down to the start of the month
this window to
return to Mike Rudd &
Bill Putt's home page
Butler goes Radio Ga Ga..
airwaves are alive with the sounds of Spectrum!
30.12.08 - As the New Year elect waits
in the wings, the old one has a few more wags in the tail. On
Saturday Bill and I trekked down to the Southbank studios of
the ABC for what we though might be fifteen minutes or so with
the Coodabeens. I'd been up to Bill's place that arvo
to run through a few song possibilities, but while we were waiting
for 8.00 I suddenly remembered What The World Needs Is A
New Pair Of Socks and so we ran through that as well. As
it turned out, we were on air for the entire hour and we did
play Socks as well as I'll Be Gone, Jamaican Farewell,
Baby Please Don't Go (a listener's request) finishing up
with a rousing version of Esmeralda with the Coodabeens
all joining in!
The next day I had a date with 3WBC's Neil Butler (pic)
on his Radio Ga Ga show to celebrate Spectrum's inauguration
into Dead Set Legends. Neil made me aware that there
were a few more versions of I'll Be Gone around, so
when the next edition of I'll Be Gonz is released,
I guess they'll be on board!
at the Frankston RSL. I think Bill's sneakily putting the tickle
on Daryl, don't you?
not taking my photo..
on the Byron Blues Festival bill!
24.11.08 - When I heard that the Morning
of the Earth show was applying for the Byron Blues Festival,
I asked Amanda (Pelman) if she thought that Spectrum would have
a shot at getting a spot on the bill. She said I should give
it a go - and so I did. And a couple of days ago I rang the
festival's Brendan Meek and he confirmed we were indeed on the
show. Over the years we've played quite a number of the major
festivals, but Byron has eluded us for one reason or another,
so I'm very pleased to have finally be given the chance.
Yesterday I turned up at Doug Brady's (pic) studio
to put down a harp lick or two on Mike Brady's upcoming CD.
The track was the Roy Orbison song, Candy Man, which
has a classic harmonica intro - almost as classic as you-know-what.
And, in further news, Anita Monk tells me that Wrokdown
will be commencing on Channel 31 Adelaide from Wed. January
14th at 8.30pm, with a repeat every Friday night. The first
episode will be from Series One, starting with me!.
toasts Mike and MOTE
A quiet end to 2008 at the Wild Thyme Café
21.12.08 - Robbo got a call from the Wild Thyme's
Allan Sepping late on Friday night requesting that we start
at 7.00 rather than the advertised 8.30, so I guessed he was
expecting a quiet night. The weather was pleasant enough,
and anyway Allan's got the back area pretty well set up with
protective tarpaulins so we set up on the stage out the back
of the café which has a very pleasant view overlooking
the river. As we were setting up I was approached by Sandra
(pic) who told me she'd taken her parents to the
Morning of the Earth show at the Palais and how much
she (and her parents) had enjoyed it. As I mentioned, there
are some more shows coming up in the New Year and you can
check out the Gigs page for the latest info.
While we had a quiet-ish night crowd-wise, everybody
seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to catch up with
Allan and the crew again.
Le Couteur is nonchalant
Be Gone video restored to where it's never been - at last!
20.12.08 - As I survey the past year I
realise my propensity for procrastination is no longer to be
viewed with mild bemusement. It's out of control.and has to
be remedied - eventually.. I daren't specify when I embarked
on this madcap scheme to re-stripe the I'll Be Gone
clip with a stereo version of the original edited soundtrack
- was it two years ago? More? I have to confess the delays have
been mostly of my making, and the other agencies I've involved
can only be commended for their perseverance in the face of
sustained inconsistency on my part. The first agency is the
NFSA (National Film & Sound Archives), represented in the
ACT by Matthew Davies and in Melbourne by Zsuzsi Szucs. It was
Matthew who oversaw the re-calibration of the video by the painstaking
insertion of extra frames, and it was Ceri and Paul (pic)
at Flagstaff who realised the successful re-striping, which
again involved some serious adjustments. The result is fantastic.
I'll see if it's possible to share it with you before I die..
The last Lomond for 2008
- I'm taking advantage of an undoubtedly unsustainable,
but nonetheless miraculous and welcome moment of remission for
my ancient Dell, which has stolidly denied me admission since
I tried to download the latest 2000 updates last week. Doctor
James is due down from Shepparton (!) tomorrow with the Dell's
up-to-the-moment state-of-the-art replacement, but till then
I'll hold my breath and try and catch up with some house keeping.
I've observed this before, but the Lomond always surprises by
having a completely different audience everytime we play there.
