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Maldon Blues Club's break-up do
an unassuming lounge in an unassuming pub, the unassuming locals
congregate on a Sunday arvo to party on..
Di, Heather and Lyn Trollop braved the floods 3) Viv Hamilton
came from Castlemaine all of 100 metres away
Roy spruiks the raffle
Maldon Hotel Sun. 28.11.10
of God fails to stop the Maldon Blues Club party
29.11.10 - The alleged creator
of the Universe, Mr God, was moving in manifestly meteorological
ways on the weekend, but the gig at the Maldon Hotel went
ahead as scheduled. It made a change from listening to the
flood reports, the baffling updates on the State election
and the Aussie cricketers being systematically dismantled
anyway, so a good half of the entire town's population trotted
down to the pub to cop a bit of the full-Monty Spectrum, satisfyingly
augmented as they were with the addition of keyboardist, Daryl
Our Blues Club host, Kinga Roy, (pic 4) made us all
feel at home, but I must see if he can come good with a green
room next time - a pub urinal is not the ideal place to change
at the best of times, but this one requires holding your breath
at the same time and so is particularly demanding.
It was great to see the three Trollops (pic 2) after
their scary text messages, and
|also very nice to catch up with Viv
Hamiltion (pic 3) after far too long, but almost as
good was the actual enjoyment we got out of playing - I quite
forgot we were due top stop at 6.00 and the set was ominously
drifting on to a 6.30 conclusion before the rest of the band
had a union meeting and called the gig off.
Valley vs the Rest of the World
boy Stephen puts on a smiley face 2) Is this alright? The kid
plays Bill's Yari
Bill advises on publicity pics 4) It was the toddler's birthday
too 5) The best fireworks display ever!
Stephen Taylor's 60th Howqua River Sat. 27.11.10
birthday bash turns to mud
29.11.10 - Stephen Taylor (pic
1) saw Bill and me performing at Lex Macarthur's birthday
party and was mesmerised according to Lex, and so a little while
later I received an enquiry from Stephen as to whether we'd
like to play at his 60th at Howqua Valley, which is nestled
in the rolling hills just out of Mansfield, near Lake Eildon.
It had been raining intermittently all day, so we made plans
for our exit with Stephen even as we arrived, because the field
in which the marquee was pitched, (and where, earlier in the
day, the Howqua Valley vs the Rest of the World annual
cricket match had been aborted after half an hour ), was already
becoming a little, shall we say, sticky. Just as well we did
too, as it turned out.
There was a stutter or two while the generator situation was
sorted, and then we were under way, and as we played the showers
became more and more insistent. Thankfully the rain didn't spoil
the special part of the evening, which was reserved for the
fireworks display, (pic 5) and I don't think I've seen
(or heard) anything quite so impressive in all my birthday-partying
years. I would even go so far as to describe it as awesome!
We could only follow it with The Song and then play on resolutely
as the audience gradually filtered away until only our hosts
remained. We loaded up the van and then bravely made an attempt
at driving out - and got just ten metres before getting hopelessly
stuck. We hadn't even got to the muddy part yet! Stephen hooked
our bull bar to the tractor and pulled us the next hundred or
so metres until we reached the safety of the gravel road.
It continued raining most of the night, and the next morning
we received word from The Trollops that they were thinking of
coming up the see us in Maldon but there were rumours that it
might be inaccessible due to flooding. I muttered darkly to
Bill that the last time I'd seen so much rain was when Joan
Kirner's Labor Party lost office and that it could be an omen.
I think I got that right as it turns out.
and Bill's surprise guests, Christian Staehely and his friend
Churchill Café & Larder Mont Albert Fri. 27.11.10
abound in Mont Albert
29.11.10 - The first surprise is that there's
a licensed premises of any description in the wowserish suburb
of Mont Albert. The Churchill Café is the dream child
of Mark Cornehls (who happens to be the Madders' Brenden Mason's
butcher) and it was only the second week he'd had music there
- Phil Manning played the previous week - so there's a certain
amount of suck-it-and-see going on still. For instance, it was
raining, so Bill and I had to set up in the café itself,
rather than the courtyard, as there's no
|shelter from the elements for the
musicians - yet. It was a bit of a squeeze inside, and perhaps
there was the occasional conflict of interests - i.e.
chat vs music - but we eased our way into proceedings and as
the evening progressed there were more and more taking notice
of us and responding.
As we were packing up, who should walk in the door but Al
Staehely's son, Christian. He and his mate Nick are over
here playing baseball for the Sandy Royals, and ladies, I can
confirm that he's just as sweet a guy in person as he looks.
He's keen to catch up with us again at a gig sometime, but of
course there's bugger all gigs now till the New Year. Luckily
the baseball season's a long one, so there's time yet.
The Mick Elliott Band is appraised by the crowd that was there
in the first place - and found to be exactly the same
The musical hits of the arvo, Mason, Stockley and See 3) Anita
Monk winds down from the benefit with Robbo
Robbo chats with local Tom Spanos 5) Joe Creighton chats with
former gonzo journalist, Jenny Brown
Interstate visitors from SA 7) Chris Stockley makes friends
with a jug o' beer
My co-conspirator, Lena Blomfield 9) David Pepperell remakes
Station Hotel Sat. 20.11.10
Station Hotel reunion finds an audience
21.11.10 - Bill and I arrived
outside the Station Hotel just after the agreed load-in time
of 12.30, fully expectiing Glyn 'Mother' Mason to be waiting
for us impatiently, but instead we ran into an irate little
man claiming to be Mark Barnes who vehemently harangued us
for being grey-haired has-beens playing the same crap we've
been playing for the last thirty years. And your point is?
