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report - not / Mike has his pic taken, has his pic taken, has his
pic.. Sun. 18.11.18
Wayne Budge and Mike pose for Maria 2) Wayne Budge and Mike pose for
Maria 3) Wayne Budge and Mike pose for Maria (MG)
21.11.18 - It was as late as Friday I came across the
reminder on my calendar that Wayne Budge, whom I might've met with
in Qld some years ago - well, I'm certain that I met him, the question
is precisely when - was due to arrive in Mt Evelyn on Sunday to take
a few snaps of my semi-famous features for a portrait project that
he was undertaking with some urgency, due to some of the better-known
Oz music celebrities inconveniently dropping off this mortal coil
at an unprecedented rate.
Wayne arrived early with his friend, the effervescent Jo, acting as
his local guide - she certainly proved invaluable as a human tripod
when Wayne finally got round to taking multiple photos of me in the
helpful gloom of M&M's master bedroom.
Wayne is producing all the portraits in black & white, possibly
inspired (as I was when an art student myself) by Robert Freeman's
Astrid Kirchherr-inspired photos of the Beatles on the With the
Beatles cover. Or possibly not - I didn't think to ask.
Maria wished that I'd not pulled so many faces, but Wayne was more
sanguine, suggesting that that is who I am after all - a man who pulls
too many faces. Here's hoping he finds something usable amongst the
mugging. Chances are pretty good that he will - he sent me some of
his shots of other music (mostly) stars, including Kevin Borich, Glenn
Shorrock and JPY and I reckon they're all very striking.
Wayne's planning an exhibition at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery opening
on the South Coast on Feb. 16th. I was hoping to be there, but as
I'm due to be in WA with the band I couldn't be further away as it
happens. Darn it!
report / Mike takes a s slightly different tack in Warburton Sat.
goes to Warby for the PHUC songwriting workshop
Everybody say 'PHUC-ers!'
That's Miss Wattle next to me
2) The PHUC mug given to me by Miss
Wattle (with eggs)
It's a rich and varied tapestry
21.11.18 - When sampling the Mike Rudd / Bill Putt website
you may not have noticed there is a Classifieds page. As well as items
for sale I tout that I have the capacity, if not the intention, to
teach anybody the unappreciated art of playing the blues harp i.e.
harmonica (a term the famous classical harmonicist and raconteur,
the late Larry Adler despised, preferring simply 'mouth organ').
I currently have but one student. My living in faraway Mt Evelyn can
be a drawback to some prospective student who lives in the metropolis,
but the reality is I'm happy to have just the one student - meet David
David is also a member of the Panton Hill Ukulele Club and he thought
I might be interested in taking a songwriting workshop with his phellow
PHUC-ers at their annual Ukulele festival held in Warburton, a township
happily on my side of town.
I was interested and found myself parking my van at the Alpine
Retreat Hotel, the rather run-down venue for the workshop on the highway
into Warby, about half an hour earlier than necessary last Saturday
I was greeted warmly by Sue Arnold, (aka Miss Wattle) and introduced
to the gathering band of ukulele ladies and gents.
They were all (a bit scarily) cheerful, but a varied bunch in nearly
every other respect. I suppose there were more females (ten to seven
now that I count) than males. Luckily the male contingent included
a bloke (Paul) who had packed a PA just in case it was needed. I was
able to feed my CD player into the PA and play my one surprise card
- a demo of a song that I'd written especially for the Panton Hillers
called Ukulele Blues.
I played the song to the group at the end of my hour chat - and to
my surprise they all wanted to learn to play it on the spot, so we
spent another ten minutes playing along with the recording.
We also played Esmeralda together and I was as charmed by
the seductive tone and rhythm of the massed ukuleles as I was the
good nature and polite attentiveness of the group throughout the workshop.
One lady proclaimed to everybody it was the best workshop she'd ever
attended. That can't be bad.
report / The Ruddster at Beach 162 in Frankston on Armistice Day Sun.
1) Mike is exhilarated
with his new sound 2) The impassive bamboo (MG)
is a beach at Beach 162
– My old mate Billy Dettmer called a couple of
weeks back wondering if I’d be interested in playing a solo
gig at his favourite Frankston hangout, Beach 162. Being Remembrance
Day this was no ordinary Sunday and Billy had committed to the goings-on
at the Shrine of Remembrance and couldn’t make it.
A Sunday arvo gig is not to be sneezed-at, but my feelings about solo
gigs are mixed, so I hesitated. Actually, my feelings are far from
mixed because, try as I might, I seem incapable of mastering the art
of singular playing.
I started off my career playing in a band, so I’ve had the buffer
of other players sharing the audience focus for more than 40 years
- and that’s my preference. I didn’t start off as a songwriter
either, so I wasn’t your typical singer/songwriter plying his
craft in smoky folk clubs back in the ‘60s.
