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1) Spectrum plays de blues at de Wordleys on a Sunday arvo
(Iain Ross)
gig report
Spectrum's soirée at the Wordleys'

8.10.08 - We managed to navigate the two vehicles to the Wordleys' without any major dramas and arrived more or less bang on time. There was already a fair crowd assembled and there were more bodies arriving all the time - business was brisk at Mick's custom-made pizza oven and I barely caught sight of Mick till well into the evening. It was a glorious afternoon weather-wise and the room was full of love and inflammatory dancing - seriously. We caught up.. scroll down

2) Spectrum probably playing Rocket Girl (Iain Ross) 3) Daz and Mike manage to share the same pic (Iain Ross)

4) Robbo keeps his options open (Iain Ross) 5) The ritual burning of the Yamaha guitar adds toxic flavour to pizzas

6) Mick's sister Della and wife Robyn 7) Mick Wordley eats his own breakfast
Spectrum's soirée at the Wordleys' (cont.)
..with a heap of friends during the breaks and sold a shitload of CDs to boot. My voice was nearly gone by the time we finished playing, but we all had such a great time we were actually enjoying the exhaustion. Mick and Robyn Wordley are the most generous of hosts and the afternoon capped off one of the more memorable and enjoyable SA trips I can remember.
The next morning I was woken by a call from a radio station in Bendigo wanting to chat about a series of songwrting workshops Bill and I are doing for the Macedon Ranges Shire. I literally couldn't speak and had to put the interview off for another time. So, while Bill and Robbo took off for Melbourne in the van, Mick took me to the local doctor and I got a prescription for some anti-biotics - and ventolin. I had a rehearsal for MOTE in Sydney that afternoon, which I clearly wasn't going to be fit for, but, with any luck, the penicillin would have the situation under control by the weekend in time for the first show. Given the fun we'd had, I thought it was almost worth it.
KI rocks!

1) Ferry 'cross the Back Passage with Spectrum 2) Cabin No. 2 where Bill & Robbo played flip-the-Neurofen-box

3) The Entertainment Centre at Kaiwarra where the band played a great gig 4) Robbo shows of his hair styling

5) Deb and Daz celebrate before dinner on the first night at Kaiwarra 6) Daryl bites off more than he can chew

7) Spectrum poses with Wanita and Michael Altschwager
gig report
Spectrum Live at Kaiwarra
5.10.08 -
At last I've found the moment I've been waiting for to write about this rather special gig on Kangaroo Island. It turns out that Jane Altschwager, who, with her husband Luke, runs the Kaiwarra Cabins near Kangaroo Island's Seal Bay, is the daughter of a big-time Spectrum-Ariel fan in Michael Altschwager, (pic 7), with whom I've been sharing correspondence virtually since the inception of this website, and who, as it turned out, was the bright spark who suggested to his daughter that Spectrum should play this gig in the first place.
Bill and I have been to SA umpteen times, but have
never been to Kangaroo Island, (or 'KI' as it's more commonly known in SA), and whenever we asked an Addlebrain native about it, they either said that they'd never been there, or they went into something akin to a swoon and mumbled that it's a 'very special place'. With the koala population being clamidia free, I gather that it's a safe place for a young man to lose his virginity, but it's also a favoured destination for honeymooners, so maybe that explains the dewy-eyed responses. Whatever
Anyway, speaking of honeymooners, Daryl picked up his wife Deb from the airport at some insanely early hour on Friday morning and took the early ferry over to the island, while Bill, Robbo and I followed in the van at a discrete distance, chortling mindlessly in anticipation of some koala action, or perhaps simply because we're idiots (pic 1).
Speaking of idiots, I was very fortunate not to cause a car-tastrophe when I elected (I actually thought about it!) not to leave the van in gear while in transit on the ferry. When it came time to disembark, I discovered to my horror that the van was resting ominously against the front bumper of the small white car parked behind us. Fortunately there was absolutely no damage whatsoever, but I copped a well-deserved tongue-lashing from Bill and lost my bottom bunk rights.
Bill lost some navigating credibility when he failed to read the Google directions correctly and we took an extra hour traversing gravel roads to get to the Seal Bay turn-off. When we finally arrived, we were greeted warmly by Jane and Luke and had a pleasant meal - then elected to go to the nearest pub (30k away over more gravel roads) to see the semi between the (hapless) Doggies and the Cats. When we got back to our cabin (pic 2) Robbo and Bill played 'flip-the-Neurofen-box' until I could stand it no more and retired to my top bunk.
The next day after breakfast I ordered Bill and Robbo to go sight-seeing while I practised my songs for the Morning of the Earth in the cabin. I was a bit concerned that my voice was feeling strained, but put it down to over-tiredness. We set up the gear early so we could rehearse a couple of new tunes- a bit of a novelty for us these days - and then watched the crowd arrive as the support band played their set.
We played the blues set first, which went down really well, and followed that with the longest set (at two hours) we've done since I can't remember when - but certainly the longest this unit has done. I guess you could say we were enjoying the crisp sound (particularly after the squishy sound at the Rob Roy), but even more we were just enjoying playing. It was one of those magic gigs, and the audience seemed to be enjoying it all too, even though most of them were quite unfamiliar with the material.
We didn't play the new tunes funnily enough, but by the end of the marathon set I was starting to feel quite exhausted and my throat was becoming a concern, so we packed up as quickly as we could and retired to our cabins to rest up for an early start the next morning - afterall, we had to catch the early ferry back to the mainland and make a dash to the Wordleys' Mansion on the outskirts of Adelaide for our much-anticipated repeat of last year's Sunday afternoon soirée.
Spectrum's first day in Adelaide

