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Spectrum EP charts in Adelaide!
28.7.09 - I got the news from
two different sources and confirmed it on Radio 3D's website
- Breathing Space Too has charted at #10 first week
in on the 3D Top 20 + 1 chart. Mind you, this is obviously not
based on sales and they make a point of advising that: The
Top 20+1 chart is comprised of the most played albums from past
week. Tracks for the playlist are chosen purely at the announcer's
discretion - nevertheless, the tenth most played CD is
All the comments I've had back so far have been favourable.
If you have some thoughts, let me know..
and Bill hold up 50th birthday boy Paul Tyzack
Paul Tyzack's 50th goes off with a bang!
26.7.09 - It's been months in the planning,
but last night, all the secret negotations between Paul Tyzack's
wife Kym and me proved worth it. Paul's face (pic)
was a classic clichéd mixture of shock and disbelief
when Bill and I walked into his semi-rural Bellarine Peninsula
home last night. (It turns out that Paul and his mates had
showed up at Spectrum's last Geelong gig at The Studio).
There was a party going on of course, and Bill and I proceeded
to play a most enjoyable set, which went down a treat with
everybody - Kym got in touch this morning and said we'd set
the mood for a great party.
If you'd like
Mike & Bill at your party, go to Book
Noke's Basement shots
Jimmy Sloggett blows up a storm 2) Strathie Bill and Robbo McTubby
strut their stuff
Daryl does the Chopped Liver 4) Mike goes formal in the full
Mr Morris Nylon rig
21.7.09 - I promised to show you some of Mark Knoke's shots
from The Basement Discs and so here they are. I think I like
the costume idea - modest as it is, it still manages to lend
a little bit of character to the overall presentation as Mark's
pics would seem to endorse.
legend in their own launch-time..
Mike with Kinglake's Joan Davey and friend at the Warrnambool
PAC 2) St Andrews' kids check out the band
17.7.09 Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Xmas party
2) 18.7.09 The Lomond
3) 19.7.09 St Andrewes
band survives a gruelling weekend schedule
20.7.09 - For some reason
it took us a full hour to get from Warrigal Rd to the Westgate
Bridge on Friday, so we needed every minute of the five hours
I'd allowed to get to Warrnambool. When we finally arrived we
were greeted with a Spinal Tap style 'Rock and Roll!'
by Graham Gill, who'd been instrumental in convincing the Social
Committee that we would be perfect for the Warrnambool Cheese
& Butter Factory's Xmas party gig. The accommodation at
Quest (luxury!) was only fifty metres away from the Performing
Arts Centre ('the PAC') where we were to play that evening,
and, despite the load-in being a complete bastard, we were set
up in plenty of time and shared in the fine menu on offer to
the guests while we chatted with the WC&BF's Social Secretary,
Andrew Drake. It was during this conversation we discovered
it was Andrew's 39th birthday, which gave us a handy entrée
to start the night.
As soon as we started playing, our ally Graham was up on the
dance floor, urging and cajoling people to get up and dance,
but predictably it wan't until the last set anybody took him
up on it. One of those who did participate was Joan
Davey, (pic 1) who comes from Kinglake and who had
lost four of her family in the fires - she told me that this
was the first night she'd been able to go out and enjoy herself
since then. If we'd had an indifferent evening, that single
story would've made the night worthwhile, but, in fact, we rather
enjoyed ourselves, despite the Spinal Tap-at-the-air-force-base
When we arrived at the Lomond Hotel the next evening we were
delighted to find Derek (and Barb) Guille still in da house.
Derek said he'd had occasion to play Xavier Rudd, (although
not on his 774 show yet), and also said he'd rather enjoyed
listening to the EP, so perhaps he'll get round to playing a
track on air this week..
Because we weren't playing to a 'listening' audience in Warrnambool,
I'd been a little more uninhibited than usual and it seemed
to pay off at the Lomond, where I've been known to become a
lttle over-analytical on occasions. In any event we had a lovely
night - I even managed to run out of Breathing Space Too
EPs to flog.
