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Mike plays another mystery chord for Daz's entertainment*
gig report
Sunday double revives the '70s
30.10.06 - The shock of the old has me wasted still. The double from bucolic St Andrews to the Bar Open in Fitzroy was always going to be testing, but a couple of '70s-style stuff-ups actually helped us make through the night more or less intact.
First though, I must apologise for my no-show at Dantés on Friday night. I was s'posed to give a little talk at the official launch of the Today Is Tomorrow book, but lack of diligence on my part led to my misinterpreting the instructions forwarded to me by author Iain McIntyre and I was a no-show. I am an undisputed duffer.
Back to the double: St Andrews was a warm and wonderful experience as always, and we even tried a couple of different things to keep Daryl on his toes, but audience numbers were down slightly, which got me asking anyone who'd listen if I should be e-mailing a gig guide every week, every month, or only when something exceptional is happening. I will couch it appropriately and put the question to you good e-mail listers.
Because I tipped the audience off to our ambitious little double, we actually got off stage on time for a change and arrived at the Bar Open at 7.30, just as the Chris Lofven movies were timed to start. The whiff of the '70s became quite pungent when it was discovered there wasn't actually a projector in the room, allowing us time to load our gear up the two flights of stairs (!) and roughly set it up around the screen before retiring to the Café Nova for a bite. Robbo was smarting because there were only two free Today Is Tomorrow books on offer, but we ate well - apart from the inevitable overdose of garlic on my seafood risotto - and chatted happily about fart cricket while watching the ARIAs with no sound (the only way).
I suppose it was all the effort, but I was pretty non compos when it came to playing our set - it was just as well I'd forgotten 3CR was recording, otherwise I might have ground to a halt altogether. The audience was very forgiving though - they probably enjoyed seeing people with clothes on after the Lofven movies - and they seemed to enjoy our exceptionally laid back, even for us, bracket of oldies. Special mention should be made of Daryl's unsolicited keyboard contribution, which made for a more authentic than usual retro-Spectrum set.
I was surprised, and a little touched, when a tall figure approached me as we were packing up and introduced himself as Ash Wednesday. I can't remember the last time I met him, but it seems he's living in Berlin these days, ('My feet are in Melbourne, but my heart is in Berlin') - I'll find out more when he gets in touch and let you know.
*pic courtesy of Miranda Worthington

Alana Galea is delighted to accept Spectrum's gift
The Lomond rides again - and a senior episode
22.10.06 -
The Lomond Hotel has made an effort to enhance the audience's experience by adding a sandwich-sized stage and some drapes, but it doesn't really help the band that much, and anyway the Lomond's just one of those magical rooms that works, with or without improvements. Last night was no exception, and I'd have to say it was one of the more memorable nights personally. Speaking of memory, at the end of the night we presented our cub reporter friend, Alana Galea, with an Ian McCausland print (pic). I remember thinking I shouldn't forget to load out the camera - then blank. I rang the hotel this morning, but they couldn't find it, so I went there this arvo to check for myself. Nothing. There was one final
possibililty, so when I got home I searched my gig bags - and there it was! Oh my poor, overloaded brain! I can wear the inevitable teasing from the other two in the meantime - at least I've still got a camera. For now..
New photos in Gallery
20.10.06 -
Not just any old gallery either - I'm talking about this website's Photos page! After a great deal of pissing about, I've managed to update it with some neato photos taken at St Andrews by cub reporter Alana Galea. I'll probably be a little more pro-active in future - I'd forgotten everything about it and it took bloody hours..
  Big Sunday for Spectrum
23.10.06 -
You will have noticed that I've put up our weekly gigs on the Splash page for those who don't have the energy or inclination to traverse the site to find out where we are this week. Hooray! I should make special mention of this week's gigs, because we're making a big effort to be in two places at almost the same time. St Andrews
  is a regular gig and a happy hunting ground for us, but it's a long way out and not everybody has the means to travel the distance. A very special event, the launch of a book by Iain McIntyre on Aussie psychedelic bands (Tomorrow Is Today), sees the four-piece version of Spectrum racing from St Andrews and playing a set at the Bar Open in Fitzroy at 10.00pm. read more
Foster to Willy nilly..

1) Theresa, and you thought you had lustrous hair - meet Robbo! 2) Everyone has happy hair at The Rhythm Café

3) Shirley marvels at the transformation in Mike when a camera's near 4) Lynn stands on tippy toe with Bill and Mike

5) Chris Fogarty's wife Joy took this shot 6) Bill serenades a potential Ian McCausland customer

7) Way Out West's Rob Rowe with Ian McCausland 8) Fiona Boyes with Kaz Dalla Rosa at Fiona's CD launch
gig report
A busy weekend for everybody
16.10.06 -
We knew it was going to be tight, but we were heartened when the trip to Foster took only two hours rather than the three hours I'd inaccurately remembered, which meant we had an extra hour to sound check at Foster's Rhythm Café. We needed every minute of it as it turned out, and even then things were still a bit wonky when we started the first set, but once we'd ironed out all the annoying sound bugs the night went off with a bang - so much so that we ended up doing four encores!
I didn't sleep a wink that night - me and rubber mattresses don't get on - and so I was already awake when my mobile alarm went at 7.31. We had a neato breakfast at The Hard Loch Cafe (in Loch) before dropping Robb off at home for a power-packed afternoon of his own, and speeding on to the Willy RSL to load in at noon for the McCausland Home Grown poster exhibition and Fiona Boyes' CD launch. Bill and I were a little taken aback (but touched) when we got applauded - I made a little speech and publicly managed to broach the subject I'd originally meant to speak to Ian privately about all those weeks ago - namely getting Ian to do the cover-art for the Breathing Space CD! Hooray!
Even more shots from the OJO bar

