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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..
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
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..
tour band - the ambulance is out of shot..
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..
plays Pied Piper - except he's playing a guitar of course..
Miss Havachat book launch
- 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
|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
and Brod get too friendly..
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.
must be the place - aren't they the most brilliant looking customised
cars you've seen for a long time?
One of Watango's tikis 3) Thor's Island Elvis 4) Sam Biondo,
Ian's poster, and Ian McCausland
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
would be one of the kid actors from Jerrycan
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
for yourself if you'd like to know more.
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
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
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.
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..
it up in Japan with Cub Stars' owner Hoshikan
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,
|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
Lounge kinda rocks!
- 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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