Lately however there’s been a technical breakthrough, so I was
hoping this might help me with both the technical side and eventually
the emotional quotient as well. Although I write all my songs on my
crappy Canora (‘crappy’ is redundant, of course) nylon-string
acoustic guitar, I render them on stage with an electric guitar. However,
I do all my solo gigs these days with my Morris solid-body nylon-string
guitar and while it sounds unfailingly perfect amplified – perfectly
acoustic that is – I miss the tone and sustain that I get on
the electric guitar and I’ve become increasingly self-conscious
about the imperfections exposed in my technique as a result.
I’ve got an account with IK Multimedia and was having a look
for a possible solution on their website and discovered they had an
interface for my iPhone (iRig2) which would allow me to play with
my comfortable-to-play nylon-string – but sound like I was playing
an electric guitar!
Short story is that I got the device a few days ago and did some practise
with it – and it worked! So, yesterday Maria and I arrived at
Beach 162, me as apprehensive as usual, but also hopeful that I would
gain in confidence when I was able to get the sound I’d been
missing. While it didn’t go entirely to plan, at least the sound
was right and I’ve now got something to work with.
On review however, it’s obvious I need to revise my song list.
Beach 162 has regular clients who vastly outnumbered (and out-chattered)
the few Rudd-ophiles in the audience. I like my present song list,
but it’s delusional to expect average bar-room habitués
to be bothered with something totally unknown to them. Those days
The best parts in my three sets for me were when I got my loop pedal
in sync and was able to riff away with my new hybrid guitar sound.
Songs like Fly Without Its Wings would suit that approach
and a few more blues songs sprinkled around might help too. I’m
sure there are other Rudd-songs in my vast back catalogue that will
be more immediately accessible for the average punter.
I really like the venue. The Three-Piece Suits played there a year
or so ago (before they took delivery of their suits) and got away
with it even though the stage is tiny and more suited (!) to a solo
act. The entertainment is presented in what we used to call a beer-garden.
It feels airy and the enormous bamboo plants make it all feel very
tropical – Billy said it reminded him of Thailand. Maybe I’ll
get to do it again sometime.
report / The Indelibles crash a folk festival in Maldon Sat. 3.11.18
1) Fabulous Phil
Manning charms and delights the crowd with scintillating guitar work
2) Blues Café organiser Clif Edwards welcomes Daz
revisions - the old electric-rock-band-at-the folk-festival caper
4.11.18 - There was a sense of inevitability about the understated
confusion that greeted The Indelibles at the annual Maldon Folk Festival
yesterday, (Saturday). I found the organiser Clif Edwards chatting
with Phil Manning at the entrance to the corrugated iron building
that I assumed to be the Vintage Machinery Museum where the SteamRoller
Blues Café may or may not have been located just round the
corner from the of the only part of Maldon known to me and my fellow
Spectrum cohorts from the odd gig at the Maldon Pub for the Maldon
Blues Club. At least, I assumed it was Clif Edwards. Phil I know,
of course, and he greeted me warmly as a brother muso, although perhaps
a brother whose standard milieu was at odds with the rock-free
manifesto of the average folk festival.
The sound guy, Josie as most people called her, or Josephine as she
introduced herself to me and whom her partner Clif referred to as
Joseph at least once, took me around to my delightful billetted accommodation
they'd organised with Pam (and Jim). Pam is very charming and quite
chatty and clearly, as a woman of the world, wasn't at all disturbed
that I might not be in until after 1.00 am, although I got the distinct
impression that the billetting arrangement was all a bit last minute.
I met Greg Champion on returning to the Museum. He seemed surprised
I was playing at a folk festival with the band but introduced me to
another folk festival booker just in case.
Clif assured us that Robbo and Broc were being put up 'just over there'
somewhere (with a famous actor) and it was going to be no problem.
Nothing was any problem apparently and our spirits were raised when
Clif materialised with a bag full of burgers and fish & chips
and we chatted happily of this and that, and then more about that
Daryl arrived in time for a luke-warm burger and we'd come to terms
with the quite tiny stage on which we were setting up - a decent enough
stage for a folk artist or two but quite tight for even a modestly
equipped electric band like ourselves.
The other Chris Wilson reminded me of an 'outfield incident' involving
us both at a Billy Miller cricket match at Fawkner Park where we'd
collided heavily apparently many, many moons past - and then there
he was up on stage entertaining the pretty decent crowd that had gathered.
Phil was on next and particularly in the first set his playing (and
singing) was sparkling and his folksy anecdotes just setting it all
up perfectly. Chris joined him in the second set and then finally,
after four hours wait, it was our turn.