Well, that's not entirely true - there's a core of about a dozen
stalwarts that show up regularly, but the tone of the evening
varies dramatically depending on the disposition of the current
Spectrum novices that make up the balance of the audience. Saturday's
lot weren't inclined to get up and jig about, but that didn't
mean they weren't appreciative. I arrived uncharacteristically
early and ran into the crossover crowd from the afternoon's
gig - I keep forgetting that The Lomond is essentially a folk
gig after all - and I suspect a number of them stayed on to
see what we were on about. Whatever - they gave us a good hearing
and we enjoyed ourselves, and that's what it's all about.
Spectrum Christmas card goes sepia again
10.12.08 - Another year has whizzed past and another
bloody Christmas beckons. Peter Koryn took the pic at the Frankston
RSL a couple of weeks back and I think it's a happy enough snap
for the purpose - or for the porpoise for that matter. (Remember
porpoises?) I've persisted with the 'big brown, band for a big,
brown land' theme simply because, well, I like it.
We've just a couple of gigs remaining before we kiss 2008 goodbye
and then we'll be waiting impatiently for round Australia Day
to bring the first of the New Year's gigs - unless somebody
comes up with a last minute gig or two for the rest of January.
Apart from being short by about six months, 2008 has been a
fun year, notable for the release of a couple of fine Aztec
re-issues (Part One and Milesago) and the
first of the Breathing Space EPs on our own Volcano
label, as well as some wonderful Spectrum gigs here and in SA,
Tasmania and the ACT. In the latter part of the year we've hooked
up with some agents who have directed us to some previously
unexplored hotels and RSL venues, which have actually proved
to be a good way to connect with our audience demographic -
and lose part of our fee to commisions. You might remember that
Spectrum hooked up with Brod Smith and Phil Manning for a brief
tour, and although there's been no follow-up (!), I think this
formula could be the way of the future. In the latter part of
the year I was invited to participate in the wonderfully received
Morning of the Earth show, and there'll be more news
of this soon, as well as other 'solo' projects in the New Year.
To conclude, I don't give nearly enough credit to my partners
in crime, Bill, Robbo and more recently, Daz. The more I get
to play with other musicians, the more I realise how special
our unit is. It's not only a special musical bond, but it has
a personal chemistry that I cherish. Thanks you guys! And thanks
to every one of you that takes the the time to read this and
occasionally respond by e-mail. We simply wouldn't exist without
you, so keep dreaming - you've got a helluva responsibility.
We'll see you in the New Year, if not before.
Sally and Walter made it to their local gig 2) Health Kick man
Barry and Claire also came to the Croydon Hotel
just gotta have fun
A happy Sunday arvo at the Croydon Hotel
8.12.08 - I think the last time Bill and
I played at the Croyden Hotel was with The Heaters
back in the '80s.
It didn't look like much had changed since then either, except
this time we were playing in the beer garden, for which eventuality
the venue had done the minimum of preparation - i.e. nothing,
not even putting up the posters I'd sent them. With the possiblilty
of a shower in the offing, Bill and I made sure that the vital
electronics were under cover and prepared for a lack-luste afternoon.
Against all expectations however, people (other than smokers
ducking out for a puff) started to arrive, and into the first
set we had quite a satisfactory crowd building up. The Melharts
(pic 1) arrived followed by the Cheeks and the McClatchys
(including Molly), as well as a whole bunch of folks local to
the Croydon area. Some of the children present had to have a
go on Robbo's drums (pic 3) and altogether it was a
charming afternoon. Let's do it again!
sausage, birthday boy Luc and Dave Walker
Mike wins Silly Old Sausage award - twice!
7.12.08 - I'd forgotten that Dave Walker
had asked me to turn up to Luciano Evangelista's (Luc - pron.
looch) 50th until we were setting up at the Barra Shed
last week and Luc himself reminded me. So I arrived at Luc's
Mt Evelyn address last night and set up on the stage with the
Blue Moon Lodge. The plan was to sing a few songs solo and then
the band would get up and we'd bounce around a few blues tunes
- which is what happened, and it was quite a lot of fun too.
When I came to leave I noticed some cars had blocked my exit
- which was when I managed to lock my keys in the van. Embarrassing
as that was, it was remedied quickly
| enough - but as I was re-packing
the van this morning I noticed I'd also managed to leave my
guitar at the party! Irony of ironies - part of the reason I
was glad to be meeting up with Dave again last night was because
he had picked up Bill's stool and my guitar stand which we'd
left at the Barra Shed gig!
chicken is enormous they said - and it was!
Seaford another RSL triumph!
5.12.08 - I don't think that's an exaggeration
either. Mind you, we had to work hard at it - damn hard!
There's been a concerted effort by the RSL sub-branches we've
come across to install acoustic tiling in the bistro areas.
Our PA is quite tiny by any standard, and whereas it's not struggling
exactly, we're not getting any acoustical assistance from the
room, which can be disconcerting, verging on alarming. As it
was, the room was full, (pic) we sold CDs and
got a swag new chums on the e-mail list. Room manager Jack said
he loved it, so that can't be bad.
the Xerox machine - it's the Debonaires' end of year party!
pipes, the pipes are calling. The piper opens proceedings 2)
Bill made sure I knew where I was sitting..
