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Green Hotel 27.12.09
Green a surprise coup
28.12.09 - I had no particular expectations,
although this time of the year is generally pretty quiet, so
I was pleasantly surprised when the room began to fill with
expectant punters a few minutes before the scheduled start time
of 4.00 - to the point that I was kicking myself for not getting
Daryl in to join us a week early (he's playing with us next
The room's purpose built, so has a bit more atmosphere than
the Manningham's Sports Bar, with a commodious stage and a gigantic
| lightshow, both of which we sidelined
by using our own PA and the bare minimum lights. The sound was
quite adequate though and the audience was extremely receptive,
generously applauding everything - even a couple of my harp
solos! Jonathan Lister-Smith was down from Verrierdale to visit
his son Josh and girlfriend Alice, Sue and Michael Sullivan
were there, a skeleton crew from the Trollops turned up, Marilyn
Rudd and friends put in an appearance and Bill Melanitis helped
us with the load-out, so there was a fair contingent of old
faces amongst the local Mulgrave-diggers. I'm really looking
forward to next Sunday now!
that time, apparently.. and an apology
11.12.09 - Yes, the cicadas
started shrieking their annual warning on Wednesday (nicely
complementing my tinnitus) and the stench of Christmas '09
has become overpowering, so I'm just going to have to suck
it in and get used to it all over again.
And, as the headline suggests, I owe some of you an apology.
The Contact page has been out of action for probably some
three weeks now - it took me a while to suss it out - and
while I have a boffin investigating the problem, any mail
sent during that time has been lost forever in cyber-space.
If you feel the urge to deliver a quick metaphorical kick
to my groin, try this address: email@example.com
said Rock was dead?
Hilary and Steve joined in The Trollops' shenanigans 2) A
tender trap is sprung in the booth by Jen and Heather
Jen and Heather drag Bill into the frame and damn the torpedos
5) Robbo's happily surrounded by Lyn and Di
Spectrum trio and Trollops at the Last Supper
Manningham Club Hotel 20.12.09
and the Last Supper at the Manningham Club Hotel
21.12.09 - Last Wednesday Daryl and I
(and Craig Horne) had a meeting with the management at the
Manningham to try and sort out their chronic lack of advertising,
and yesterday I noticed there were large signs at both entrances
declaring that 'Blues Bands' are playing in the Sports Bar
on Sunday afternoons, so things are moving in the right direction.
Mind you, there was virtually nobody in the room when we started
playing, apart from Steve and Hilary (pic 1) and
the Trollops, but the room filled quite quickly after that
and we had a fun afternoon..
I'd invited Daryl to play with us this time by way of celebrating
our last gig of the year, and while it's scarcely practical
from the point of view of staging, (and money), it's more
enjoyable playing with keyboards, (which is the original Spectrum
manifesto after all), and we got to play Disco Dilemma
again and experimented with But That's Alright.
After we'd loaded out, (my favourite thing to do), we
retired to the Manningham's bistro and met up with Jen, Heather,
Lyn and Lyn, Di and Jane (pic 6) and had a jolly
time eating and drinking and wishing each other Merry Christmas
before finally heading off in our several directions home.
Maybe we'll see the Trollops at the Village Green on Sunday
- but only if they can tear themselves away from Jimi Hocking..
Motels declared Song of the year
16.12.09 - Amidst the growing
clamour and tension that marks this time of the year, (the
inscrutable slogan Mars Your Day comes to mind),
it's good to remember there have been some satisfying moments
over the course of the year. One was the overwhelmingly positive
response to the YouTube clip of Judith Durham singing Summertime
with Spectrum, an out-take from the under-appreciated TV show
Wrokdown, (it's on Channel 31), and then there's
the recent episode of RocKwiz with palpably ancient Mike combining
sublimely with the too-young-to-be-my-daughter Jess Cornelius
in an electric version of Roy Orbison's Crying, (two
combinations incidentally I would never have predicted in
a fit), and finally there's the unheralded and slightly more
underground accolade for one of my songs in the annual Legsyboy's
Big Ones 2009 review.
To briefly explain: Trevor Leedon is a piece of the Melbourne
puzzle that sits temporarily in Sydney pining for a good coffee
and trying to mollify the children who just want to go 'home'.
Each year for the past several he's produced a lovingly written
appraisal of what he's listened to over the past twelve months
called Legsyboy's Big Ones, and it's vital reading
for somebody like me who doesn't listen to nearly enough stuff
and who values Trevor's eclecticism and fearless opinions.
Anyway, it's fair to say the two Breathing Space
EPs thus far have attracted 'mixed' reviews, and given the
nature of the project, I'd expect nothing less. But occasionally
I reckon the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater and
something of value has been overlooked. It takes a reviewer
of Trevor's perspicacity to alight on a particular song and
find something in it the artist absolutely intended - and,
in the process, restore this writer's faith in critical mankind.
