Mike Rudd's
Stop Press
July issue #187

gig report - Spectrum's third 50th show at the Yarraville Club - Sat. 13.7.19
gig report - The Indelibles do The Alpine Retreat Hotel in Warburton Friday 5.7.19
Crikey Mikey! Another mixed bag performance at the Lomond Acoustica gives me pause for thought - Wed. 24.7.19
Looking a bit tentative there, Mike! (Brian Pieper)
Life flashes before my eyes etc. at the Lomond Acoustica
27.7.19 - Introducing myself to the (mostly) gentlemen lurking in the gloom at the Lomond Hotel on Wednesday evening I mentioned that I was 'old enough to know better', but clearly there are years/months/weeks/hours or minutes yet to pass before that happens.
I'd devised a challenging suite of Ruddy songs to open the evening that thankfully also featured Nick Charles and Shannon Bourne to balance my somewhat wayward set.
For my opening trick I recorded a loop for I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now - but because it added half a beat every four bars it made syncing a bit of a task. Next time that happens I'll stop and start again, or better still, I'll get it right the first time.
My epic protest song, OMG, about the Christchuch earthquakes amongst other things, was always going to be tricky. It's complicated enough, but recently I've made some mods to the arrangement and it was these mods that tripped me up - badly. I suppose it's a good thing that nobody knows the song so I kind of got away with it, but it rattled me.
I was still jumpy when I finally called it quits after a rousing rendition of My Dad Said (Nick
Charles said the 'stomping round the house in his underwear' line reminded him of his own dad) and I hung around chatting to odds and sods while Nick showed everybody how it's really done. Eventually Acoustica's Rod Claringbould appeared at the bar and after an amiable chat I collected my bucks and bolted into the night.
It was only then I remembered I'd hadn't sung I'll Be Gone and for some reason that actually cheered me up a little.
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Spectrum's third 50th Anniversary show goes the distance - just! Sat. 13.7.19

Kerryn Tolhurst's DingoRadio opens proceedings (MG)
Gremlins do their worst but fail to upset the show at the Yarraville Club in the Near West
15.7.19 - It didn't start auspiciously when I arrived right on time for t
he soundchec
k (i.e. late) and in my haste parked in the puddled wastelands on the wrong side of the Yarraville Club. Of course it was drizzling. I grabbed my guitars and tried to enter by a side door where a very smelly bloke was choking on a fag. He seemed to be in some sort of trance but obligingly swiped his card to open the door - to the pokies room! It must've taken me another five minutes to wend my way to the other side of the club to where the showroom actually is, where, thankfully, I found things still in the early stages of readiness. I brought the van around the the correct side of the club and brought my gear in to set-up.
One of the more ridiculous aspects of headlining is that you are obliged to sound-check first - conversely of course the opening act sound-checks last. It makes sense of course, but in my case I had to breakdown my amp and accoutrements that then had to be completely reset just before our Spectrum's set - and because, unlike the Caravan Club there's no curtain at the Yarraville, this is done in full view of the audience.
There's quite enough pressure anyway, but the additional factor of it being scrambled together in full view of the audience is disconcerting.
As I still wasn't quite ready
I asked for an extra song from our guest DJ for the night, Max Crawdaddy, but when that song ended I still wasn't ready.
Expectant silence. Bugger. OK - we'll start now then.
A terse word to the audience and I successfully executed the new intro for Launching Place - and then I was roaring away with the standard portentous guitar intro.
Or, was I? Crunch! Nothing. And then I was back. And then I wasn't. PANIC!
Nobody had any idea what was happening, but the rest of the band joined in anyway.
Where the fuck was 'one'? The opening stanza was stretching out interminably until we discovered where 'one' actually was and then we were away - finally.
In the audience Maria was in a cold sweat. She wasn't alone.
At the end of the song I wrenched my misfiring iPhone out of the loop and made-do with my trusty Hot Rod amp neat for the rest of the night.
There was one more major glitch late in the set when half the PA just stopped functioning altogether, but thankfully that was right at the end of a song and didn't have a major impact on the overall presentation.
Three-quarters of the way through the set I realised we weren't going to fit all the songs in that I'd planned, so I fast-forwarded to the end, discarding Worm-turning Blues, Real Meanie and one of the encores. We'd lost more time dithering at the start of the set than I'd calculated.
I have to say the audience was very sporting though and joined in heartily at every opportunity - and I had some lovely conversations at the end of the evening with enthused people from all points of the compass - and history.
Personally I was a bit miffed at the glitches, but it wasn't just about me - or even us for that matter - and the concert as a whole went down very well. Kerryn Tolhurst's Dingoradio played a lovely blend of Country Radio and Dingoes tunes with a young singer, Simon Bruce, (whose personality reminded me oddly of the late Adrian Rawlins) revelling in the quality of the songs and the chance to perform with such an experienced outfit. Kerryn's slide and mando playing were as impeccable as always.
Madder Lake put in their usual tidy performance with Brenden Mason managing to inject his enlivening energy into both the Madders' and Spectrum sets.
There's one more Anniversary concert in the series to come at the Sooki Lounge in Belgrave in September. I'll be in touch.
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The Indelibles blitz the Alpine Retreat Hotel in up-town Warby and Bill's bass guitar makes an unexpected appearance. Fri. 5.7.19

Broc puts Bill Putt's P-bass through its paces.(MG)

An unknown actor sets the scene for a happy Indelibles' return to Warby..
8.7.19 - Not surprisingly I had no idea that a casual encounter with the bloke moving the witches' hats down the bottom of our drive while drainage repairs were being undertaken in our street would result in a very rewarding gig for The Indelibles in Warburton.
Up until a few years ago we used to play in Warby fairly regularly, but this time, rather than the claustrophobic confines of the Wild Thyme Café, we were booked by our unlikely hero Johnny Seegers, (admittedly for an audition of sorts), at the rambling Alpine Retreat Hotel, whose hayday was probably at the turn of the last century when well-to-do Victorians would escape the summer heat in this picturesque village at the head of the Yarra River.
In other words the Alpine's surely seen better days, but renovations are under way and the current management seems to know what they're doing - for instance the meals we were treated to on the night were of exceptional quality.
The band set up in the bar, which was slightly cramped but had a very friendly atmosphere and an open fireplace to effectively counteract the chilly conditions outside - Maria said it was like like watching the band sitting in a comfortable lounge-room.
A young bloke with an interesting-looking hat helped me set up the CD player that I'd decided we needed to have playing minutes before we took the stage. (There is no stage, but you know what I mean).
As we fiddled around with the recalcitrant CD player under Daryl's Hammond he was rattling on about Bill Putt's bass guitar - and eventually it sunk in that this fellow (Heath Gillespie by name) was the same bloke who'd bought Bill's bass guitar and, not only that, he actually had the guitar with him!
It was too late to do anything in the first set, but Broc happily swapped his instrument for Bill's legendary stripped-down bass (pic) and played the next two sets with it - although I think it played I'll Be Gone by itself.
Maybe that had something to do with it, but the night (including Keaton Robertson's jam) was the best fun we've had for a long time and the elated crowd obviously agreed. Perhaps because of Johnny Seegers' involvement there was a decent amount of local Spectrum-type support in the room and I'm sure that I was personally congratulated by nearly every one of them - plus the bar staff and the hotel management.
Our unlikely backer was ecstatic and has promised to find the Indelibles more gigs. To have the Indelibles regularly ticking over with Spectrum taking the spotlight every now and then would be an ideal scenario. Here's hoping..

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