We scrambled to get our things postioned on stage but yes, we were
finally playing. I was mixing things up a bit trying to find the right
songs to unlock the crowd and I even chatted helpfully about the backgrounds
to the songs, but the audience was unmoved for the most part (apart
from Josie) and just looked on with bemused tolerance and clapped
This is where I lost the plot slightly because after an hour I thought
maybe we should pause and take stock before resuming the battle for
hearts and minds.
I hadn't played The Song - in fact I hadn't even mentioned The Song
and maybe that was the other mistake, because when we took our break,
well, most of the audience put on their hats and scarves and deserted
us, driving off in their Landrovers or more likely even, just walking
the few hundred metres home.
'So that was the rock band ' they might've said to one another. 'A
rock band at our folk festival was never a goer. What will they think
of next? Portaloos most likely.'
We 'd arrived in Maldon with a virtually empty tank to discover the
only pump in town was closed for the day. This became important when
we discovered as we packed up the gear that the accommodation arrangements
for Broc and Robbo remained an ongoing issue and there was only a
'possibility' that a couple of couches might be available for them
to crash on.
Faced with this added dilemma I opted to make a dash for an all-night
station Bendigo. 'Dash' isn't the right word, of course. In order
to conserve what petrol I had left I drove very conservatively for
the 30-odd k to reach Bendigo - and, of course, despite the tension,
we made it and I finally got home at 4.00 am.
In all the years I've been driving the van and the band around I've
not run out of petrol. That we came so close to doing so at this stage
in my career tells me this was a very old-fashioned gigs-of-our-lives
kind of night.
report / The Double Bill hits the Spotted Mallard on Fri. 2.11.18
Double Bill Bren and Mike trade licks while Broc rests his case 2)
Maybe this is the chord you're looking for young Bren..
Mike takes a tumble at the Mallard
- I thought I knew a better way to get to the Spotted Mallard, buried
as it is in plain view on Sydney Rd in Brunswick, but it turned out
not to be better at all, the reverse in fact, and I took a full 90
mins in peak hour to get there from Mt Evelyn on a muggy Melbourne
arvo. Nevertheless, I was the first of either the Spectrum or Madder
Lake bands to arrive so had plenty of time to survey the Mallard in
broad daylight. Nightclubs always look a bit grotty in daytime and
the Mallard is no exception, but it's still an impressive space. It
has the feel of a 2nd World War ballroom, but I shall have to check
out its history to see if that feeling bears any resemblance to reality
Spectrum and Madder Lake's Brenden Mason was the next to arrive. He
looked exhausted - he always does - but this time he looked really
exhausted. Bren's always cheerful though and he asked me if I'd seen
his Mallard animation for the show on his FB page. I hadn't, so I
took a gander. (!) As you would expect of Bren it was very entertaining.
I'm continually amazed that he finds the time to do all this unsolicited
but practical creative stuff. Proof of the adage that if you want
something done, ask somebody who's busy, I suppose.
Everybody from both bands eventually arrived, even Daryl (and Deb)
who'd just returned that very afternoon from their whirlwind trip
to the States - and had to cope with a flat battery to boot.
The other band guest, Maria, had driven in on her own and showed up
about the same time - she was massively stressed out from the GPS
jamming her phone and having to drive blind in the unfamiliar and
congested Brunswick streets.
Everybody else got their's on the band bar tab but the tab allegedly
ran out and we were compelled to buy our meals - and to make matters
worse it was probably the most disgusting plate of fettuccine we've
ever attempted to eat.
A very late sound check ensued, but things sounded pretty OK and we
walked on stage feeling reasonably confident about our set despite
our lack of rehearsal.
The aspect of playing gigs I resent most these days is taking down
the equipment after the set, particularly when there is another band
trying to get their gear on stage at the same time.Then there's the
I made thing doubly difficult for myself on this occasion by forgetting
to latch my harp case (after retrieving my spare pair of specs) and
spilling all my harps on the floor, then spectacularly tripping over
a keyboard case and so-nearly splitting my head on the wall.
It actually bruised my psyche more than anything else and I was immediately
overcome by a feeling of hopeless exhaustion. Yes, I think I was feeling
Broc helped me out (literally) by ferrying most of my stage gear,
as well as his own, down the the van and then Robbo volunteered to
stay to the end of the Madders' set and take his drum kit home to
be picked up on the way to Maldon the following afternoon, rather
than sensibly loading it into the van after the gig.
I did stagger on stage with the Madders to add some harp to Badlands,
but after that I slunk down the Mallard stairs a couple more times
with the remnants of my gear and escaped home to bed.
The ever-thoughtful Brenden filmed both bands and if something is
worth showing I'll stick it up on the site and FB. You'll never know
how it all works until you come and check the Spectrum/Madder Lake
Double Bill show out. Next stop - Sydney!!
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