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Create's Geof and Gaye 2) The Greaggs with a friend at the George
Mike's brain explosion - the ACT tour
24.7.07 - The Press Club gig on Thursday
was to start at 7.00, so we thought it prudent to leave the
previous evening and stop over in Wodonga on the way. I had
an appointment with my endocrinologist at 4.30 that afternoon,
so it was all rather finely timed, but we managed to hit the
tollway at about 7.30 - and we
were on our way. We arrived in Canberra at about lunchtime
and drove straight (as ever one can in Canberra) to our agent
Geof Cook's place in Curtin, where Geof and Gaye very kindly
put us up for the next few days. The Press Club set-up was
at the opposite end of the room from the last time we played
there, which worked a bit better I think, and we had an excellent
crowd who wanted to dance the night away. Amongst them were
surprise guests bro' Dick and Mary, who were in Canberra briefly
on the way back from Sydney. Bill hadn't seen Dick dance before
and found he had to close his eyes so as not to be completely
put off his timing. Pam Cleary (pic 3) and her friend
Lynette made it all the way from deepest NSW too, but thankfully
refrained from dancing.
I haven't mentioned before that Robbo is on his Super Robbo
diet at the moment, which means he carries all his breakfast
requirements (incl. dandelion tea) with him, so Bill and I
slipped out each morning to breakfast in town while Robbo
snoozed on oblivious.
It was Friday, and after dropping Bill off back at 'home'
after breakfast, I met up with Dick and Mary for lunch at
Tosolini's. (pic 4) We conjectured that never was
our politically-inclined conversation held in a more appropriate
venue. (i.e. Two tossers at Tossers in Canberra).
After lunch I looked around for the museum I'd visited on
our last trip, but I couldn't find it (it turned out to be
less than a hundred metres away) and so I went to another
modern art exhibition down the road instead. I don't know
why I don't do this sort of stuff in Melbourne.
The Old Canberra Inn that night was the scene for my infamous
brain explosion. I seem to remember I had a similar problem
the last time we played there, i.e. the sound from
the TV was being picked up by my effects board and broadcast
through my amplifier, loud enough to be disruptive between
songs as well as when I was actually playing my Strat'. I
overcame this by rather grumpily opting to use my Morris for
the entire first set, and then attempted to sort out the problem
in the break before the second set.
By the time the second set arrived I'd partially solved the
problem by taking my effects board out of the loop, but only
partially as it turned out. At any rate, I was already very
annoyed, so I decided that I would channel my anger into the
next few blues songs. I think it worked, because I could see
I was beginning to unsettle some of the more gentle souls
in the audience. When I re-introduced the Strat' I found I
was now getting electric shocks from the mic - not big shocks,
mind you, but enough to really, REALLY piss me off..
As if this wasn't enough, the PA speaker on my side started
making ominous farting noises. This was simply too much. I
stormed back to the recalcitrant speaker and punched it, once,
twice, and then really hard a third time, scraping my knuckle
and making it bleed. As I did this the speaker lead popped
out altogether (I hadn't plugged it in properly in the first
place) and so I scrabbled about on the floor, cursing loudly
as I did, and eventually put it back together again. By this
time the other two were starting to get into the spirit of
things, and we nearly brought the house down with a ferocious
couple of songs to finish the set.
The night ended quite peaceably once I'd got all that out
of my system. I should point out that my usual short fuse
is even shorter of late as I negotiate this wretched hyper-thyroid
condition - it is getting better, but very slowly.
The next day (Saturday) I was favoured by an invitation to
meet the Greaggs, including their son Scott, for lunch. We
had a very fine meal at the local Vietnamese, and Scott displayed
exemplary restraint when his honeyed prawns didn't arrive
till late - something that Mike should take special note of.
