How to find Waaia and then discover
how to pronounce it when you get there..
9.2.21 - We'd been to Waaia before (mysteriously
pronounced 'way-eye' by the locals). It was six years ago for Di Calder's
60th and here we were again to help celebrate at her retirement party.
Di and Ray Calder have followed Spectrum and associated outfits for
and try and see the band as often as practicable,
given their formidable distance from Melbourne. Such is their enthusiasm
that next month they plan to come down for the Giants' Helping Hand
benefit in Longwarry AND then fly over to Adelaide for Spectrum's appearance
at Fraternity's 50th anniversary concert!
It was raining and miserable when we left Robbo's
house at 9.05, but magically the skies cleared as soon as we turned
off the Hume for Shepparton - in fact, by the time we got to Waaia it
was becoming uncomfortably hot.
The Calders had invited us to a luncheon BBQ before
we set up at the Waaia pub, for which we were grateful after nearly
four boring hours in the Mitsi.. (Broc actually looked up from his phone
at one point and commented on how flat it is around Shepparton).
The pub has added a large mostly-covered deck with a bevy of furiously
spinning ceiling fans since we were last in town, so we opted to set
up there rather than inside as we had the last time.
It was then I discovered just how out of touch I'd become after twelve
months enforced break from playing - I couldn't even remember on which
side of the mic stand I put my effects pedals! In the end I chose the
right side, which naturally turned out to be the wrong side.
I also had forgotten to pack the CD player, which meant Ray had to go
home to bring back his home system to fill the gaps between sets. He
was astonished to find that it didn't sound as loud as it did at home.
All that aside it was a sublime relief to be playing again. The chaps
seemed to be enjoying themselves too and I was getting enormous pleasure
from those mystical moments when we meld into the one four-headed instrument.
This indulgence wasn't too controversial thankfully as, apart from Di
and Ray and their half-dozen guests, there weren't a lot of people on
the deck, so we could experiment to our hearts' content.
All good things come to an end, of course and the last set was timed
to finish at 6.00. Di must have sensed that I was tiring after three
prolonged sets and suggested we could finish a little earlier if we
When the time arrived though, Ray started calling loudly for more, specifically
a replay of the one hit song in our repertoire.
I thought he was kidding at first, but he said another twenty people
had just arrived at the pub and insisted we reprise I'll Be Gone.
That request accomplished we began to pack up. As I grimly staggered
out to the van for the last time a bloke asked me if I'd enjoyed myself.
I managed a wan smile and said that, despite appearances I had
actually enjoyed myself.
We stopped off for some fast food in Shepparton. It wasn't particularly
fast but it was decent enough. (see pic)
'Gigs of our lives' I thought as we clambered back into the Mitsi for
the four hour drive home.