|Midshipman Rob Hornbuckle saves the day at Lardner Park - Sat. 7.12.19|
Rob Hornbuckle stands in for Broc at VetRok
|The actual last
Spectrum gig for the year goes very country
8.12.19 - The Spectrums, minus bassist Broc O'Connor who's still recuperating, arrived at Lardner Park situated near the Victorian country township of Warragul at about 4.00 on Saturday arvo blinking in the bright sunlight hoping to see something reminiscent of the advertised two-day festival of rock - i.e. VetRok.
As I dropped my gear by the stage after a long walk from the gate, Kelly Auty introduced herself to me again - she does this every five years or so. Her band was just about to take the stage and it was her bass player that had been invited by Brenden Mason on my behalf to fill-in for the absentee Broc. We've never met so I was quite keen to chat with him.
It was such a convenient arrangement because Bren and Rob were both playing with the Kelly Auty band and Spectrum was slotted to play next.
Anyway, it turned out that Rob was very confident and was looking forward to playing with us, so I allowed myself to relax a little bit.
I was using the Fender amp from the supplied backline and was relatively secure in the knowledge that my pedalboard was finally seaworthy, so I was slightly shocked when the amp appeared to switch itself off half way through the second song (Launching Place Part ll).
There was some scrambling back-stage to be sure, but the amp eventually rejoined the fray for the last verse almost as mysteriously as it had departed.
I've now decided that opening the set with It's a Lottery may not be such a good idea as, in an exact replica of the Broc benefit night, I struggled for the rest of the set to recover my voice. Thankfully any worries that I might have had in the bass department were quickly dispelled and Rob Hornbuckle can be counted amongst the very short list of Spectrum bass-players with a distinction to his name.
I did some odd things between songs to try and loosen up my voice but arrived at the pointy end of the set still struggling for vocal certainty. The end of the set came a bit quicker than I was expecting too - it wasn't till later that evening I realised that I had left out Red Hot Momma - so there was even more indulgence than usual evident in Some Good Advice and even some extended playfulness in IBG and Esmeralda until we cracked the desired forty-five minutes.
The crowd, such as it was, was seated some distance from the stage and either struggled to make themselves heard or refrained from comment as we tottered off the stage. I imagine the audience numbers improved for Russell Morris' much anticipated appearance.
Thanks to The Giants' Stu Wood for including Spectrum on the bill and for holding on until we'd finished Some Good Advice.
And while I'm thinking of it, Merry Christmas everybody!
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