Song of the year
Sometimes you hear something and a wave of nostalgia engulfs
you even though the song has nothing to do with you. Does
that happen to you? I bought this EP you see and when track
2 played it literally swept me up. It HAD to be a true story
‘cos you simply couldn’t make up the storyline
(and it IS!), and it made me feel like I was part of it and
the sound took me back and….I can’t explain it
and probably you won’t be able to either. But if you
go out and get a copy of Breathing Space Too and go straight
to Track 2 (it wasn’t meant to be like this, it wasn’t
even the single!) you can listen to “Hotels, Motels”
by Spectrum and very possibly be overcome just as I was. Subjective?
Absolutely! Biased? Absolutely not! Simply outstanding Mike
(and I can declare that I emailed you as soon as I heard it
with these very sentiments).
He did too - elatedly. Thank you, Trevor. I look forward to
the resumption of normal transmission at Choclatté
in the not-too-distant..
return of the classic double|
Charlotte and Michael Blane and friends at the Lomond 2) Bill
is a study in concentration at Sangers (pic -
The Trollops contemplate life through coloured glasses 4) The
blue part of the spectrum
threatens Mike's shirt with girl-power 6) Mike gives Mick a
grimace (pics - Newman)
Lomond Hotel 12.9.09
St Andrews Hotel 13.12.09
classic double lives up to expectations
14.12.09 - It's the nature of the classic double to live
up to expectations, so nothing's new I guess, depending on your
expectations, of course. The Lomond was a little quieter than
the last time, but there were some new faces there too, including
my occasional guitar student Michael Blane and his sister Charlotte
(pic 1) and the core group of Trollops, who were at
St Andrews (pic 3) in strength the following day. Marilyn
Rudd showed up with her Adelaide rel's and told me she'd seen
my RocKwiz episode before she left for the Lomond and that it
was pretty good too. (I still haven't seen it*).
I was late getting to St Andrews the next day 'cause I had to
double back and pick up my phone and wallet that I'd left at
home. Sigh! It was good to reunite with Daz though
and we slipped Disco Dilemma into the last set again,
which worked a real treat and we had to do two encores - by
then some of the audience were literally dancing on the tables!
Fiona (pic 5) nearly jobbed me when I refused to do
a third encore and her partner told me as we were packing up
that the first set was 'shit' but it got better. The perils
of an expanding audience..
The Trollops refined the dance routine they'd been working up
at the Lomond and started ordering a series of drinks in all
the colours of the spectrum, (pic 4) which is probably
steering a perilous course, but the Trollops prefer to live
I met up with the Robbos at 1061 afterwards for some world's
best practice pizzas (and pinot) for an extremely civilised
conclusion to the weekend's proceedings. Next Sunday the Manningham
Club (with Daryl) and that's (nearly) it for the year! Time
to send out some Chrissy cards..
seen it now - check out the songs and the whole show on the
Debonairs inhale the faint stench of Xmas
reverend Ross Ryan and Robbo alliterate in harmony 2) Penny
Dyer and Wendy Stapleton always
Kennedy and Darcy sort out who's the shortest guy in the room
4) Diane Buettel and Mike await the food
Anita Monk and Fi go slightly feral 6) Mae Parker and Steve
Cross still have that loving feeling
Holden does Turnbull
Debs' Xmas luncheon
2.12.09 - If I was to miss all the Debonairs'
luncheons (held the first Tuesday of each month to raise funds
and awareness for the Support Act benevolent fund), the one
I choose not to miss is the December luncheon. Spectrum
has so few opportunities to socialise outside of gig situations
that it's become a de facto band Xmas party with all
the local music industry identities in attendance. Well, that's
the plan, but it rather backfired this year because only Robbo
(pic 1) and I were able to attend - Daryl's away (probably
on holiday again) and Bill was detained up in Strathewen for
family reasons. I find most social occasions daunting, not least
because of my social handicap of forgetting people's names,
but with a G&T under my belt I found the going easier -
i.e. I didn't care any more.. So, I got the inside
poop on Bobby Bright's painful sounding chest abscess, then
briefly encountered Mark Holden doing his Malcolm Turnbull impression,
(pic 7) had a long chat with Darcy (or vice versa)
about his recent medical procedures, (pic 3)
|before Diane Buettel (pic
4) invited me to sit at her table with Anita Monk and Fi
(no surname), (pic 5) Mae Parker and hubbie Steve Cross
(pic 6) and The Age's Patrick Donovan. I've not met
Patrick before, so I thought it appropriate to lay my Melbourne-has-no
purpose-built-entertainment-centre rave on him and suggested
The Age take it up as cause célèbre.
Well, at least he listened politely enough, although he was
probably wondering as he did who the hell I was and when was
I leaving his immediate vicinity.
As it happened I left before the appearance of the mince tarts
and the drawing of the raffle, but I'd had a comparatively lovely
time. The only question that was worrying me as I left (smelling
of Wally Bishop) was; where the hell was Bobby Valentine?.
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