1) Brad Wilson supplied this shot of Spectrum in full seated mode 2) Mike kicks over a chair in a fit of pique

3) Bill wonders what's this he's holding? 4) Robbo slips into a coma during Superbody (pics 2, 3, & 4 Phil Graney)
Spectrum in Bathurst and the ACT

1) Why are we having breakfast in Forbes? 2) Dollies celebrate Spectrum leaving the stage

3) Robbo hears more bad news 4) Robbo testifies against Mike in the Boorowa Court

5) Mike cuddles up to Jane Greagg at the Press Club 6) Geof still can't find his missing 'f'

gig report
Spectrum loses its way in NSW
11.10.06 -
Apart from the relentless drone of Robbo in his Pod cancelling his students and copping regular instalments of bad news about his daughter Holly's car, we made it to West Wyalong without incident and stayed overnight at the cheap but adequate Acacia Motel. But it was the next stage of the journey that provided the first minor drama of the tour when I managed to overshoot the Bathurst turn-off, and by the time Bill the Navigator had turned his attention from the newspaper he was reading, we were so far past the turn-off we decided to drive on to Forbes and breakfast there.
We made sure to get directions from the locals for the drive back to Bathurst and made it in plenty of time to survey the accommodation the gig had provided - which we immediately ditched in favour of a regular motel down the road. Bill provided some light entertainment when, after being provoked by Robbo's thoughtlessly standing on his whiter-than-white sneakers, managed to rip the front door of our motel room almost completely off its hinges. That man doesn't know his own strength!
Our hearts dropped when we loaded into the gig (the Oxford Hotel), but the promoters were so proud of it we kept our mouths shut. It was nothing more nor less than a disco - well, it was more than a regular disco 'cause they had more of everything (e.g. four mirror balls), but the disco ambience was absolute anathema to presenting a live band, especially a band with the delicate sensibilities of Spectrum. There was one funny moment during the night when Robbo went to the toilet and heard a timid voice from the stall saying, 'Is anybody out there? Help me please 'cause I can't get out.' Robbo pushed open the door - it wasn't locked or jammed or anything - and found this guy cowering against the back wall, completely out of it and disorientated. Well, we thought it was funny..
The next day we left for the ACT, stopping off in Boorowa to have a light lunch at the Magistrates Café (pic 4). The first gig was at the Canberra Press Club bar, which we've done before, but the plush accommodation we'd enjoyed last time wasn't available due to the Floriade Festival, so we had to be content with the slightly less salubrious Ambassador Hotel in Curtin. We managed to get hopelessly lost after the gig, and I spilt Bill's beer over everything and tempers were getting just a little frayed before a taxi-driver took pity on us and guided us to Adelaide Avenue and on to Curtin. Bill wasn't in the best of moods all night, because the Culnane brothers had shown up, and Phil, (who has yet to apologise for breaking Bill's Yari the last time we played the Press Club), proceeded to wipe himself out so totally he was ejected from the room.
Paul Culnane turned up again at the Old Canberra Inn the next night and very kindly gave me a bottle of red before we began the first set, as well as a little something for Bill, but I think a gesture from Phil is what's needed. Anyway, all that aside, what a lovely gig the Old Canberra Inn is! We felt comfortable enough to present the acoustic set early, as the acoustics were crisp and conducive, and the audience was pretty attentive as well, so we went back to the Ambassador tired but happy.
Saturday was our day off, and we popped into town for a whopper brekky followed by a ramble round various shops, finishing up at the Canberra Art Gallery (pic 9). We had to vacate the Ambassador, (the bloody Floriade again!), and Geof and Gaye offered to put us up at their place just a few minutes from the hotel. That night, while Bill and Robbo got takeaways and watched the Killer Tomatoes sequel, I drove over to Downer and spent a very pleasant evening with the Greaggs with a delightful cab/sauv. to boot.
I should've felt rested on the Sunday arvo I suppose, but actually I felt pretty lethargic - luckily the gig at the OJO Bar, Let's Create's new gig in Tuggeranong, was a laid back affair with a forgiving audience who seemed to enjoy the music immensely anyway. John the Chef made us a neat lunch of cajun Salmon, and even gave me a jar of cajun mixture so I can make my own brew at home!
Then it was time to wave our friends, old and new, a tearless goodbye and hit the highway home. It was a clear run, apart from my having to brake suddenly to avoid hitting a big grey 'roo in the middle of the Hume, and we made it to Robbo's place in almost exactly eight hours. I've never seen so many 'roo carcases on the road - I reckon anywhere between forty and sixty on the whole journey - so I'm getting a bull bar installed on Monday. We'll see you again soon, Canberra!

More pics from the nation's capital

7) Mike makes Big Phil Birch-Marston nervous at 92.7FM 8) The charming exterior of the Old Canberra Inn

9) The Canberra Gallery is as pretty as a picture 10) Phil Graney with Bill at the OJO bar
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