Kemp's 70th birthday bender with The Suits Sun. 27.10.19
Suits' tidy set-up in Alan Kemp's back yard
A 70th birthday to remember
in Dromana with Mike's Three-Piece Suit
29.10.19 - It's just as well I was diligent about having cover
provided for Sunday's gig (pic) at Alan Kemp's 70th birthday
in Dromana, as just after the speeches began the rain came down. Just
a passing shower, but you know what they say about moisture and electricity
and we'd already had one electrical misadventure that afternoon when
a fuse blew. ('I told you I could smell burning' sniffed Broc).
(Yep, you read right. Broc was there AND he and Robbo had another gig
to do that evening!)
Anyway, negotiations had been going on for some time with Alan trying
to sort out the right spot for the band to perform, but there was no
choice really when the issue of cover came up. So, there we were, in
quite a tiny spot (for which The Suits are perfectly adapted, of course)
pointing back into the house at a prospective audience.
Alan knows his bands, but it would be true to say that not all his friends
are as well-versed in Oz rock music or even music in general, so it
would be interesting to see what sort of response we would garner during
As it happened there was a coterie of Oz music devotees that stayed
with us all afternoon, obviously revelling in the unexpected treat,
while the rest of the guests visited us at key moments and seemed to
enjoy themselves, even if they were slightly mystified.
There was (musical) space for me to fine-tune my new set-up and it worked
pretty well too. It helped with my playing in general and I had to contrast
it with the experience on the benefit night where my
left hand froze at certain points and the guitar felt awkward and, well,
It has to be an attitudinal problem and I s'pose I'm lucky in a way
to still be having such a problem. Boredom would be so much more.. boring.
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Big Bash Benefit at Eddie's Poolroom & Bar Fri. 25.10.19
braces for an awkward night at Broc's Big Bash *
Hooray! Broc's benefit
gets a decent crowd and everybody's happy!
28.10.19 - It was a late call from
Robbo that alerted me to the possibility of a show being put together
to raise some money for Spectrum's bassist and all-round good guy, Broc
O'Connor. It seems like only yesterday that Broc reminded me that it
was six years ago (!) on the 30th of September 2013 that we did our
first gig with him as Bill Putt's replacement on bass at the St Andrews
Pub. (It's funny, but I thought the first gig was the 3MDR Big Gig -
I knew Broc from years before as a tech-savvy guy and fine guitarist
who hosted Ross Ryan's GI Recorders in Glen Iris (where Bill and I recorded
a couple of blues CDs) and who occasionally moonlighted on bass, so
all I really needed to know was that he was keen to take the position
on - which it turned out he was - and the rest is history. As a bass
player he's almost Bill's polar opposite, but musically and with his
calm and always cheerful demeanour Broc's proved to be a invigorating
asset to the band.
It was a huge shock to discover recently that Broc has to undergo a
very serious operation (scheduled for tomorrow as I write this) for
which the recovery period is indeterminate - it may take weeks or even
Peter Newson, a bass-playing mate of Broc's and a fellow member of a
Disturbing The Peace, a very successful Aussie-style tribute band in
which Broc and Robbo both play, had the venue (Eddie's Poolroom &
Bar) organised in no time at all and we settled on the mutually compatible
date of Friday 25th. I came up with the unoriginal but captivatingly
alliterative Broc's Big Bash Benefit moniker and invited Brenden Mason
to join us on the night, who in turn invited Madder Lake, who all came
aboard without a second thought ('he's a brother') and with the addition
of Partners In Crime, another of Peter Newson's bands we had a four-band
line-up worthy of the Big Bash description.
Spectrum played a benefit gig at Eddie's Poolroom & Bar some time
ago. Not a lot of punters turned up and it wasn't a great night. Being
located in an industrial wasteland doesn't help, but in its favour the
room's got a good stage and a big PA (with the legendary Pixie at the
helm on this night) and we were hoping that if there was a good crowd
we might be able to conjure up a decent rock 'n' roll vibe.
By the time Madder Lake opened the show at 9.00 there was a
decent-sized crowd in the room and the good vibes actually exceeded
my wildest expectations.
Robbo's drum prodigy son, six-year old Keaton Robertson, ripped off
a snappy 'jam' with the band to open proceedings and then Spectrum's
set was under way.
