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Daddy Cool warm up for the Tsunami benefit

1) DC do their voodoo to the Sound Vault logo 2) Robbo gets snapped with yet another bunch of legends
Dreams do come true, Robbo..
24.2.05 - Robbo, Robbo, Robbo! How many bands can you be in without having a physical and/or nervous breakdown? Luckily he's not actually playing with DC, just muscling in on a photo opportunity, but his sheer ubiquitous-ness is a worry. On behalf of all your fans, Robbo, learn how to say 'no' occasionally.
The Mighty Rock..

1) Mick looks surprised to see me 2) The band, with Robbo sucking it in, in full swing

3) Sam See adds his touch of magic to proceedings 4) Sam waits patiently for the flash 5) The Robbos and Tracey
Robbo moonlights with Mick Pealing
24.2.05 -
At Robbo's invitation I whizzed down to the Palace in St Kilda last night to be part of the Mick Pealing Band's CD launch. Robbo, although recovering from a bout of the lurgie that's going around and working flat out teaching, managed to stay awake for the whole performance and actually played with his customary panache.
The MPB on the night was a modular unit, adding three guests to the basic five-piece, including a girl vocalist, a versatile guitar/harmonica/mandolin player and the reliably awesome Sam See. I enjoyed the set very much - even the sound was pretty good - and I'm looking forward to getting my copy of the CD soon. (check out enlargements 2 & 3)
This is the life!

1) The view from the stage area at the McWilliams Lillydale Estate gig 2) Leonie and Jackie get into the spirit of the arvo
Holy grape-grazing Batperson! That was grape fun!
20.2.05 -
I guess it was a case of third time lucky - last year's two Spectrum winery gigs each had their particular problems - but yesterday's winery gig, at McWilliams Lillydale Estate in Seville, was close to being a triumph. The acoustics were fairly lively, so there was an element of restraint volume-wise, but certainly the band, the Estate staff and the audience, all seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly. Bus-loads of grazers rolled in and out all afternoon, but there was a core of Spectrum-ites that communed for the whole session, and numerous CDs were sold. Looking forward to the next one!
St Andrews is back

1) The Vermont St crew pose for the camera 2) Chris says that he's kicking Mike out of the band - and Bill's next!
Chris goes to St Andrews
14.2.05 -
Spectrum played their first gig at St Andrews for the year, and Mike's son Chris came along to join in on the fun. In fact, the whole Vermont St crew (the residence where Chris lives) made it along to the gig, and seemed to enjoy themselves heartily - as did Spectrum and the rest of the audience for that matter. Given there were so many other attractions round town it was a particularly grand crowd. Roll on next weekend!
10.2.05 - Sorry that things have fallen behind somewhat. The Big Pond dude has been round and replaced the corroded connection that had me off the air for the past five days. Hopefully things will get back to normality soon.

Gigs of our lives - part whatever..

1) Pete Smith roasts the Dynamic Direct team at the Bluestone Bar 2) Pete asks Robbo what he'd like for Christmas

3) Pete Robbo and Pete Smith 4) Nick Charles nonchalantly dismays all watching guitar pickers 5) Adam and Mrs Adam in their inscrutably named band, CAAM, performing tracks from their new album on Stage 2.

6) Fiona Boyes with Kaz and Nick Charles 7) The Elephant Bridge Hotel in Darlington tries to sober to greet the day

8) Pinocchio's Nose sing for their supper at the hotel 9) Lee (owner of the pub) and Heather vote Spectrum No. 1

10) Spectrum with Boots and Garry Dalton from 3WAY FM

From the totally ridiculous to the (very nearly) sublime in two days..
7.2.05 -
Although the weather was cool and occasionally drizzly, the Mortlake Buskers Festival last Saturday was great fun - not to mention a welcome contrast to the sound-metered nightmare that was the gig the night before - but that's another story. Spectrum has never played the Mortlake Festival, but now we're considered a Sound Vault act we get to do at least some of the Sound Vault gigs on offer. Until the local plods decided some years ago it had to be relocated away from the township, the main street of Mortlake originally hosted the festival. Since then it's been suffering a bit of an identity crisis, moving from the town to the footy oval and finally to the park where it's been for the last few years. Seeing as a busker's natural element is the street and not the middle of a paddock, and the shift away from the town means the local businesses have been hardly reaping the financial benefits of having a crowd in town, there could be a major re-think about the whole concept in the offing, but in the meantime there was plenty for the whole family to enjoy aside from the music, and the music on the two main stages was quite varied and snappily presented. In fact, I can't remember a better stage sound than the sound we got on Stage One- ever - and we've experienced the gamut over the years. All the acts were given a mean five minutes to set up, which was a breeze for the acoustic acts, but even with Spectrum's more complex set-up we managed to get pretty close. No waiting round in the freezing cold watching roadies randomly zig-zag round the stage for thirty minutes. And just as well too, 'cause by the time we got on for the second set it was quite chilly, and most of the audience was huddled together under blankets doing something or other to keep warm. Both sets, the first Spectrum Plays The Blues set on Stage One and the mostly retro-Spectrum set on Stage two, were well received and great fun to do - as Boots from 3WAY FM said after the second set, it was the shortest hour he'd ever experienced.
And then there was the accommodation, the intriguingly named Elephant Bridge Hotel, about twenty minutes drive away from Mortlake in downtown Darlington. Well, the hotel is about the only thing in Darlington, so you might imagine that things get a little less inhibited into the wee hours - and you'd be right. When we checked in to the hotel we found the place overflowing with leprechauns in fancy green vests, who turned out to be some sort of repertory musical outfit called Pinocchio's Nose who'd also been playing at the festival. They were still playing at the hotel when we got back, and after they'd packed up, the hotel's new owner, Lee, insisted we play a couple of numbers too. We did, and the world's smallest audience (two) loved it, but decided that a command performance by Spectrum on its own wasn't enough while the night was still young and made for dancing, so they proceeded to dance the night away with some of the remaining patrons till nearly six o'clock the next morning. I told you it was uninhibited!
Not only is the Elephant Bridge Hotel the oldest continuously licensed establishment in Victoria, it reputedly has a ghost, and I reckon the ghost of the hotel's original owner, Adeline Gellie, was with me in the shower the next morning, and saw to it I got a damn good scalding! (Bloody rock musicians in my hotel - I'll teach them!)
Anyhow, we loved the festival, and we're looking forward to doing it again, bigger and with better weather, next year.

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