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return to Mike Rudd &
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- then more on Monday!
Warren and Marg Sellers meet the McClatchys 2) AES' Paul Monger
and son Cooper
boys line-up with fiddling Lance O'Reilly
Manningham Club Sports Bar 25.10.09
St Francis Xavier College 26.10.09
The never-ending weekend!
27.10.09 - We did the Manningham Club
first back in August and everybody did their part in promoting
the gig, but this Sunday arvo there was no mention of us on
the billboard out front and no posters, so I wasn't too surprised
that we had about half the crowd. Disappointed, but not surprised.
My son Chris and the Vermont St crew turned up, as did the
Drs Sellers, the McClatchys (pic 1) the Birds, Simon
Gardiner and Martyn Sullivan, as well as Adam and Kerry from
Choclatté - and I met Paul Monger (pic 2)
from the AES agency for the first time. I've mentioned how
nice it is to have a gig so handy to
|Camberwell, but its viability might
be imperilled without yer basic audience numbers.
Lance O'Reilly (pic 3) booked us to play a set at the
St Francis Xavier College in Berwick on Monday, but I'd forgotten
that he'd transferred to the junior school since the last time
we were there and was waiting patiently in the senior school's
carpark when Bill phoned wondering where I was. Fortunately
I was well early, so the appropriate adjustment was made and
Robbo was also put in the picture. We played a forty minute
set in the Sports Hall (it was too windy outside) and then loaded
out in world record time (fifteen minutes!) before adjourning
to the library and chatting to some year niners about the art
of song-writing for another forty minutes. Lance invited us
back to his office and we chatted about this and that until
Lance looked at his watch and said we'd better get out before
the mums in their four-wheel drives arrived to repossess their
off-spring - and we just about made it too..
Phil, Cailey and Lachlan Sheppard with Spectrum 2) Birthday
boy Phil Sheppard asks for more..
Carsick* Phil's 50th
24.10.09 - Bill limped into Cockatoo
at 12.30 after Robbo I had been there for over an hour setting
up in the Sheppards' (pic 1) front room. Car trouble
again, but before long we were playing our first set with Phil
(pic 2) happily soaking up proceedings from the 'band'
couch. Some of Phil's friends shared in Phil's enthusiasm for
Spectrum and watched and listened for the entire afternoon,
while others drifted in and out as the mood took them, but everybody
piled in when it came time to bring in the cake and congratulate
Phil on his impending 50th birthday. They all joined in with
I'll Be Gone and Esmeralda - and then it was
over. It was a fun afternoon, the Sheppards' front room sounded
good and everyone we spoke to said they'd thoroughly enjoyed
I rang Bill when I got home and he'd made it back to Strathewen
OK, but he'll have to borrow Rosemary's car to get to the Manningham
Phil's a Seasick Steve fan..
The For Blues' Sake #3 concert
Hey Gringo with their flash new southpaw guitarist 2) Phil Para
plays Rick Brewster's custom guitar
The irrepressible Jimmy Sloggett and Phil Manning 4) Bassists
Wayne Duncan and Bill have a meeting of minds
The Angels' Rick Brewster and the Pump 6) Craig Horne of the
Blues Sake #3 Sandbelt Hotel 23.10.09
at the 'Belt
25.10.09 - The evening started inauspiciously
when I had to return home after loading in my amp and guitar
at the Sandbelt and discovering I'd left my pedal board behind.
Luckily there was plenty of time to indulge such laxity and
the opening band for the third in the series of For Blues'
Sake concerts, Hey Gringo, (pic 1) was still in
mid-set when I got back. I popped out to the bar to get myself
a G&T and met with Alana and Jenny, but found the out-front
sound level was excruciating and scuttled back-stage as quickly
as possible - Daz added to my concerns when he said the on-stage
sound for the Gringos was also dicy.
The show was running behind - there weren't many people in the
room early on - and while we waited for our set I chatted to
Jimmy Sloggett, (pic 3) who told me his embarrassing
embrasure story that only another sax player could
truly understand, and Craig Horne, (pic 6) who apparently
has a very obliging agent in NZ whose contact details he promised
to give me.
Then it was our turn, and apart from (my) leaden tempo for Gee
Whiz (Jimmy Sloggett joined us for that and Comin'
Home Baby), I think it went OK - although the unnecessary
PA level was out of our control.
Because of our early start the next day, I left before Vika
Bull took the stage with The Hornets and missed the Phil Para/Rick
Brewster set altogether, (pics 2 & 5) but Robbo
said a lot of the audience had also left by then.
I still think the FBS concept is good, but not finding
its audience this time around has to be concerning. Let's hope
that Roadsong's Heather Para isn't too discouraged and finds
the right formula next time around.
Blues' Sake #3
The For Blues' Sake concept was pioneered by our keyboardist,
Daryl Roberts and now it's been taken up by Roadsong's Heather
Para. It's a good idea and, as you can see, (pic) it's
a pretty enormous line-up for just one night's entertainment.
