Mike Rudd's
Stop Press
Jan. issue #210

live gigs
see current gig guide
The Indelibles and The Indelible Murtceps in Lorne 28.12.22 and Mike @ The Basement Discs Finale 21.1.23

Mike photo-bombs the official Last Hurrah portrait

The Indelibles and The Indelible Murtceps in Lorne and Mike on his Todd @ The Basement Discs finale
23.1.23 – Disclaimer. Those who read these irregular columns will be aware that these are not reviews in the usual sense i.e. somebody at a Ruddy gig offering an informed impression of what they’ve seen and heard would always be from an audience perspective. My Stop Press reviews are written from the inside out, strictly from my point of view as a band leader, song-writer and player, with my state of mind before, during and post-gig being crucial to the perspective on what has transpired, all of which may be completely at odds with the audience’s experience and opinions of the same event.
That being said, you might well ask, WTF? Who cares and where’s the review of the rumoured last gig of the year in Lorne? And what about the Basement Discs’ Last Hurrah?
Well, apart from the plethora of well-known musos and entertainers dropping off this mortal coil, nothing much has been on my rock radar over the past couple of months, so I’ve given the whole schemozzle a rest. At the same time I’m not certain the rest has done me any good, but a rest from my perceived responsibilities as a player and a communicator is what I’ve had and that’s why I’ve not been keeping youse in the loop.
So, now I’m back, and for the purposes of this Stop Press review I’m going to cobble together the stories of December’s Lorne gig and the very recent Basement Discs’ gig, not because they’re similar and not even because they’re totally dissimilar in nearly every respect, but just because..
GIG #1
In the ‘70s Ian Lovell used to book the latter versions of Ariel into the Eureka Hotel in Geelong at every opportunity and we used to get very good crowds there too, so it was win for him and a win for us. Whenever we’ve run into each other subsequently it’s always a very nostalgic and affectionate occasion, so when he rang on short notice to see if one of my bands could come down to Lorne to help him celebrate his 70th birthday I went out of my way to make sure it would happen.
Ian told me that he and his partner Judi Kenneally had recently taken over the locally famous Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant,* coincidentally next door to the Grand Pacific Hotel, a Heaters’ haunt back in the ‘80s. The pier itself is best known in its role as the pier in the famous Pier to Pub swimming event that resumed this year after an enforced two-year break due to COVID.
Inside the venue was a bit of a shambles, but if the weather was good Ian and Judi were thinking we could play outside picturesquely framed by the Bay at sunset.
We’d had that Very Hot Day the day before the gig, but a cool change arrived as we drove into Lorne, so it was just a question of how and where we were going to set-up inside, which obviously required a bit of furniture rearranging, but was the right choice.
There were forty or so guests for the birthday, unsurprisingly all our vintage, so I knew we’d get a good hearing, but after partaking of the freshly caught squid we were given a G&T each and maybe it was then I became certain that we were going to make a connection that went beyond familiarity and expectation.
I’d sold Ian the idea of having The Indelibles and The Indelible Murtceps playing a set each, distinctions that even people conversant with the Rudd oeuvre find mystifying, but Ian enthusiastically agreed to the proposal, even if he wasn’t absolutely sure what I was on about.
The Indelibles were in the support role and so were on first. The opening song was Keep on Dancing and as soon as we started I knew we were onto something. The Indelibles’ remit is to play selections from the Spectrum, Ariel and Spectrum Plays the Blues output and it’s always a lot of fun for us – we should do it more often.
Before the next set we all dressed up in our chosen Murtceps’ avatar clobber, (I’m My Crudd of course, but Robbo, Daryl and Broc each have a chosen identity - see the Murtceps blurb), just the sort of calculated conceit we never bothered with when Murtceps was first conceived. I’ve found the dressing-up makes a huge difference to what’s being projected from the stage and I can see us taking it much further than it ever did back in the ’70s in every respect – maybe a belated follow-up to Warts Up Your Nose would be appropriate?
Anyway, Ian was moved to write to me the following day:
Hi Mike
Thankyou for yesterdays performance...
Saying thankyou seems seriously inadequate.....
You gave Judi & I the greatest gift of all...
Incredibly powerful selfless, perfect , understated, dramatic, timeless, beautiful....

There was more, but although I took considerable satisfaction from Ian’s response I already knew deep down that it was a job well done by me and the lads. A nice way to end the year.
GIG #2
As I write this I’m oscillating between frustration with myself and the hope that I didn’t disappoint the wonderful turnout of people assembled at The Basement Discs’ break-up party on Sunday afternoon. It felt like I was having an out-of-body experience and I just couldn’t settle down, but everybody dutifully gave the impression that they were enjoying it, so maybe I’m simply spoiling for a fight with myself.
I’ve said quite firmly that I’m never going to perform solo again, that is properly solo, but when it became clear that piano-accordionist meister and good friend George Butrumlis was unavailable to accompany me, I felt I had no choice. Suzanne and Rod have been long-time supporters of things Rudd and we have such a history together that it would’ve been unthinkable not to join in them for the very last time for want of an accompanist.
Weddings, Parties, Anything's Mick Thomas singing and playing guitar and fat-sounding mandolin, aided by singer and guitarist Brooke Taylor and ethereal fiddle-player Xani (Kolac), put on a very likable and very together set prior to my stumbling onto the stage to fumble versions of Jamaican Farewell, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now and San Andreas, before straining the performer/audience assumptions by insisting the crowd sing both I’ll Be Gone and Esmeralda in their entirety, then concluding almost acceptably with a final word from Bill in It’s a Lottery.
Well, it’s done now and, on reflection, how I feel about my part in it is not the point. The end of days for The Basement Discs is a sad day for CBD’ers who might’ve spent many a lunchtime cruising the Basement Discs’ racks for musical gems on vinyl and CD, or listening to bands and proper solo artists performing live from behind a pillar to plug their latest CDs.
It’s a sad day too for those of us old enough to have lived through the history of vinyl and CDs and who regret the excitement of it all being supplanted by algorithm hummers and bean counters. Speaking on behalf of all the musicians who were welcomed by Suzanne and Rod at The Basement Discs, we truly appreciated being appreciated by real people who lived and loved music for its own sake.
It's certainly the end of an era for Suzanne and Rod and I don’t think my portentous-sounding comment about it being ‘the last hurrah of the music business as we know it’ was that far off the mark.

* Under Ian and Judi's management now known as the Lorne Pier Art Bazaar

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