulla Freeway and driving into the unknown countryside with unhelpfully long silences from Ms Google, but there at least and right on time. I found to my surprise that I'd pulled up in front of this astonishing looking building (pic 1) dwarfing the surrounding township like some secret government project that had been deposited in little ol' Melton by some momentous clerical error.
Melbourne Books' David Tenenbaum (pic 3) was waiting near the entrance and escorted me upstairs to the more appropriately scaled annexe (pics 2 & 4) where I met the Melton Library's rep' Hayley and caught up with the book's author Peter Evans' idly fiddling with the PA, which was mute due to missing some crucial parts that the operator had fled into the gathering dusk to recover.
There was some idle chat and time for me to take a couple of photos of the amazing facility we'd landed in, but with only minutes before people were due to wander in I decided I'd do the best I could to set up and be ready for my part in proceedings. Peter Evans' years in the business of putting on shows like Sunbury meant he was amply qualified to help me out, so when the tech' arrived back we were able to simply incorporate a microphone he'd brought without having to set up the other PA he'd also brought - and then people were arriving.
Hayley confidently opened proceedings and then I was on and sang the A version of I'll Be Gone. Peter Evans then took to the rostrum and gave a forty-five minute run-down on his book Sunbury, Australia's Greatest Rock Festival, before opening up to some questions from the audience. I finished with my tribute to Bill with It's a Lottery, an a capella version of Esmeralda (as I'd done on the 3MDR radio interview a couple of weeks ago) and finished off with Jamaican Farewell.
I was up on the roof this morning clearing leaves out of the guttering before the rain arrived and it occurred to me that I'd missed an opportunity to sing a more restrained version of Launching Place Part 2, the festival that might have anticipated Sunbury if it hadn't been rained out.
gig report / Madder Lake at the Memo Music Hall Sun. 11.3.18

1) Madder Lake plus Mike during the first set at the Memo Music Hall on Sunday (MG) 2) Brenden Mason has a word or two to Mike in It's a Lottery (MG)
Mike trades licks with the Madders at the Memo Music Hall
12.3.18 - Somebody asked where Neale Johns was but nobody asked where Spectrum was and I don't think anybody cared because it was Madder Lake's show at the Memo on Sunday. I'd done due diligence on the Madders' songs before but this time they'd taken on a couple of my songs that they'd not tackled before which, given it was their show, was very generous of them.
Maria and I poodled into Acland St at just after 12.30 and almost immediately got gifted a carpark, so the portents were good for a change in the seaside suburb where parking tickets are dispensed like confetti. Naturally the Madders were way behind in setting up, so M and I had time for a more than satisfactory sushi lunch a few doors down from the gig before returning to find the instruments' lines being tested. The sound check was reduced to a run through of It's a Lottery, in which I forgot the start of the second verse and fretted about it almost until it was time to actually play it. Maybe it was the G&T.
In brief, the show as a whole went very well and M said it wasn't too loud out the front for a change - maybe the change was due to it being Madder Lake and not Spectrum. Of course, it was different - the dynamics of every band are different - but there are some obvious similarities given that both bands sprang up in Melbourne in the '70s and enjoyed parallel trajectories. The main thing with the Madders is that most of the original band remains extant and that ultimately mateship, founded on shared musical ideals and outlook, still binds the band together. It was a privilege to share the stage with such an institution.
When we came off stage we were bushwhacked by Chain's bassist Dirk Dubois, (who played a couple of gigs with Spectrum after Bill's death) who eventually pointed out that Matt Taylor was also in the room! We had a nice natter with Matt (see the pic on the Splash page) and our friends Steve, Sarah and their son James before heading back to the Poodle, side-stepping a completely smashed aboriginal girl brandishing a bottle in a very threatening manner and making it home in time for whatever happens in Mt Evelyn on a Sunday night - certainly nothing as exciting as in Acland St.
gig report / Mike plays a solo set at the Lomond Acoustica in East Brunswick