Taste's Kenny Murdoch and Spectrum's Tubby Tom Tom 4) Big Bob
Valentine has a larf with Little Laff..
Gorman showed 6) Anita Monk Wrokked on down
end of year party..
2.12.08 - It was a huge lunchtime
affair today at the Fog Restaurant in Greville St Prahran, and
anybody who was somebody was there. In reality, (fuck
reality, I say!), it was the Debonaires' Support Act Ltd end
of year bash, but in our minds it was Spectrum's very special
do, and although Daz couldn't make it (he left for Perth today
for some reason), Bill, Robbo and I networked with as many people
as we could remember - which makes at least a dozen. Spectrum's
first drummer, Mark Kennedy, was there, as was Gunther Gorman
(pic 5) and Peter Laffy, (pic 4) leaving us
soon for for Hawaii. It makes you glad to be alive..
gigs in two days!
Tony O'Neill and Mike at the Barra Shed Festival 2) Tony's son
Declan and Robbo
Studio's Danielle O'Connor with Mike 4) Robbo gets into it at
Frankston (Peter K)
band goes into blues mode at Frankston (Peter
K) 6) Bill actually looks happy on a foreign stool (Peter
Bill with his sister Pat (left) on her once-in-a-decade gig
8) The band poses with happy snapper Peter Koryn
Three gigs - and a contender for gig of the year..
1.12.08 - I had an uneasy feeling that
I might've over-reached myself when I accepted the offer of
an afternoon spot at the Barra Shed Festival, followed by a
gig at The Studio in Geelong that same night. The Barra Shed
do is in Gladysdale, which is on the way to Warburton well to
the east of Melbourne, and, of course, Geelong is on the western
side of the Bay a good two and a bit hours away from Gladysdale,
so it was a tight and potentially risky proposition. Bill, Robbo
and I (Daryl was otherwise occupied) arrived at the Barra Shed
site well and truly early and were greeted by the festival's
organiser, Chris Young. The Shed itself is an impressive enough
building, while still retaining the essential elements of a
shed - hence the name I suppose. We'd determined to use the
backline provided so we could get away promptly, a strategy
that proved to have some inherent risks - like leaving bits
behind for instance, which both Bill and I were dismayed to
discover we'd done when we arrived in Geelong. (Bill left his
favourite stool and I left a guitar stand).
We were the opening act for the afternoon, and we delivered
a tidy no-frills performance that nevertheless got a warm response
from the hundred or so punters in attendance at that early stage.
It was a great location for a festival, and the Shed concept
allows for variations in the weather (it was a bit showery on
the day), and I heard somebody say that we might be guests again
The Studio is another venture by Michael Ward, who promoted
the Brod Smith, Phil Manning, Spectrum gig at the Deakin Waterfront
Café a few months ago. As soon as we walked in we all
remarked on the similarity to the Continenetal Café and
our hearts lifted. Geelong has been a conundrum as regards appropriate
gigs for as long as I can remember, so to have a venue with
the potential to be mentioned in the same breath as the Continental
is a giant leap forward.
And so it turned out to be. The sound engineer, Danielle, (pic
3) seemed to be both competent and enthusiastic, and did
remarkably well with the sound, as far as I could tell from
the stage anyway, and especially considering the truncated time
available to set up and sound check. By the time we sauntered
onto the stage the band was relaxed and there was an immediate
rapport with the audience, and all this led to my consciously
thinking at one stage that there was no way I could actually
fuck this up, it felt so good.
I made a decision not to even try to sell any CDs (it's very
exhausting) and passed round the e-mailing list instead - I'm
sure we would've made a killing, but I wanted to conserve my
energy for the next day. We received lots of wonderful feedback
from the audience, (it was good to catch up with Karen O'Connor
and the Ramsays), and I think Michael Ward was happy with the
way things went, particularly considering we were up against
the Queenscliff Festival.
Bill slept over, so we were able to arrive at the Frankston
RSL an hour earlier than intended - and just as well too. The
load-in was an absolute bitch, and I was getting a little frayed
by the time we'd got all the equipment onto the helpfully asymmetrical
stage in the beer garden. Still, it was a pleasant eanough day,
and the T-bone steak I got for lunch was actually very good
indeed, so I was reasonably mellow by the time we started the
It was one of those gigs I warmed into, despite feeling tired
and a little bit grumpy, and by the time we ended the last set,
the crowd was demanding an encore - and we gave it to them too.
Bill's sister Pat was there (pic 7) and birthday girl
Sally Dettmer and friends. plus a host of others, including
Peter Koryn (pic 8) who kindly supplied most of the
pics from the afternoon - it made for a very friendly session.
Then there was the load-out..
Now we just have to work out how to get our things back from
|back to the top