I thought that by the time we got to the St Andrews pub on Sunday
afternoon I'd be thoroughly exhausted, but strangely that wasn't
the case. The place filled up nicely during the first set and
we seemed to pick up where we left off at the Lomond and the
afternoon ended up being quite a rave-up.
Early on in the piece, a gentleman with an impressive looking
camera asked me if it was OK to take some photos, to which I
said it was fine with me. We got to talking later, and it turned
out we share quite a bit of history, albeit in parallel worlds.
His name is Lloyd Godman, and he's a Kiwi who's photographed
some major acts at some major festivals over the years. I've
checked out some of the shots he took on Sunday and they're
especially fine. If you want to have a look at them click on
and scroll down to the 'S' section
(front), Rod, Mike and Suzanne and Mikey.
launch goes to plan, but Bill loses the plot..
16.7.09 - Not being The Basement
Discs' regular Friday in-store, we might've expected to lose
a few punters, but there was a handsome turn-out nevertheless.
As well as Daryl, we had the bonus of Jimmy Sloggett in the
line-up, and we signed lots of copies of new EP that people
had bought, which was the point really.
Less edifyingly, on the way home, Bill rang Robbo from a mobile
phone he'd been donated after the fires and tricked Robbo, who
didn't recognise the number. So, a few minutes later he rang
Bill back on the same number, and, as Bill doesn't have hands-free
for that phone, Robbo teased him that the cops were going to
get him. And they did..
cover artist Ian McCausland lets the sunshine in
An unbiased critique of the new EP
15.7.09 - Just one more sleep till the official launch
of Breathing Space Too, and I've received some feedback
from Ray Hogan, one of our interstate subscibers who has received
Got the BS2EP this a.m. It's a killer set of
tracks! Love the playing from you and all the boys and your
vocals are a feature. With no disrespect to BS1, this is (more
like) the Spectrum I know and love. It's still got a bit of
everything, but seems more coherent.
The humour has returned in the lyrics, in addition to a bit
more grunt (to use a technical term!) in the playing and production.
I think our friend David would even
|enjoy the "surf
music" influence on Silicon Valley.
What can I say? Congratulations and well done! One can only
hope you earn some money from such a fine effort.
That'd be a fine result. In the meantime, kudos will suffice.
Incidentally I popped over to see Ian McCausland, (pic)
BST's cover artist to deliver him his copy, and he
was thrilled with the way it's turned out - he might even show
up at the launch!
Bill, Capt.McTubby, M. Nylon & Chopped Liver
Rudd film clip shoot
12.7.09 - It had to happen - it
sounds like it should be a single, only we don't do
singles these days, but in any case we felt it would be a good
idea to have a clip of some sorts for the Xavier Rudd
song. The usual cast of idiots got costumed up as
Strathie Bill, Capt. McTubby, Morris Nylon and Chopped
Liver, (pic) and assembled at Wattle Park (my local)
this morning, and bro' Dick operated Bill's spanking new camera
to capture the action on film.
That's as far as it's got at this stage. Assuming we actually
have some footage on tape, I need to integrate it with the Wrokdown
footage that Anita Monk kindly took (see article below)
and whatever footage we can glean from the Xavier Rudd camp.
on Wrokdown this Saturday night at 9.00
10.7.09 - The headline says it all really,
except that it's on Channel 31, the phantom channel that only
half Melbourne's population can pick up. That being said, if
you can pick it up, you're sure to find the show pretty
interesting. My first interview on Wrokdown a couple of years
ago turned out to be the opening episode of the series, and
it looks like it's going o be the same for this series. The
difference is that it's a spiffy new set, (filmed at the Lilydale
Secondary College Performing Arts Centre), and I'm joined by
fellow Spectrum stalwart, the one and only Bilge Pump, who helps
flesh out my garbled version of events - and we preview a track
from the new Breathing Space Too EP, Xavier Rudd
Is Not My Son..