1) Spelling please! 2) Bill plots Mike's humiliation in Hindley St 3) Mike is sodden and humiliated

4) Geoff Miller's bitchin' bass solo 5) The AJT + JB or Wendy and the Lost Boys

6) Geoff possibly agrees with Putty - or not 7) The dancing class prepares to rock & ROLL

8) Robbo's pretty sure he knows what David Minear is on about 9) Alex Innocenti still rules in Rundle Mall

10) Greg Brown and Michelle 11) Ray Hogan came down from Qld for the SAL show

12) Ray Hogan took this pic of sleepy Mike and Daz
gig report
Spectrum's No Anchovies night for Support Act Ltd
24.9.08 -
Robbo didn't know if he was going to do the drive with us to SA on Wednesday, but eventually decided that he'd come with us after all. The trip was fairly uneventful, despite our trying to complicate things by having Daryl driving his own car over as well. We met with Daz for lunch in Stawell, and Robbo swapped vehicles and slept in his car for the rest of the trip - and that's possibly where he put his rib out, 'cause when we got to Adelaide he was complaining of feeling very sore and not being able to breathe properly. Apart from that, it was a very easy drive over, and I had no trouble

driving the whole distance by myself.
We checked into the comfortable Hindley St motel that David Minear had booked for us and went for a walk to find somewhere to eat. There was an Italian joint handy, so we decided to eat there, and seeing we had a night off we ordered some house red, but, inevitably I suppose, Bill managed to spill my glass all over me. He was just trying to be helpful. (pic 3) Some things never change, and I didn't even bother to change when we got back to the motel.
We took a cab to North Adelaide to the Royal Oak Hotel, where our buddy Geoff Miller's band (The Adelaide Jazz Trio) was playing. As we arrived, Geoff was totally absorbed in a bass solo (pic 4) and didn't even see us walk in, so that was a bit of a surprise for him when he opened his eyes. The Royal Oak is a very friendly pub, and the atmosphere was enhanced even more when a bunch of studio dancers came in to strut their stuff. (pic 7) (Mind you, that's not real dancing - it's too athletic-looking).
We met the band (pic 5) and had a good chat with Geoff (pic 6) before heading back to the motel and watching some late night telly. All very civilised and thoroughly justified arriving a day early, I thought to myself.
The next morning we met up with David Minear and were taken to have a look at the Rob Roy Hotel, where the night's show was, followed by a bit of a chat over a cup of tea. (pic 8) David's a very generous bloke, and has taken the initiative to promote the concept of Support Act Ltd to SA musicians, (and to the SA public at large), which was what the night's event at the Rob Roy was about. (Mind you, I think he has his work cut out for him - a personal survey at the Royal Oak showed that none of the musos present had even heard of it).
We adjourned for breakfast at the East Terrace Continental, and from there went our own ways. Bill and I dropped in separately to see Alex Innocenti, (pic 9) who was the first promoter to book Spectrum into Adelaide. I somehow ended up buying a waistcoat from him, so he's still got the touch!
By the time we got to the Rob Roy to set up, Robbo was palely loitering and his vibe was in negative territory, so David rang his wife Vikki, (got her out of the shower), and asked her to find Robbo an osteopath. He'd barely started setting up before being whisked off to be treated, and returned some time later a little light-headed, but at least feeling capable of playing acouple of sets.
My heart dropped when we sound checked - the sound was extremely woofy and there wasn't much we could do about the muddy bottom end but grin and bear it. As it happened, I could barely manage even a fake grin I was so on edge. Which was a shame, because there were a lot of people we hadn't seen for a long time there on the night, (pic 10) and an old friend of David Minear's (and of this website), Ray Hogan, (pic 11) had come all the way down from Qld especially to catch the show.
Check out the videos that Michael Hunter shot at the Rob Roy Hotel on the Videos page


Moonee Valley magic

1) The Moonee Valley Legends bar - and, yes, that's Alana again on the front table

2) And Daz was there too! 3) Harry wasn't too sure about this shot with Mike..

