Mike Rudd's
Stop Press
Sept. issue #188

The Sooki Lounge in Belgrave reverberates to the sounds of rampant dinosaurs for a second time.. Sunday 22.9.19

The Madders do their set unemcumbered by a crowd..
The children play while the old men have their say
23.9.19 - I had a premonition that it was going to be quiet at the Sooki Lounge in Belgrave last night, but I was surprisingly reconciled to it. The 50th Anniversary series of shows with Madder Lake and occasional guests has had the one hugely successful show at the Caravan Music Club that by rights should've been the model for all the subsequent 50th shows. For one reason or another it wasn't to be, with the predictable result that most of the other shows have struggled to get a satisfactory audience.
'Our' audience, the remaining able-bodied music fans from the baby boomer generation, clearly prefers to be seated and positively demands that we play during daylight hours - it also prefers to listen to ABC radio rather than groovy community radio stations where most of our publicity for this show was directed. (Catch 22 plays a role here, of course). My point being that if that's all that is actually required to be a successfully operating musical relic from the '70s in this post-modern world, then I reckon we should happily wear it.
But, back to the gig review. I arrived at the Sooki Lounge (formerly Ruby's) promptly at 5.00 to find nearly all of the Madder Lakes present and none of the Spectrum crew (with the exception of Brenden Mason, of course).
Our sound guy for the night hadn't arrived yet so there was no real hurry, but it was a good hour or so before we struck the first tentative A minor seventh chord and even then Broc wasn't present to do his bass thing due to another gig commitment.
Sound checks are necessary, mostly for the benefit of the sound engineer, but on this occasion I discovered a serious issue with one of my effects pedals and then there was the startling discovery, revealed ironically by the absence of bass noise, of a long-held chord misconception in the opening number, Launching Place Part ll. Quelle embarrassment! But there it was - a useful sound check.
It was still early so I had time to socialise with my in-laws who'd graciously turned up in numbers to support our gig, before drifting downstairs to the dimly lit speakeasy room (behind the bookcase next to the toilets) that serves as the bands' green room - from where we could hear a solo musician with a group of young people in the cool outdoors having far too much fun..
As usual I managed to be late for my harp spot with the Madders in Badlands - and then Spectrum was on stage, augmented, as has become standard procedure, with the enlivening spirit and guitar work of the Madders' Brenden Mason.
Since I've ditched the iPhone amp simulator that's given me so much grief in recent months, I felt reasonably confident that my diminished rig was disaster-proof for a change - at least for this performance.
And so it proved to be. In fact, I felt the most relaxed I've been in all the 50th shows to date. Pity there weren't more in the room, but as Mick says, you cain't always git what you want.
We're now looking forward to Spectrum's gig for the Vic. Seniors' Festival (yay!) at Fed' Square on Sunday 6th of October - sensibly scheduled during the daytime. Of course it is..
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