Madder Lake, Spectrum
and The Indelible Murtceps go up the country
30.1.22 - It's
been a long lay-off between Murtceps gigs, (strictly speaking 49 years),
but ironically it's the party-pooping COVID pandemic that's been responsible
for the band's long overdue recall. When the Sunbury 50th Anniversary
gig at Archies Creek was first mooted there were some other Sunbury
veterans being considered to appear with the Spectrum / MADDER LAKE
conundrum, so when they had to withdraw with COVID compliance issues
and Steve Georgiou asked me if The Indelible Murtceps might be available,
I had to think for a minute as I've come up with so many nuanced variations
on the Ruddy theme recently that this particular band had got lost in
the mix. Once I'd established that it was a possibility I agreed to
the proposition - enthusiastically too. Despite the obvious musical
contrast with the Spectrum mother ship, clips from the era suggest the
original Murtceps unit was relentlessly po-faced on stage and as a result
I thought we missed a big opportunity to have a little bit of fun.
I suggested to Broc, Robbo and Daz we should dress
up in costume using the Xavier Rudd (Is Not My Son) video clip
as the model. Surprisingly perhaps at the band's first rehearsal a couple
of weeks ago we all did just that and I took a snap of the result (See
pic above - L- R Broc as Agent Smith, (The Matrix), Daz as Chopped
Liver, Robbo as Robbo McRobbo and me as my late dad i.e. Dad
& Dave Rudd).
I then added a couple of tracks to the Murtceps' song list from
the Warts Up Your Nose album (In The Bog and Excuse
Me Just One Moment) and voila! The (new) Indelible Murtceps
band was a reality.
I'd promised to roll up at Brenden Mason's place at 9.30 on Saturday
for an interview for Channel 7 News with Nick McCallum about the first
Sunbury Festival in 1972 and then I was roaring up the M1 to get to
Archies Creek by round midday.
The Archies Creek Hotel is the latest venture by Peter Foley, so while
it's bucolic in location, there are some signature touches that remind
you of Peter's legendary Caravan Clubs, first in Oakleigh and later
So, the Green Room typically had a generous fruit and cheese platter
and a selection of drinks on offer and, set in the covered beer garden,
the large, well appointed stage comes equipped with with Eric, the sound
guy, who knows what he's doing.
By the time we clambered on stage and took off our face masks (to great
applause) all the available seats in the beer garden and beyond were
Thankfully the weather was cool and so the audience was comfortable,
as was the band. I can report that Broc's wig was hot but bearable,
McRobbo's kilt was heavy but air-conditioned and I managed to keep my
'Dad & Dave' jacket on for the whole set. I think Daz was OK too.
Unsurprisingly after such long break and complicated by taking on the
'new' material, we were a little loose musically, but the crowd was
very receptive and obviously enjoyed our efforts to be visually entertaining.
Robbo's belated debut on backing vocals (after 24 years with the band,
he reminded me) were in the sporren (pocket) and it was good to hear
Broc and Robbo finally in perfect harmony.
The Madder Lakes benefit from their custom of getting together every
week to rehearse (true!) and as always were tighter than a possum's
sphincter and, as always, I joined them on stage with my D harp for
I don't know how he does it, but Bren (Brenden Mason) has more than
enough buoyant energy for both the Madders and Spectrum and
I welcome his injection of energy and good vibes as much as I enjoy
leaning on his guitar work to lift the band dynamically.
It turned out we didn't play the entire Spectrum set as planned, but
when we finished (with I'll Be Gone, of course) the crowd rose
to its feet and warmly applauded the band - and the whole afternoon's
entertainment, I reckon.