1) Mike concentrates and nearly gets it right (MG) 2) Maria and Deb eating dinner at The Lomond
Roamin' at the Lomond
8.2.18 -
M and I arrived at the Lomond in one piece before the appointed time of 7.30 to meet Deb Roberts for a bite before my set at 9.00. While we were eating my attention was arrested by the sounds of the first act up, Kimberley Wheeler, to whom I introduced myself during the changeover. Rodney Claringbould led me to believe she might be an Acoustica regular, but I'd not heard her before and I was most impressed. Lovely voice, a relaxed stage presence, really good songs with neat chord progressions with nice arrangements (helped by the addition of fiddle from her playing partner) that I could imagine just as they were on a movie soundtrack.
My set was slightly less nervy than the last one - in fact, I had to be pulled up by Rodney to finish on time.
gig report / Champs and Mike at the MCG and The Mike Rudd trio at the Seddon Festival

1) Mike makes a grab for his iPhone at the MCG members' dining room last Friday at the Myeloma Foundation's Business of Winning Luncheon (Maria)

2) Jeremy and George wonder where the hell Mike's going to fit 3) The crowd waits expectantly for a Superstar to appear 4) And here he is - RocKwiz's Mark Ferrie
Wheels keep on turnin'
5.3.18 - If nothing else so far this year, the musical menu has been diverse. Mind you, the invitation to the Business of Winning Luncheon wasn't a gig - in fact I was assured that my participation, along with my partner Maria, was strictly as a guest - but as I was waiting at the Mt Evelyn Clinic to see the doctor on Friday morning I took a phone call from Champs, (Greg Champion of the famous Coodabeen Champions no less), wondering if I'd like to bring my trusty G harp along and maybe spring a 'surprise' version of I'll Be Gone on the assembled crowd in the MCG members' dining room like we did last year. How could I refuse?
And so it came to pass that near the end of Greg's droll musical commentary on the various footy clubs and their followers that I was invited on stage and sang an appropriately truncated version of the song to an unexpectedly rapturous reception from the crowd who must've been told beforehand that I was on the point of death so joyous were they to hear me trot out the old fave once more. Slightly puzzling but welcome nonethless.
I pottered along to a rehearsal at the Kindred Studios in Footscray that evening with the 'Superstar' finale crew from the Seddon Festival, which included festival director Lindsay Paterson and my old mates Phil Manning and Mark Ferrie.(pic 4) Rebecca Barnard's guitar put in an appearance, but no Rebecca. I think everything was sorted from my perspective - I was happy to find the right harp for Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer but I relied on everybody else knowing the arrangement for that and the Masters' Turn up Your Radio, the two songs we were wrapping up the festival with. I got lost on the way home but still had the presence of mind to marvel at the swollen moon hanging over the city.
It was warm and windy the next day when I picked up Jeremy from Holmesglen. We found our way into Seddon without too much problem, despite the roads I was vaguely familiar with from the photo session I'd done with Lindsay and Aaron D'Arcy being blocked off for the purposes of the festival.
I was a bit disconcerted by the dimensions of the stage provided (pic 3) but managed to plonk myself down in front of the chaps with no room to spare. Which was when I discovered I didn't have a strap for the Morris! I consulted with my very good friend Rob Rowe, (Way Out West) who was stage managing our stage and he managed to borrow a strap from Phil Manning for me and, after a bit of fiddly adjusting I was back in action..
The on-stage sound was a bit muddy but we pressed on and the sweltering onlookers gave every impression that they enjoyed what we played. We struggled to finish our thirty-five minutes within the guidelines and as a result I struggled to speak with all the people who wanted a word, but I had to get to the 'big' stage on time or I'd miss the finale.
The stage was a bit bigger than the trio's stage, but there were ten musicians on it milling around aimlessly and it was hard to know where to stand without actually standing on or in front of somebody. Rebecca Barnard was there this time though and added the element so conspicuously missing the previous night - a voice and a presence. Our two songs went pretty well and the audience (pic 3) liked them too, and then it was over. Not just the finale, the whole festival hoisted its skirts, tipped out the stragglers and ran into the gathering dusk with a stiff cool breeze at its tail.
I said to Lindsay after I'd signed his guitar that perhaps I'd see him at next year's Seddon Festival and he said maybe, but he wouldn't be booking the acts next year. Oh well, another fucking one-off. Great.
M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D B I L L P U T T . C O MM M I K E R U D D