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1) Brett Allitt and Bill ready for another day's commentary
Spectrum's you beaut time at the Ute centre of the Universe
31.10.05 -
We'd met The Crossing Café's Brett (pic) briefly at the Echuca Winter Blues Festival, so we knew he was pretty hip, but it was still a surprise to find the café an oasis of relative sophistication, as much of the township of Deniliquin (or simply 'Deni' to the locals) looked like a '30s film set to us blow-ins. Chris and Brett made us feel welcome and fed us a fine dinner before the gig - and fed us breakfast before we left for Rutherglen. The night itself was good fun, although I'd hazard that nobody knew what to expect, our visits to NSW being few and far between. We'll make sure we rectify that in future.
The Shamrock in Rutherglen was our next port of call,

2) Robbo signs the café wall while.. 3) getting whipped by one of the Crossing S&M staff
and they were ready for us. Despite steady rain the joint was packed, and the courtyard soon filled with well-fueled revellers who danced the night away. In fact, some girls got a little too excited and managed to demolish my harmonica case and mic stand, but there was no real damage and the show went on. We are professionals, after all..

The ageless Shirley with her 72 year old son Paul

Shirley's secret proclivity revealed
23.10.05 - Last night at the Rhythm Café in Foster, just as we were tucking into a delightful repast supplied by our hosts, Shirley walked in. It was on Robbo's birthday in February of last year that we last said hello to Shirley, and since that time she has remained a stillpoint in a turning, churning world, closely guarding the secret of her eternal youth, whom she introduced as her son, Paul. It may be a matter of little concern to anybody else that I've grown a beard in my weeks off, but Shirley took a distinct shine to it, prompting slightly more insecurity on my behalf, it has to be said.
Other highlights were our host and employer, Michael, blowing the cobwebs out of his sax for two or three
numbers with the band, the inspired re-introduction of I'll Take You High to the repertoire, and the successful trialling of heavier gauge strings on my Strat'. (For the technically minded, I stepped up a point (10, 13 and 17) on the top three strings after a few days plunking on the Martin, which at present goes 12 - 52, the same as I used on my original L-series. I'm going to drop a notch on the Martin's top three now, though. I can't believe I used to do that for all those years - it's fucking agony!)
Robbo had to come home to Melbourne early, so after only a token sleep we left the sleepy township of Foster for home at 8.15am. You owe us Robbo!

Eastgate's Peter Shillito and a gloating bearded person
Mike buys a new guitar
18.10.05 -
Quite a few weeks ago I dropped into Eastgate Music in Balwyn to say howdy to Peter Shillito, whom I see from time to time to replenish my stock of the Raven Spectrum compilation CD, Ghosts. While I was there he invited me to have a strum of some of the guitars he had on display, with the inevitable result that I decided I just had to buy myself one of the Martin steel-string acoustic guitars. Apart from my crappy Canora nylon-string, I've not owned an acoustic guitar since I bought my first ever guitar in the early '60s, so it's all quite exciting really. Peter bent over backwards to give me a super deal, so all I've got to do now is play this gorgeous instrument productively and balance up my account again.

The Robbos and the artist, Stewart MacFarlane

MacFarlane show at the Nodrum Gallery
- Stewart MacFarlane is an old musical buddy of Robbo's from the Fudds' days, but he's better known these days as a painter. He's based in Hobart and nearly all the paintings on show at his Pretty Colours exhibition at the Charles Nodrum gallery reflect that locale, as well as sharing an implicit sense of narrative.
I really enjoy his work and I'm obviously not alone - most of it sells as soon as it's hung. You could almost order one sight unseen, such is the sense of continuity in the paintings.
He painted a picture of Robbo some years ago, and the painting sold for $10,000.00 recently. I didn't realise Robbo was so valuable.. Exhibition runs till Oct. 29


1) Open your eyes Robbo, it's me! 2) Bill with Mark Kennedy and Jimmy Sloggett
Sunday at St Andrews?
9.10.05 -
A cool Melbourne day with nothing much to do, so I picked up Chris and popped up to the St Andrews pub, where Wolfegang were having their CD launch. Robbo was moonlighting on drums, and Bill popped in as well, so it was almost business as usual..
Mr Tim comes to Camberwell
8.10.05 -
One of the good things about longevity is the odd occasion when rash moments of youthful hysteria can be confined to the youthful hysteria basket and replaced by mature reflection over a hot guitar, followed by lunch, a Stilton cheese and good coffee.
Such an occasion was celebrated today by the smoking (in the nicest possible way) Mr Tim Gaze, (pic), former child prodigy guitarist with Ariel, and myself, the ancient mariner of Oz Rock. Tim happily agreed to be subjected to my dithering ministrations and record a few blistering riffs for the Spectrum album we're in the middle of producing. Can this boy play!
Brian Baker plays the Rainbow tonight - and other odds & sods
7.10.05 -
Brian Baker is at the Rainbow tonight if you're interested in checking out him and the band. I've added a couple of things lately on the site that I should tell you about. 1) Down the bottom of the CDs page I've put up an mp3 of The Cutting Edge Of Society in its entirety, and 2), on the Demos page, as well as the 'B' version of I'll Be Gone, I've added the mp3 of my contribution to the Fatherhood project, My Dad Said. Enjoy.
Margret's back
1.10.05 -
Spectrum's doing fuck-nothing, so you may as well find out who else is on where. Margret RoadKnight, (pic), is back in town at the Boîte World Music Café, 1 Mark St, North Fitzroy on Friday the 14th at 8.15 - ring 9417 3550, and in Cabaret mode for one night only at Cube 37, Frankston Arts Centre in Davey St on Saturday the 15th at 8.00 - ring 9784 1060 . I got an e-mail from Colin Hay a while back saying he was going to be at the Spiegeltent during the Melbourne Festival. Must drop in and say hullo..
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