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1) Let's Create's Geof and Gaye 2) The Greaggs with a friend at the George Harcourt Inn
gig report
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.

3) 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..

5) Mike sees an angel at the Press Club bar 6) The intimate space at the George Harcourt Inn (pics by Gaye Reid)
Part One review
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.
Smokeless 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.

Speaks for itself really - the Sun. Herald Sun 8.7.07

Oh, what fun!

1) There's always somebody! Robbo watches Nick Charles in the Nighthawk crowd 2) Nick Charles works up a lather

3) Garry Dalton (right) laughs it up at his 50th birthday
gig report
From Warrnambool to Mentone
9.7.07 - 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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