Ted Lethborg plays peek-a-boo with the new EP
The new EP arrives!
9.7.09 - In a way I'm glad the
release date was moved back by nearly a week, even though we
would've just made it for the original date of tomorrow.
Very handsome it looks too, (pic) the artwork again
rendered by our mate and legendary graphic artist, Ian McCausland.
(Check out Ian's fabulous poster art on his website).
Just to remind you, the launch is at The Basement Discs next
Thursday (the 16th) lunchtime at 12.45 - 1.45. If you're not
familiar with TBD, you're in for a pleasant surprise. They're
an 'old fashioned record store' in the sense that they really
care about the music they sell, not to mention the musicians
that create the music.
McTubby poses with cub photographer Oriana
7.7.09 - I can't really afford to go to
too many Debonairs' luncheons. but I thought it mightn't be
such a bad idea for Spectrum to put in appearance at this one,
given that we have the new EP about to be launched. First Daz
couldn't make it, and then on the way into Prahran I got a call
from Bill saying he was feeling nauseous and was bailing out.
A few minutes later I got another call from Bill saying that
he'd thrown up and was feeling a lot better, so he was heading
back to Greville St. How very senior rock 'n' roll, I
was thinking, until I got yet another call saying he was heading
home again. Oh well, Robbo and I had fun anyway..
date pudding for Mike..
over this pic to see what happens when Mike eats his cheesecake
report The Soundgarden Sat. 4.7.09
meets some old friends at The Soundgarden
5.7.09 - It's good to get
to The Soundgarden in North Laverton early for a couple of reasons:
1) there's no stage entrance, so you have to bring
the gear in through the room, which is easier done when there
are no bodies getting in the way, and 2) it's nice
to have time to have a look at the menu and have a relaxed meal
before you start playing, especially as The Soundgarden's food
is so damn fine.
When the crowd did start to pour in, it was evident
they were 'our' people, and apart from Alana and Jenny, (pic)
Mick Newman and Aztec Music's receptionist, Kath, they were
mostly people who had not been to a Spectrum gig for thirty
years or more - or so I gleaned from the conversations I had
with some very enthusiastic punters during the evening.
Anyway, we got a terrific reception for all three sets and Maree
made sure we sold a few CDs as well, so it was a fun night and
worthwhile. As per tradition, we all sat down at the end of
the night after loading out and sampled Maree's cheesecake and
brownies with a mug of hot chocolate - even Strathie Bill stuck
around to enjoy the experience this time!
The Soundgarden's Dave and Maree are a couple who continue to
enjoy the business of bringing fine food and music to the Melbourne's
far West, and continue to bend over backwards to make
it enjoyable for us as well. Long may they prosper!
1.7.09 - I had
an e-mail from the Darcys a few days ago informing me that Norm
Sweeney, ('one of the good ones'), had died on the night of
Friday 26th. It wasn't entirely unexpected, as Gil Matthews
told me he'd heard that Norm hadn't long when I was in the Aztec
office a week ago. Norm was one of the Sydney clique of roadies,
so Spectrum only came across him every now and then. The last
time was on the LWTTT tour back in 2002, and I recall he wasn't
too well even then. Norm was ever the gentleman and always fastidiously
turned out - often leaving in his sartorial wake the musos in
Space Too still on track
1.7.09 - Speaking of Aztec, I
spoke to Ted Lethborg again today and the BST discs
have arrived in the office and we're now just waiting on the
digipacs, (covers), which Ted expects should be in sometime
Wilson's '5 Decades of Cool' concert
1.7.09 - I had reason to contact
Ross Wilson last week (I was looking to find the whereabouts
of former DC saxophonist, Jerry Noone), and in the flurry of
e-mails that followed, Ross asked if I'd be interested in showing
up to play bass on a couple of Party Machine numbers at his
45th anniversary gig at the Palais on Friday August 14th. (See
flyer for more details). I said I would..
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