I reckon you'd have to like at least one act on the show, probably
more, and it's only $20.00. I'd hate to see it languish for
want of a few punters, so make an effort to support it, won't
you? It's tomorrow night (Fri.) at the Sandbelt (the old Southside
Six) 630 South Rd Moorabbin and it starts at 8.30.
1) Mike drapes himself over Frank Hayes at The Lomond 2) Bill
with friend Stephanie and Craig at St Andrews
St Andrews Hotel 18.10.09
brewing in the city
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Lomond on Saturday
night was the bloke with the numbered badge standing at the
door. So it's true - they've been compelled to hire security,
whether it's appropriate or not. I've received a series of e-mails
in the last few weeks apprising me of this new requirement for
security in licensed venues where entertainment is being provided
and I've not wanted to believe it, but I have to believe my
eyes. Thank goodness it looked like we were going to have a
fair-sized audience, because with a pub the size of the Lomond,
(i.e. small), it could easily become an issue and I've been
told that several small-ish venues in the city have simply abandoned
putting on entertainment altogether.
As it turned out, we had a better than average crowd and it
was a most enjoyable night. The security guy actually offered
to help me load out, which is a first in all my years on the
road. All became clear when he introduced himself to me as one
of The Crazy Baldheads.who recorded a techno version of I'll
Be Gone on the I'll Be Gonz album. Could providing security
at benign venues be another income avenue for out-of-work musos?
I'm sure there'll be much more on this issue over the next few
St Andrews is an opportunity for us to reconnect with our keyboardist,
Daryl, and so a very satisfying afternoon of fully realised
Spectrum music ensued. Bro' Dick had invited me to drop in for
a meal on the way home, which made for the perfect end to a
Durham and Spectrum on YouTube!
- I know a lot of people will be thrilled to see this, (Mike
Swan for one), but I've finally managed to procure and upload
to YouTube the version of Summertime Judith Durham
recorded with Spectrum at the taping of Wrokdown back in June.
Check it out now on the Videos
Bisset can't help standing out in a crowd 2) The man himself
- Wayne 'buttocks' Bisset
band Old School rock it out 4) Bill with a couple Wayne Bisset's
we've met before
Wilson and the Urban Legends launch into their first song
From The Ashes Marysville 11.10.09
win for Marysville
12.10.09 - Wayne Bisset (pics 1 & 2) organises the pub
vs pub match every year, but this year it had more than the
result of the footy match riding on it, with a concert being
put on immediately afterwards to help raise local morale and
some much needed funds. We arrived just before the final hooter
and Buxton had won the match handily ('as usual - they take
it seriously'). I went over to the centre of the ground to
have a word to Wayne and he said he'd been 'cleaned up' in
the first five minutes of the game and was complaining of
sore buttocks, but he thought that was more likely from wicket
keeping the day previously - Wayne's very pro-active on the
At this point the skies darkened ominously and some rain began
to fall, which may have been the signal for some prospective
concert-goers to leave, because when the music started, Wayne
lamented that there could've been a thousand more basking
in the sun now flooding onto the oval.
No matter, the music went on regardless, and local band, Old
School (pic 3) started off proceedings efficiently enough,
although I found the sound out front to be very harsh compared
with the stage sound.
Rochford Wines, famous for their A Day On The Green shows
on their estate near Healesville was a sponsor for the concert
and their wines were liberally featured in the tent that comprised
the 'Green Room'. I met with Rochford's Business & Developmental
manager, Graham Taylor, and he asked me what I thought of
their wines. I said I liked them and asked if there were there
any pinots. He said there weren't but he gave me his card
and said he'd happily deliver me a couple of bottles. O joy!
Came turn for our set and I must say I enjoyed it, but I suspect
the on-stage sound wasn't matched by the sound out front,
and the FOH sound disconcertingly dropped out altogether at
the end of Second Coming.
We went out the front at the start of Ross' set, (pic 5) and
while the mix came together soon after the first song, the
vocal sound was so harsh as to be unbearable. Nevertheless
the band was playing great and the crowd was bopping happily
to Ross' selection of DC numbers as we finally drove out of
Gallopoli Park and headed homewards.
Incidentally, on the way home I rang Tim Gaze to congratulate
him on the birth of his son. I forgot to ask Tim the baby's
name and when Bill asked me I said he was called 'Baby Boy'
Gaze. Bill thought that 'BB' Gaze sounded quite auspicious..
Paul Stewart cuts the delicious cake 2) Spectrum tragic Allan
Burton and Strathie Bill
Paul Stewart (pic 1) chose the Beaumaris RSL to celebrate
his 50th, and a charming old weatherboard building on some prime
real estate overlooking the Bay it is. Paul made sure we ate
well and had hired some lights to add to the atmosphere, and
then he and his old school friends (like Allan 'Burt' Burton)
(pic 2) proceeded to enjoy the music on offer, although
it has to be said that the bulk of party-goers were fairly mystified
as to what on earth they were on about.