I'd had a call from David Kent on Friday, so after farewelling
the Greaggs, I met David for coffee in Dickson, not far from
where I'd had lunch in fact. I find David very easy to talk
to - he's a sympathetic listener, and while our conversations
end up strangely reminiscent of an interview, there's no danger
of having my views published, so I'm able to put some radical
views about my current situation without prejudicing anything
- with the added bonus of enlightening myself.
Dick's flash startles Pam 4) Tossers Mike, Mary and Dick tossing
the salad at Tosolini's (pics by Dick)
|The gig we'd had set for that night
at The Holy Grail had dropped out, so I arrived home just in
time for the start of the Bledisloe Cup showdown at Eden Park,
followed by footy and more footy. Oddly enough, the highlight
of the sporting night was listening to the Asian Cup Aust./
Japan penalty shootout being relayed by Lisa to Robbo over the
phone. Took me back to the old days, listening to the All Blacks'
games on short wave radio. Sort of.
Sunday morning, and we said good bye to Geof and Gay's place
- and Jedda and Columbus (pic 1) - and loaded up the
van for the penultimate time. I deliberately left my stool in
Curtin - I've never been comfortable sitting down and now my
future standing is assured.
We found the George Harcourt Inn on the way out of Canberra
without a problem, and after some initial misgivings about the
tiny space to set up, we ended up enjoying this lazy Sunday
afternoon gig the most of all. The Greaggs (pic 2)
and some other folk we'd seen at previous gigs spent a relaxed
afternoon with us too, so it was a very friendly send-off. At
the end of the afternoon we loaded up the van again and shared
one last meal with Geof and Gaye, before heading off for Wodonga
and ultimately home to Melbourne. Geof suggested early in the
New Year might be a good return date. I think I should be over
my brain-explosion phase by then..
sees an angel at the Press Club bar 6) The intimate space at
the George Harcourt Inn (pics
by Gaye Reid)
18.7.07 - Just
before we head off to the ACT, I should tell you a couple of
things. First, another lovely review for Part One (check
it out). I've loaded another video onto YouTube too,
which you can check out on the Videos page - enjoy.
weekend goes a treat!
17.7.07 - It was billed as a 'classic double'
weekend, with the Lomond Hotel on the Saturday night, followed
by the St Andrews pub the following afternoon, but it was a
classic double with a twist, being the first smokeless weekend
for us at both these familiar gigs. I was surprised to find
there was a bigger crowd than usual when we arrived at the Lomond,
and the difference without the usual smoke haze was as obvious
as it was welcome, with only the odorous carpet betraying the
hotel's sordid past as one of the stinkier gigs we do.
St Andrews was pretty much a standard turnout - perhaps a little
quieter at the start in fact - but thankfully some friends were
there to break the monotony - Bridget Rolfe was celebrating
her birthday with family and friends - including my in-laws,
the McClatchys - and Bill's Rose and family were there too (pic),
and had a whale of a time, especially when we played Esmeralda.
for itself really - the Sun. Herald Sun 8.7.07
There's always somebody! Robbo watches Nick Charles in the
Nighthawk crowd 2) Nick Charles works up a lather
Dalton (right) laughs it up at his 50th birthday
Warrnambool to Mentone
On Saturday night we played at Volcanic Rock's Garry Dalton's
50th, (pic 3), held at the Warrnambool footy club,
and, despite keeping a poker face all night, we imagined Garry
probably enjoyed himself. After staying overnight at the City
Heart Motel, (which is in the running for having the world's
worst motel shower), we breakfasted royally at Figgy's, where
I fielded a text from Daz informing me that Part One
had scored a four star review from Pete Best in the Sunday Herald
Sun. (see above)
When we got to the Nighthawk, Bill and I decided it was lunchtime
and ate averagely at the world's most expensive
|Thai joint, before turning in an
electrifying/perfunctory performance (sans I'll Be Gone!)
to open the afternoon's proceedings. Nick Charles (pic 2)
was delivering a moody solo performance as we left, and the
evening undoubtedly held some brilliant performances from a
cast of thousands, but Bill and I were just too bushed to enjoy
it, so we went home early.
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