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Jerrycan wins at Cannes

31.5.08 - The ever helpful and alert Mazz Worthington (who produced and directed the Rocket Girl clip) tells me that the the short film, Jerrycan, (see The news you have when there's no news article below), won the Jury Prize in the shorts category at Cannes, which apparently only comes second to winning the Palme d'or - the mothership of all short film awards. I've been to the rather murky Julius Avery website, and I can't get the relevant trailer to work, but they did promise me a DVD, so I'll chase that up and let you know what I think. At the moment, though, I have to say that I'm feeling rather proud..
Mike's epic interview in Sunbury
29.5.08 -
It was Wrokdown's Anita Monk's suggestion that I get in touch with 3NRG's Andrew Smith, and the usual flurry of e-mail's resulted in my heading off down the Calder at 4.30, in what I figured would be plenty of time to get to the Victoria University's Sunbury campus, where Andrew Smith's Krome Plated Yabby Show is broadcast every Wednesday night (from 6.00 - 8.00). What with the traffic and all, I arrived just in time for Andrew (pic) to give me a sample of a local pinot - and we were on the air.
Well, I'm not sure if it was the pinot, but Andrew couldn't shut me up, and the two hours just flew by. I had so much more to talk about too - but maybe next time..

The SIHM tour band - the ambulance is out of shot..
The Someday I'll Have Money tour band rehearsals kick off
26.5.08 - It was a pretty relaxed first-up full rehearsal at Pete Dacy's Secret Sound Studio, (apart from Phil and me getting bitten by Pete's crazy bitch, Heidi), but I have to say I'm knackered now. Phil and Brod are not in the least bit precious about their songs - which is just as well, 'cause we took some inadvertent liberties with some of Brod's songs especially. It'll come together over time - I think we've got another rehearsal scheduled in a couple of weeks. We haven't considered what we're doing from the Spectrum repertoire yet, but at least Bill, Robbo and I know what we're doing there, whatever we choose. See the July gig guide for the tour dates - I'm going to bed..
Mike plays Pied Piper - except he's playing a guitar of course.. The Miss Havachat book launch
23.5.08 - I haven't been this apprehensive about a gig for years - and I was only singing the one song to a bunch of two to four-year olds and their mums for heavens sake! As usual, I needn't have worried - I didn't forget the words to my child-friendly song, Excuse Me Are You Listening To Me?, (although I did fluff the chords in the M8), but they all sang along at the appropriate moments, (pic left), which is all you can askof any audience.
Peter Barber's Miss Havachat book is a bold enterprise conceptually, taking full advantage of the flexibility that the cyber-world offers and
giving kids and/or parents the option of changing the names and the appearances of the main protagonists to match the actual world of the child recipient. Peter had to go to Germany to get the right printing partnership he was looking for, making it a truly global project. You have the option of down-loading my song when you order the book, and this is the only way you can hear this particular song. We're hoping to build up an album's worth of songs as the project proceeds. The charming illustrations by Lara Cameron (pic right) make this a lovely and personal gift for some child you will undoubtedly be expected to buy a birthday present for soon, so check out the Miss Havachat website right now!

Bill and Brod get too friendly..
Brod Smith and the 'Someday I'll Have Money' tour
19.5.08 -
I may have hinted at this already - I really can't remember - but the Spectrum trio (Mike, Bill and Robbo), is hooking up with a couple of Oz rock legends, Brod Smith and Phil Manning, to do a limited Victorian regional tour in July, which Brod has dubbed the Someday I'll Have Money tour. Brod came over today for a preliminary run through of his songs round the kitchen table, and Phil is due over on Thursday for a run through of his stuff. I'll keep you in touch with how it's all going, but I'm hoping it eventually might take us even further afield.

1) This must be the place - aren't they the most brilliant looking customised cars you've seen for a long time?

2) One of Watango's tikis 3) Thor's Island Elvis 4) Sam Biondo, Ian's poster, and Ian McCausland

Waiting for Ian on a Sunday arvo - more non-news on a slow news day
18.5.08 - While I was waiting for Ian to arrive, I had a bit of a chat to the elaborately coiffured Sam Biondo, (pic 3), whom I must have incidentally encountered over the years, because his appearance seemed so familiar. It turns out that, amongst other things, Sam put on the Skins 'n' Sharps exhibition a little while ago, and he's currently constructing a Skins 'n' Sharps website. Anyway, he's one of the co-sponsors of the Kustom Island exhibition at the Kustom Lane Gallery in Luton Lane, Hawthorn, which was due to close today (Sunday), (but which Sam suggests might actually run for another couple of weekends), and at which Ian McCausland is exhibiting his folio of posters and record sleeve designs. I needed Ian to sign some Milesago posters for one of Ted Lethborg's side projects, (more about which will be revealed soon), hence my wandering into this previously unexplored parallel universe. I guess it's one of the benefits of growing older - the boundaries between different disciplines are revealed as arbitrary, allowing a potentially productive discourse to occur. That's gotta be a good thing


This would be one of the kid actors from Jerrycan

The news you have when there's no news
17.5.08 - It's a dismal weekend, (whatever the weather), when you're not working, but I was cheered briefly when I read in The Age this afternoon that the film Jerrycan had been shortlisted for the Cannes Festival, because, even though it's a short film, the makers managed to find a spot in it for my song. You know the song I mean.
In other good news about songs penned by me, the Miss Havachat site is up and running. I'm very pleased to have a song written especially for the project, called Excuse Me Are You Listening To Me?, which I'm debuting to a bunch of sceptical kids at the 'book' launch at the Fairfield Library this coming Friday morning. Check the Miss Havachat media release for yourself if you'd like to know more.