Rochford is all go at the party's start 2) Robbo and his new
10.10.09 - In another
galaxy, many light years away, Colin Rochford (pic 1)
celebrated his 60th birthday. Actually it was last night in
the Manhattan's Soho Room, which is a bitch of a load in but
nice once you're there. Everyone got into the future theme and
Robbo got a new fan. (pic 2) Lovely night!
the value of product placement
visits the Son of Crawdaddy Show
- Melanie told me it was going to be a phone interview, but
Max Crawdaddy (pic) left a message on my phone that
indicated he expected me in the Triple R studios at 10.15 last
Thursday night, so I happily complied. Max's Son of Crawdaddy
show is heard on Triple R every Thursday night from 10.00 till
midnight and is essentially a blues roots show, but Max somehow
manages to squeeze Spectrum into the format. He opened with
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, (which reminds me that
I'll have to get some more No Thinking CDs pressed
as we've run out), and later played Xavier Rudd and Gee Whiz.
Bill caught up with Max at the Rock of Ages concert - he said
he'd enjoyed Some Good Advice..
Lake's Mick Fettes struggles with a 1lb microphone 2) ML's Brenden
Keays' Masters Apprentices 4) Jim Keays shows off his mic technique
Duff fronts the enormous chart-reading Kush 6) Jeff serenades
a stray dancer from the audience
checks the parking
Ages concert 2.10.09
Mordialloc Sporting Club 4.10.09
the Rock of Ages to Mordialloc
- When we finally arrived at The Palms at Crown for the
sound check there was nobody to be seen and we wondered if we
were at the right place or on the right day after all, but first
Chris and then a host of other sound and stage crew appeared
and we were efficiently sound checked before we knew it.
Then there was the interminable wait till the show started,
which gave me the opportunity to fix my ailing G harp (crucial
for I'll Be Gone), and experiment with a modicum of alcohol
to see if it calmed my errant brain, (see the Semaphore Workers
Club gig report). Then, after the opening set from Blackfeather,
(with the ubiquitous Daryl on keys), Spectrum was on stage for
its thirty minutes of attention .
I was a little calmer as it turned out and there were no major
dramas - apart from a key on Daryl's keyboard being broken,
which he managed to adroitly skirt
|around, (although the pianist with
Kush wasn't so lucky).
After our set I was free to take in the rest of the acts and
absorb the atmosphere in the room. It seems we had played there
before (as Ariel) as Bill had claimed, but it was quite a different
room then - flat and uninteresting as I recall. There are 'booths'
now, with tables and comfy chairs arraigned in amphitheatre
fashion and everybody gets a good view of the stage. I saw most
of the Madder Lake set from the back of the room and moved down
to the front in time to sing along with 12lb Toothbrush,
which went down like the hit it was. Mick Fettes (pic 1)
was in buoyant mood and went 'flying' around the stage as is
his wont at regular intervals, and even came back to trade quips
with our host Ted Lethborg (pic 7) when the Madder's
set was over.
I managed to get a seat right up the front in the Jim Keays
set thanks to Brett Marriott, and that turned out to be the
best position for sound, which I thought tended to get a little
muddy towards the back of the room in the Madder Lake set. I
thoroughly enjoyed the Masters - Jim was funny and singing as
well as ever and looked in good health, and his band was punchy
and looked the part, so you couldn't really quibble that there
were no original Masters Apprentices onstage apart from Jim
Kush was the last act on the night, and you could argue that
had Jeff Duff not been otherwise occupied earlier in the evening,
(with the Ray Charles tribute show as part of the Fringe Festival),
it would have been more appropriate to put Kush earlier on the
bill, before the Masters for instance. Nevertheless, it was
a vintage (and polarising) Jeff Duff performance - his voice
remains as strong as ever, he's ever the showman and he's in
pretty good shape, but it's perhaps a sign of the times that
somebody requested he put his clothes back on after he'd stripped
down to his rather startling one-piece girly bathers.
It would be uncharitable to mention that the eight-piece band
was struggling to stay tight in the tricky bits, so I won't,
but to the boozy cheers of a very satisfied full-house of Aztec
Music demographic baby-boomers, Jeff carried the night kicking
and screaming to its slightly weird conclusion.
By contrast, (and thank goodness the projected trip to Ballarat
on Saturday night didn't come off), yesterday the trio returned
to the Mordialloc Sporting Club after nearly a year's absence.
We caught up with some old pals, (like Rob Judd), the Doctors'
Sellers turned up from the other side of town and, needless
to say, I was as calm as a cucumber all day and even allowed
myself some moments of semi-virtuosity as a result. Of course,
it wasn't perfect, but as Paul Hester used to say; when all's
said and done, it's the struggle that counts.
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