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Morning of the Earth report
29.8.08 -
It's nearly September already and I've just come back from a couple of days in Sydney attending a full rehearsal with (nearly) all the musicians involved with the Morning of the Earth show. You have to be impressed with the professionalism on display, and I'm sure it's going to translate into a memorable show too - it sounds great already. Read all about it (and listen to the Simple Ben single cut from the show), by clicking on the A Separate Reality link at the top of this page.
PS - I've just heard there's going to be a Morning of the Earth special on Channel 9 this Sunday at 3.00pm featuring the Simple Ben clip. (Damn! I'll miss it!) Oh well, in the meantime, you can check out the Simple Ben clip for yourself - hooray!

Gary and Bill give themselves the thumbs up..
Mike and Bill help the Triple R radiothon
27.8.08 - Gary Young has been a mate since the original Spectrum/DC days back in the early '70s, so when he asked if we would help out at Triple R's annual subscription appeal on Monday's Chicken Mary Show, we jumped at the chance. We were on after Nick Charles, and Gary made us very welcome. I found it quite difficult to cope with all the distractions, (Gary had the studio door open to capture the sound of the volunteers taking calls in the background), but he took the trouble to call Bill and I later that evening to thank us for our performance. We even had time to put down some IDs for the Son of Max Show before I headed back to the van to discover I'd annoyingly lost my hands-free connection. I hate that..
Chick checks out..

1) The cortege moves off from the Rainbow in St Davids St 2) Mike finds Bill without too much problem

3) Part of the large crowd waiting to get into the Fitzroy Town Hall for the service

4) The pall bearers make the difficult exit from the hearse 5) ..and into the main hall
Chick Ratten leaves 'em laughing
20.8.08 -
It was a shock initially to hear that Chick Ratten had gone, but when I thought back on it, the last few times I'd enquired after his health he'd gone a bit vague and diffident on me, which suggested that not all was well. Chick had this running gag of affecting pity for me being a Kiwi, and you got the impression from the people talking about him at the funeral that his life was a series of running gags, with Chick playing the role of the gruff detractor while at the same time supporting the local music scene in the most practicable way possible i.e. by offering employment to local musicians. Chris Wilson (with Shannon Bourne), Lyndsay Hammond, Dave Hogan and Dean Haitani were amongst the performers, but the star was Chick, whose many quips and sayings quoted throughout the afternoon had the crowd laughing nostalgically.

Bill signs albums for Paul before tethering the huskies
gig report
Crudd & Pump at the Morang Family Hotel

18.8.08 - It was a gamble worth taking, but it all depended on my recovery from this ghastly lurgy remaining absolutely linear. As it happened, I was still suffering coughing and shivering fits on Sunday morning, but I was reasonably certain that I would at least start off the gig with a voice.
We pulled in to the Morang Family Hotel at just a couple of minutes after midday - which was when we discovered that we were playing outside. Under tarpaulin mind you, but outside nevertheless. Michael Whyte probably told me this when he made the booking, but the information got lost somewhere in my feverish brain.
The sun was putting in the odd appearance when we
arrived, but there were threatening clouds being driven by a wind that was blowing off fresh snow - and then the sun decided to pull in its head for the rest of the afternoon. The gig took on the aspect of one of my recurring nightmares - i.e. the gig that never gets started. It must've taken an hour and a half to get set up, (mind you, the set up was interrupted by a very fine lunch that saw the welcome return of my appetite), and when we eventually did get started, the cold was so intense Bill and I lost feeling in our fingers and it felt like we were playing in slow motion at the Corpsegrinders Ball. I suppose the good thing was that at least I did have some sort of a voice, and it lasted the entire afternoon. Michael had invited some of his Channel 9 chums up from Gotham City, but they weren't much interested in the musical fare, (although there were half a dozen or so children under ten years having a marvellous time disporting themselves round the stage and elsewhere), leaving Paul (pic) and his partner Julie to play at being a responsive audience on their own..
Michael didn't seem to be too concerned at the end of the day, and good-naturedly threw in half a dozen bottles of various local reds on top of the fee. He said it would be packed in the summer, and promised to book the full Spectrum outfit. Now, that's something to look forward to..

Nicolas Lyon fiddles while Bill lays it down (pic Alana Galea)
gig report
Robbo-less Lomond
14.8.08 - Please excuse the lack of activity on this page for the past few days. The reasons are two-fold: my Internet connection has been at a crawl (fixed as of today) and I contracted some lurgy, which has me still feeling lousy, but more worryingly has robbed me of the power of speech.
But, back to the Crudd & Pump + Nic Lyon Lomond gig. I suppose the first thing to be said is that the audience gave us a very fair hearing, given that most of them would have been expecting the regular bass/drums/guitar Spectrum. From a playing perspective the night it had its moments, and some of them were even quite nice moments too, but overall we'll still be very glad to see Robbo back again.
News from the Robbos in Edinburgh
7.8.08 -
I was settling down to do some reading last night, when the phone rang - once. Then it rang again properly a few minutes later and it was Robbo! Robbo asked after the cats and then told me about his first week playing side drum with the Rats of Tobruk Pipe Band. Apparently it was full on, with endless rehearsals and performances - a couple in the pouring rain - but it's calmed down a bit now and he and Lisa have had a bit of time to check out their surroundings in beautiful downtown Edinburgh.
Incidentally, I've heard from a representative of the new owners at the Nighthawk - the trio gig on the 30th is definitely on, so that'll be Robbo's welcome home gig afterall. Bill and I are rehearsing with Nic Lyon today in preparation for our gig at the Lomond this Saturday.
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