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Foster - some old friends and Robbo's lonely birthday

) Robbo blows out a solitary candle after the first set at the Rhythm Café 2) An old friend
(the ageless Shirley) gives Robbo a consolation hug
Rhythm Café giggle
Michael Blyth, (left) the proud owner of the Rhythm Café and unrepentant saxophonist (but we won't hold that against him) finds himself in the Land of the Giants as Spectrum loads in. Michael joined Spectrum later that evening for a blow in a couple of tunes, which was a lot of fun too - but we don't encourage it..
Spectrum in your backyard - it doesn't get
better than this!

Bernie Bicknell (2nd right) and family pose with Spectrum after a most satisfying 50th birthday bash
Birthday bashes - a growing trend
24.2.04 -
This last month has seen Spectrum make surprise appearances at a couple of 50th birthday parties for Spectrum fanatics - and they've been great fun for everybody concerned. Great fun for us, because we're playing to the best kind of audience - naturally well informed and having a great time to boot - and inevitably it's a very emotional and memorable moment for the birthday boy.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a 50th birthday. In fact, it doesn't have to be a birthday at all. Getting us to play at your party or function isn't as difficult or impossible as you might think, and we appreciate the variation.
If you're toying with the idea of surprising that very special old fart with his favourite geriatric band, give Jenny a call and see how easy it all is.
You can contact Jenny on 0419 842 312

Spectrum try and hold Dave Brewer down when they played at his 50th in Teesdale recently. Teesdale's half an hour the other side of Geelong, and we had a lovely evening playing in Davo's carport - until the lights came on..

The bugs, the bugs! One of the less savoury aspects of playing in the country was the abundance of cockchafers infesting our gear, hair, hairy backs - everywhere!
Spectrum finds a new home in Barwon Heads
23.2.04 - After dithering for simply ages trying to find somewhere in Geelong that might be a pleasant alternative to the forgettable De La Ville, we ended up twenty-odd K outside Geelong in picturesque Barwon Heads, playing to a sell-out crowd at Café Phill's (or is that Phill's Café? - I think their info on the Net needs to be updated).

The view from the stage at Phill's
Anyway, a fun night was had by all, marred only by young staff member Michelle having her money stolen by some blow-in rap fanatic.
We were delighted to catch up with a lot of old friends on the night: the Van Loons were there in force, as was Janette from Bradyworks, and Bryan Cropley, who had come all the way from Sydney to celebrate his 50th!

The Brady Bunch's Janette and Spectrum

Mike and the much-travelled Bryan Cropley
The unique world of Hugh McSpedden
12.2.04 -
I promised an in-depth profile of one of Melbourne's most endearing and enduring icons a little while ago, and to that end I hurtled up to Hugh's Warrandyte retreat this fine morning, camera in hand. When I knocked on the front door at 11.20, I heard the frantic scuffling of feet and an equally frantic voice bellowing, 'You said 11.30 you bastard!' I stood there for fully 5 minutes while Hugh made himself presentable, until finally the door creaked open and Hugh's bassett features peeked out.
I was ushered in to Hugh's open plan lounge-cum-master bedroom-cum repository for all things Hugh. Actually, the whole house and its environs are a repository for Hugh's scary picture book collection of curios, and.if I'd been concerned that there might have been some radical changes since I was last there, (like he'd gotten rid of something), I needn't have worried - there was probably more bric-a-brac per square inch than the last time I was there some 5 or 6 years ago.
Hugh was mildly disconcerted when I told him of the reason for my visit, and said he was rather hoping that I had a Spectrum gig in mind where he could use his projections. Hugh's slyly humorous projections were a visual highlight of Spectrum's gigs in the '70s, before the bland lightshows we expect today became standard. I do hope we get an opportunity to use Hugh in the near future so that missing dimension can be presented to a new audience - or the old audience again for that matter.

1) Hugh (who else?) 2) the multi-purpose lounge with Jacobs ladder

3) some spare prosthetics 4) the master bedroom / lounge mezzanine

5) the view from the kitchen 6) the ironing board plus ballast in case of high winds

7) Hugh's industrial light & magic workspace
Hugh's schedule
Hugh will be presenting Mandalas to Go at Federation Square this Saturday night (the 14th) ('It's not up your alley - it's a hippie thing'). Hugh's found a new generation of followers in the E-children who attend raves. His next Earthcore show will be at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on the 8th of March. Hugh's Steam powered GRAM-O-PLANE, or Proto-Lysergic-Acidophilustrescope, (featured in the December Stop Press) will be chugging along at the Warrandyte Village Festival (March 20 - 21) and will no doubt be a feature of the parade.
Inaugural Rosstown Hotel gig meets with local approval
8.2.04 -
Spectrum played the Rosstown Hotel last night (after months of hesitating), and had a terrific night with a large and enthusiastic crowd of Spectrum-starved Carnegians. We came across some old pals too - Bill Smale (who hosted the Heaters' The Unrealist launch all those years ago) and his fast-growing son James (pic right), not to mention ex-Arielite Glyn Mason and Christine James, who very kindly shouted me a pre-gig shot of Ouzo that very nearly got things off to a rather tipsy start.
Check the gig guide for upcoming Spectrum gigs - and feel free to suggest gigs you may feel are suitable for the eclectic musical meanderings of your fave mature-age band..
The Pump hugs James Smale and dad Bill.

Blank bit rethink
So, instead of a blank bit, we'll have a Meditation pic. This one (right) was taken on the way back from Thredbo, and could even be the headwater stream of the mighty Murray. We stopped for a bit and had a paddle. (Well, not paddle exactly - I did stick my finger in). I love the smell of fresh stream water - takes me back to when I was a kid on the farm in Canterbury ..

Meditation pic

Thredbo - a river


Bill ponders the Meaning of Life, the Universe, etc.

Further evidence that the Seasons of Change project is a reality. Here's a pic of Bill being interviewed for the SoC DVD on the banks of the Black Lake on Trevor Young's Wombat Gully property.

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