The first gig for Mike
in 2021 doubles as a book launch
29.1.21 - I was all
a twitter as I leapt into the trusty Mitsi and sped off down the road
- for all of fifty metres before having to return to pick up my ear
plugs. Craig Horne and Jeff Burstin had
gone to the trouble of coming up to Mt Evelyn
to rehearse the previous day and subsequently I'd actually relaxed a
little, but the prospect of an ACTUAL live gig in front of ACTUAL people
got my old heart pumping that little bit faster and as I drove I was
starting to preview the songlist in my head - invariably fatal in my
I turned up the radio to defeat both the previews and the road noise
and as a result emerged two and a half hours later at The Taproom at
Shedshaker Brewing in Castlemaine almost totally deaf.
I was first to arrive and introduced myself to the bar staff as part
of the band playing that night. They appeared somewhat flustered, but
I couldn't hear what they were saying. When I expanded the description
to include 'book launch' they calmed down somewhat and I accepted a
soothing lemon, lime and bitters for my trouble.
Craig and Jeff arrived and I was introduced to Doug Falconer, who's
these days the owner of The Taproom and who looked after the PA for
us on the night, but who once was the drummer for Hunters & Collectors.
Nice guy too.
The stage set-up was a novelty for a couple of reasons, one of them
being that I was using my new Roland Micro Cube amp in combination with
my Morris nylon-string guitar for the first time, and the other being,
of course, that I 'd never worked with the dynamic Hornets' duo of Horne
& Burstin before.
We'd managed to sound-check a couple of Ruddy songs but as we were winding
down noneother than the legendary Broderick Smith appeared before us
in full regional regalia, (pic) being a proud Castlemaine resident
of some years standing. Sad to say I didn't have time to chat for long
and I'm not sure if he stayed for the show, but it was very good of
him to drop in and say hullo anyway.
Back at the sound check the blend of the the three guitars was sounding
pretty good on stage and Dougie confirmed that it sounded pretty nice
out front as well.
My old mate from ABC Radio, Derek Guille, (these days another local),
opened up the book-centric evening (organised with Northern Books) by
reading an extract from Craig's book about me, (I'll Be Gone), and
then we three musical musketeers were invited on stage to play a set.
Craig had suggested that we play Confessions of a Psychopathic Cowpoke
because it amused him, but in the event I wasn't convinced it was
the right choice. It's one of those songs that makes me feel uncomfortable
these days, especially when I've tipped the audience off to the content
Apart from that, the mix of Ruddy and Hornets' songs seemed to satisfy
the audience and subsequently Craig and I signed numerous books for
happy punters at the end of the night.
I'm pleased that my first 2021 gig worked out so well and I'm sure that
there'll be an announcement imminently about future Hornets' Bookclub
trio gigs later in the year.