The Indelibles debut in Sorrento coincides with the
arrival of the dreaded cold snap
13.4.21 - Rude
intimations of winter have well and truly interrupted the Indian Summer
that saw the band sweltering in Warburton on Easter Sunday. Buffeting
wind gusts and spiteful rain abruptly slowed traffic to a crawl on the
M3 as Maria and I trundled to Sorrento in the flying cake-tin (the Mitsi).
Even without interruptions it’s a ninety minute plus journey from
Mt Evelyn to Sorrento, but the last fifteen minutes drive on the Nepean
are worth the price of admission, with the horizon seared blinding silver
and the screen of tortured black tea-tree trunks revealing glimpses
of nervous yachts anchored near the shore.
Tom Katz! is a name that I well remember from the ‘60s and ‘70s,
but for one reason or another none of my bands ever played at this famous
Bay-side venue, so it was all new to me. We were guided by Google Maps
to a dirt track claiming to be Hurley St, so we hoped that
this was in fact the Sorrento / Portsea RSL as we hesitantly bounced
down the muddy slope.
It was, and we were made very welcome by the room’s booker, Ian
Clarke (with his wife Jo) and given a quick run-down on the recently
extended room. I was invited to bring my gear in and set up on the split-level
stage under the cheerful supervision of Billy Abbott, a Scottish horn-player
moonlighting as a sound engineer and one of the posse of volunteers
who make Tom Katz! a viable proposition.
The room has an inherently relaxed vibe and I already felt like I was
going to enjoy the day – and enjoyable it proved to be. Billy’s
attention to detail seemed to have done the trick and the room played
like a well-used pair of sonic underpants. My new pedal arrangement
worked satisfactorily (about 90% of the time), so I was quietly ecstatic
in my corner of the world.
Daz’s Hammond suited being DI’d, (must remember that) and
the rhythm section, (or Broc and Robbo to you), were enjoying the sound
as well as savouring just playing again, my benign mood, the audience
and possibly even the sea air.
My son Chris arrived with the crew from Vermont St, where he lives a
life of supported semi-independence with seven others. Since COVID Chris
hasn’t been able to come and see the band, just as we haven’t
been able to actually play in the band, of course, and although
I think he found the experience somewhat overwhelming at first, he eventually
relaxed and seemed to enjoy the day - he even had a dance or two!
The previous weekend in Warby had triggered an AF* incident that necessitated
an ambulance being called to test my heart's health with an ECG etc.
but it was a minor excursion of short duration, so today I thought nothing
of leaping off the stage during our version of John Mayall’s Crawling
Up a Hill and trying my occasional routine of untutored dance-moves
on the assembled punters. Admittedly I had to crawl (!) back onto the
stage, but at least I was untroubled by any heart issues. I reckon I
should survive at least another year.
Ian got back to me yesterday with some complimentary observations, aside
from the one complaint that had an oddly familiar ring. He said that
while there was a good crowd on hand, especially given the inclement
weather, the bar-take didn’t reflect the numbers in the room.
This has been an on-going problem for venues throughout Spectrum’s
existence. It seems that either our audience is so preoccupied with
the music that they forget to drink, or they just don’t drink.
I have a solution. May I suggest that if you’re planning to attend
a Spectrum or Indelibles’ gig in the near future, you should include
a DESIGNATED DRINKER in your party, preferably one who thinks he’s
going to a Chisel gig. There’s no drinker more incentivised to
drink large than one thirsting for revenge.
* Atrial Fibrillation -
a heart irregularity