4) Harry much preferred this pic
gig report
Spectrum at the Moonee Valley Legends
15.9.08 -
Daryl has done this gig innumerable times and wasn't sure how we were going to go. The stage is perfunctory - we used it as a drum riser, much to Robbo's annoyance (he hates drum risers) - and we were set up against a window looking out onto the famous Moonee Valley Racecourse track. There's been every effort spared to create any atmosphere and there's no dancing space - it's really the sort of gig that a duo with sequenced backing would be most appropriate for. I suspect Westside's Kenny can see it developing into the northern suburbs equivalent of the Mordialloc Sporting Club. We'll see. In the meantime we made as much space as we could and set ourselves up and I told the audience who we were and roughly what to expect - and we were away.
There were some familiar faces, (pic 1), and some people who had come to see us, and I think we actually won a bunch of people over. Kenny could be right..
Wrokdown for Queensland
12.9.08 - Wrokdown's producer, Anita Monk, has been in touch to say that Wrokdown is going national. Queensland is going to be the first state outside Victoria to receive the show, and QCTV is broadcasting Series One from next Tuesday at 10.00pm, with repeats on Thursdays at 10.00pm and Saturdays at 11.00pm. So, Queensland readers should watch out for the first show at 10.00pm this coming Tuesday (the 16th) featuring the extended interview I did with Wendy Stapleton, and now fleshed out with the moody little clip Dick and I made for the Pigdon Short Film Festival as a special Queensland bonus.

1) The very large MOTE poster outside the Palais (Ross Wilson) 2) Maree and Dave
gig report
The Soundgarden
7.9.08 -
Robbo checked and it was March when we last played The Soundgarden in Altona North. This time we had added keyboards, so with Daz and a cunning plan to liven up the stage sound by adjusting the curtains along the back wall, I was reasonably confident we should be able to muster a
more assured performance than the last time we played there - which was a little bit skittish as I recall. (Speaking of skittish, Robbo's Scottish flu is progressing nicely). Anyway, the technical adjustments worked fine and I was generally happy with the way things went, musically speaking anyway. Maree (pic 2) observed it was a 'very smart crowd in tonight', and, as it goes with smartly presented crowds, they were mostly there to hear the one song, and some of the other things we trundled out weren't necessarily identified or even interrogated much on their way to the back wall. Nevertheless, we got a rousing reception at the end of the night and we could've encored until dawn if we were so inclined - which we never are.
So, after we'd loaded out we joined Dave, Maree and the barman Peter for the traditional cheesecake and hot chocolate, before rejoining the highway, and, in my case at least, gratefully heading back to the gently undulating bosom of Camberwell.
Re' the pic of the MOTE poster (pic 1), you might have noticed that it was sent to me by Ross Wilson, who's never before seen my name in such big letters and thought I should share in the occasion. Thanks Ross - I'm impressed.

1) Mike with his fave rels 2) Robbo puts in a ghostly appearance with Lisa, Elaine and Jeff - and Bill and Daz
gig report
The Nighthawk and St Andrews rock on
1.9.08 -
The Nighthawk gig on Saturday night was supposed to be Robbo's 'welcome home' gig, but I got a call from a very sick and sorry Robbo that evening saying he wasn't up to it. Why is it that you quite often get sick when you go on holiday? He claimed he had the 'Scottish 'flu', but it sounded very like the early stages of the version that I had, and it was clear from the way he sounded that he wasn't going to make it, so I swallowed hard and said it was OK - as long as he was available for the St Andrews' gig the next day.
As it turned out, the Nighthawk went OK with just Bill and me despite our misgivings, and for a change Bob doted on us all night making sure we were comfortable. It seems the Nighthawk is on the cusp of changing hands, and there was a minor kerfuffle a few weeks back with the new owners seeking to impose the new order before the transaction had gone through, but Bob's will prevailed in the end. He's had a tough time of it at the Nighthawk with one thing and another, and I hope things work out for him better in the future.
About midday the next day I got another sick call from Robbo, which intitially filled me with dread, but I managed to work on his conscience without saying much at all, and in the end he said he'd see us all up at St Andrews. I'm sure he made the right decision - it was a fun day, the band sounded as good as ever and the audience really got into it - and the adrenalin probably did his 'flu the world of good.
My in-laws, Kath and Geoff rolled up with some of their friends, including Sally and Walter, (pic1) and former party-givers, Jeff and Elaine (pic 2) turned up with young Lisa who was celebrating her thirtieth birthday. There were altogether too many more friends and regulars to mention - I guess you could say that it was just another typically fun arvo at St Andrews.
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