A big day out for the
Spectrum boys at the Prom Coast Festival
18.3.19 - Facebookers will have seen
that most of Spectrum were guests at the annual Myeloma Business of
Winning luncheon at the MCG last Friday before optimistically heading
off to arrive at the small Victorian enclave of Sandy Point, about forty
minutes from Meeniyan and two and a quarter hours from the CBD - on
a good day.
After 3.00 on any Friday doesn't qualify as a good day, but I was still
surprised to discover Robbo and I were the first to arrive at the Community
Centre at about 5.45.
We were greeted there by the Music Club's Rob Nicholson,
who seemed not at all concerned that we were late - the opposite if
The band arrived in dribs and drabs but still had time for a run-through
of a couple of numbers before adjourning to the Green Room for a home-made
lasagne and sundry other goodies made by Rob's wife, Janine.
The show as opened by Paul Savage, aka Loophole Savage, a former harmonica
student of mine who's defied the odds and actually made good. I watched
his set from the back of the room and was most impressed, as was the
audience who had quietly filled the room while we were enjoying our
Then it was The Indelibles' turn. We've not done this kind of thing
since the halcyon days of the TF Much Ballroom when we put on a number
of Spectrum concerts supported by the Indelible Murtceps, but there
are some subtle differences between now and then. The Indelibles' remit
allows the band to play material from all the early bands to more recent
songs (and the blues), but although confined to reproducing the early
output exclusively, Spectrum now boasts an extra player in Madder Lake's
ace guitarist Brenden Mason and there is a distinct bump-up in intensity
as a result.
I don't know if that was the reason, but when I announced the Indelible
Shuffle, a good number of the audience rose from their seats and
moved to the front of the stage - and commenced dancing!
I really felt as if we had been transported back to the '70s and we
were playing at the Eureka Hotel again! (Or was that the '80s?)
They stayed there too, so I'll be interested at Spectrum's future gigs
to see if we've actually crossed some sort of threshold in the band's
progress or if it was just one of those fabulous nights..
Wanstock 2019 conforms
to the well-worn script in the rock'n'roll handbook
3.3.19 - I met Geoff Wamsbrough in person for
the first time yesterday as we waited for a sound check on a stiflingly
hot (allegedly) autumn afternoon with a disturbing backdrop of fires
licking the base of the southern end of the Dandenongs. Geoff and I
had been exchanging emails about the gig since December last year when
he sportingly offered to pay half Spectrum's fee in advance, but recently
I detected some panic in his usually assured emails. Bookings weren't
strong and he didn't understand it, especially given the line-up. For
what it's worth my guess is that the line-up was one legendary act short,
but possibly the attempt to combine a bevy of lesser-known younger bands
with the two elder (Kiwi) rock statesmen was also problematic for a
potential boomer audience.
As I said I'm just guessing, but in the event it has to be said that
when Maria and I braved the outrageous decibels to find our away to
the band room, the audience numbers were disappointing.
Luckily Bren had made sure that we'd had some sort of sound check that
afternoon, because Broc's Jazz bass guitar chose that moment for its
electronics to unravel and would only produce a sound like a harpooned
whale. As it was, the band that preceded Spectrum went wildly overtime
and there were enough complications setting up with time constraints
without the prospect of a large mammal dying on stage.
I'm told our sound cleared up after the first number and the on-stage
sound was generally tolerable, but in principle I remain unconvinced
that the oddly-shaped Shoppingtown Hotel 'cabaret' room is even partially
susceptible to the blandishments of extreme volume. Rose Tattoo is there
Spectrum managed to play all of its projected set, apart from Cypherland
Blues and went only five minutes overtime, but M and I left for
the peace and quiet of home even before Kevin's set got underway. Knowing
Kevin I'm sure he was as fantastic as usual, but my ears were telling
me that I'd had enough volume for one night.