Concert for Max DVD released July 1
15.5.08 - I got this message today from Wal Bishop.
On the 21st October 2007, a benefit concert was staged in Melbourne for Oz Rock legend Max Merritt, who had fallen on hard times after suffering a rare auto immune disorder.
Since early November 2007 our vision director, Luke Raisbeck, has been editing the Concert For Max video and sound engineer Ernie Rose has re-mixed the audio into 5.1 surround sound and we now have a DVD that is truly an Australian rock 'n' roll triumph.
The concert featured twenty five Australian recording artists, over fifty musicians and more than seventy crew, and together they delivered thirty five all time favourite hits in one magical concert.
With such an extensive number of performers the Concert For Max was presented with two intermissions, thereby splitting the show into three acts, so the DVD has been edited and packaged into a three disc set.
The list of artists is, in order of appearance: Spectrum, Kevin Borich, Dinah Lee, Wendy Stapleton, John 'Swanee' Swan, Brian Mannix, Paul Norton, Doug Parkinson, Normie Rowe, Marcie & The Cookies, George Smilovici, The Delltones, Wilbur Wilde, Michael Christian, Russell Morris, James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite,
Vanessa Amorosi, Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows, Peter Cupples, Jon English, Mike Brady, Ross Wilson, Renee Geyer and John Paul Young.
In addition, we intend to include two other features as extras for the package, namely the recorded messages of support for Max from Michael Chugg, Mark Holden, Jimmy Keays, Gerry Marsden and Glenn Shorrock, and the beautifully edited photographic 'fly-on-the-wall' stills taken by Allen Moore from the start of sound checks through to the after party.
Sounds good. All we've got to do now is wait for it to be released to re-live a very special night.
Captain McMoonlight
15.5.08 - I looked in vain for Robbo on the ABC's ANZAC Day broadcast, so the Robbos have kindly supplied me with a picture of Mr McRobbo himself, dressed to the hilt in full kit, (including bonnet and kilt), trying to keep up with the twelve-year old prodigy next to him and not fall over. He has an invitation to go with the band to Edinburgh for the highlight of any marching band's career, the legendary Edinburgh Tattoo. Much as we'll miss him, I hope he grabs the opportunity - it's a once-in-a lifetime chance - and he'll get to meet the Scottish sister he never even knew he had till recently. What a varied tapestry is the life of a Robbo..

Daz lives it up in Japan with Cub Stars' owner Hoshikan
gig report
Mum's Day at St Andrews was a cracker!

12.5.08 - I'm still being driven spare by the various 'goings on' on my PC, but I'm also still glowing from the annual Mother's Day convention at St Andrews pub yesterday, so it almost evens out. I say 'annual' because this is the second consecutive year we've wound up playing this very gig - and perhaps a little because it's almost like saying anal. (This is what PC frustration does to me, you see). I arrived a little later than usual, evidenced by the fact that Robbo actually got there before me, and I quite forgot my camera in the rush to get there, so no pics this time as a result. Which is a shame, because a lot of familiar faces made the trek, as well as a host of faces we haven't seen since, well,
maybe this time last year. And, while there was the usual quota of grannies, there were a number of very attractive women who actually took the trouble to dance provocatively in front of the band, and I thank them for it. Quite restored my faith. For a change we played some of the snappier Ariel songs and Ariel versions of Spectrum songs all in a row, and I was disconcerted by the number of what we term 'zat' endings. It's something I picked up from the Party Machine, and upon review I'd prefer to now relinquish the idea. It was by way of contrasting ourselves from the more grandiose and rambling song endings that most of the other bands of the time indulged in, but Spectrum and Ariel took it to an almost puritanical level, and while it's acceptable once or twice, half a dozen times is beyond the palely loitering.
Anyway, take it from me it was a fab arvo at the St Andtrews pub, and gentlemen in England now a-bed
shall think themselves accursed they were not here. I hope the memory lingers for the next few barren weeks..

1) Bill would rather be napping 2) Robbo tunes up and out
gig report
Peninsula Lounge kinda rocks!
11.5.08 - Expectations weren't high (see pics), but last night's gig at the Peninsula Lounge (where the smell of tobacco lingers yet) worked out to be a surprisingly fun show. Our main concern was that the sound didn't get out of hand, but our young sound bloke, James (Tatts) Anderson, proved to be adaptable and kept us potentially grumpy old codgers happy. Daryl had just got back from a couple of weeks in Japan, and despite the lack of sleep, turned in his most relaxed performance yet, and we managed to turnover yer absolute shitload of CDs, so what wasn't there to like?
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