Apart from a scare when my voice nearly disappeared at the start of
our third song, Indelible Shuffle, the Spectrum set went OK
- and it went fast, with only forty-five minutes available for each
After our whirlwind contribution I managed to say a brief hullo and
goodbye to a number old friends, including Ross Ryan incidentally.
I grabbed (most of) my stuff from the stage and loaded the van, pausing
to watch Broc thank everybody for coming before the Disturbing The Peace
After I'd finished loading out I went back into the room one last time,
mostly to see how long I'd last. I wasn't planning to join the mooted
finale as my voice had disappeared altogether by this stage. The DTPs
were half-way through Part Two of Evie. I didn't quite
make it to the end but drove home knowing that Broc's mates had done
a good thing this Friday night.
Good luck Broccie!
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do you call a Seniors' concert in Fed Square? Let me know. Sun. 6.10.19
The seniors are baking in the distance somewhere
|The last Spectrum gig for
the year goes very Morning Melodies..
7.10.19 - Spectrum,
as seen in the recent 50th Anniversary series with Brenden Mason on guitar,
had just the one more assignment before hauling up stumps for the year
and that was an appearance in Fed Square on Sunday
morning for Vic. Seniors Festival. I don't
think I've ever played on the main stage before, but the Dept. of Human
Services' Chris Reidy who negotiated the deal to have Spectrum on the
bill, said we should remember to bring a hat, which surprised me a bit
as I'd thought the stage was covered. He also reminded me that Sunday
was the first day of Summer Time and that we'd lose an hour's sleep overnight,
so I duly warned the rest of the band per email (my messaging on the iPhone
from Mt E has been even more suspect lately).
Nevertheless Brenden appeared quite surprised that Broc and I had arrived
so early to pick him up and it wasn't until we were sipping coffee in
the Square before the first set that he tumbled.
There was a thousand-piece orchestra playing some Greek favourites (very
nicely) on stage when we arrived and so we anticipated a slightly late
start and once the cast of thousands had shuffled off we had our heads
down concentrating on getting things set-up as quickly as possible.
I was so busy I didn't notice the dancers in front of the stage boot-dancing
to the recorded music and so I was shocked when somebody arrived at the
front of stage yelling at me to 'stop making that noise, we can't hear
the music' followed by 'show some respect!!!!'
In the event we were a good twenty minutes late starting the set which
was severely truncated as a result. It went down well though and even
with a recurrence of my effects board issues the second set went down
even better than the first.
Or I think it did. The audience was a long way from the stage, and I suspect
that some of them might've hung around simply because they were glued
to their plastic seats in the hot midday sun.
I did need my hat too. The stage was covered - partially - but where I
was standing was in the full sun. I'm sure I looked every bit the pensioner
in my panama hat and I have an uncomfortable feeling that I can see the
future writ large..
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Indelibles chance their arms - and fingers - at the Alpine Retreat Hotel
for a second time. Fri. 4.10.19
The food was just as good this time around - hooray!.
Before the second time
becomes a 'thing'..
7.10.19 - What is it about the second time playing
at what was an enjoyable gig the first time around? Maybe you could
compare it to the 'second album syndrome' that young bands almost invariably
experience, except the expectations come from within the band rather
than the critical masses.
The Indelibles had unexpectedly enjoyed their
first time at the Alpine Retreat in Warburton a month or so back and
consequently expectations were high for a repeat or even an improvement
- well, on my part anyway.
I got there early enough. I'd been compelled to make some mods on my
effects board and I was keen not to put myself under any undue pressure,
especially given the wound to my index finger from my highly publicised
soldering accident not quite healed.
I needed every bit of the extra time setting-up too, but by the time
Robbo had set up and we'd had a bit to eat (pic) we were all
ready to roll. And rock..
The CD player was skipping as if in some kind of omen, but I was quite
pleased with the sound I was getting out of the modified board and had
a night out on my guitars, even though my finger was oozing blood by
the third set.
It was a bit quieter attendance-wise, which was disappointing but that
seems to be our lot these days.
As if by way of compensation the crowd was very appreciative,
so it wasn't such a bad a night all told. No actual second-gig syndrome
here, move along please!
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