Anyway, Bill and I thought nothing more of it, but he came
back again later when the Mick Elliott band was playing, only
to storm out minutes later loudly voicing his dissatisfaction.
I think he was miffed about something, but most people that
I spoke to during the afternoon were delighted about the reunion
in nearly every respect. The opening act, the Mick Elliott
band, (pic 1) was chillingly authentic and Trevor
Young scared the bejesus out of Robbo's drums. I thoroughly
enjoyed The Pardoners' set (Sam See and Glyn Mason) and the
Stockley, See, Mason numbers (pic 2) worked absolutely
fine without a rhythm section and went down a storm.
Glyn joined Spectrum for I'll Take You High and we
cheerfully massacred a couple of Chris Stockley's songs without
incurring a dummy spit. Michael Bright said his highlight
of the afternoon was seeing David Pepperell dancing to I'll
Be Gone, but I think everybody had a memorable moment
or two. There is talk we should do it again. What do you
Harvey James benefit
The Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL or the Caravan Music Club + moon
2) I'm rudely awakened
Bill cuddles Harvey's Faye 4) Harv with daughter Alex and
Fender's Margaret O’Loughlin
Bill wraps up Harv's sons, Josh and Gabe 6) 3 NRG's Andrew
Smith was one of many media people in the room
John Grant and Phuil Manning having a chat 8) Jimi Hocking
has a reflective moment
How long since I've seen Jenny Brown? 10) Phil Manning assumes
there's a crowd out there somewhere
Garth Porter joined Ariel for I'll Be Gone and Launching Place
12) Harv joins in the encore with Faye looking on
of the crowd with Alana and Chrissie right up front
Caravan Music Club Sat 18.11.10
James' night of nights
23.11.10 - When we got there, Bill remembered
going to the Oakleigh RSL (pic 1) back in the '60s
when it was a jazzer joint - he thinks the Red Onions Jazz Band
was playing there - and being a rock 'n' roller, he didn't go
in. As it turns out, it's a wonderful space and the two Anitas
got it just right as far as Harvey's gig was concerned. Bill
and I were ludicrously early and as a consequence I curled up
under a table in the green room later on to rest my weary bones,
only to be rudely awakened by Bill and Robbo. (pic 2) (Actually,
that's a pretty amazing shot catching Robbo's flash like that).
I had some misgivings about the
rigorous schedule of performances Harvey had set himself for
the evening, but he coped manfully all night and managed to
put in an heroic performance.
I was dividing my time between socialising/resting in the
green room and catching acts in the hall, so I certainly didn't
see everything, but the performances I did see ranged from
honest and heartfelt (in the case of Harvey's Band of Friends
with his sons Josh and Gabe for instance), to muscular and
electrifying in Ian Moss' case.
It was especially touching to see the Sherberts (sans
Darryl) back together again - Garth Porter (pic 11)
even joined Ariel for I'll Be Gone and Launching
Place Part 2, (which he'd never heard before), and Tony
Mitchell borrowed Bill's Precision for the Sherb's set, which
might give you an inkling of the camaraderie back stage. A
bit different from the old days when the Sherbs were the enemy.
Ariel had prepared ten songs for our part of proceedings,
but things were running so far behind by that stage that we
cut it back to just the four. The audience had understandably
diminished by this time, (it was a Thursday night after all),
but their singing in I'll Be Gone was whole-hearted
and actually quite stirring - even for jaded old me.
I've had a couple of e-mails from Harv since then. He's truly
happy that the night happened and that it was by any measure
a wonderfully successful night. Of course, it wouldn't have
happened without the support of the musicians on stage and
the crew working behind the scenes, but the ultimate kudos
are reserved for the Anitas Monk and Sulcs for pulling the
night together. It was a huge job on very short notice and
I think if you were there you'd agree they pulled it off magnificently.
Powell - you made it on to the Stop Press page!
The Bay Hotel Mordialloc Sun. 14.11.10
Crudd & Pump at The Bay
14.11.10 - Bill stayed overnight because
the flooding at Strathie made car travel uncertain, so we both
had a bowl of Crudd's porridge-to-the-stars for brekkie to start
off the day. It's been quite a while since we were last at The
Bay, but not a lot has changed. They still have problems with
the neighbours, so care has to be exercised in what is a very
live room to start with. Matt the bar manager
was very understanding being a musician
himself, and we managed to sound pretty presentable despite
the odd gremlin. Rob Judd rolled up, which was nice to see,
and the Drs Sellers dropped in on their way back from a couple
of days down at Blairgowrie. The Pump and I enjoyed the arvo
and Yvonne were down from Qld again - hooray!
Lomond Hotel Sat. 13.11.10
14.11.10 - The occasional showers from
the previous night had morphed into driving rain and cool temperatures
by last night and I was thankful for my Drizabone during the
load in. There's been a new carpet been laid since last we were
there, and I'm not sure whether it was that that influenced
the sound or not, but it was definitely more subdued than usual.
Anticipating some of the crowd wanted an early night we swapped
the second and third sets and I think the strategy worked -
and anyway, by the third set a more boisterous dance crowd had
blown in, so we might do that again. One of them wanted to know
if we did any Barry Manilow..
Marg Bird, moi, Geoff and Kath McClatchy 2) Mike and Bill catch
up with Rose from TCS after thitry years
No. 1, Jennie, celebrates with Bill and Mike (Bass)
Ferntree Gully Hotel Fri. 12.11.10
was a rainy night in Georgia..
13.11.10 - I realised just before we left
for the Ferntree Gully Hotel that the starting time was actually
9.30 rather than 8.30, so I e-mailed The Trollops immediately
- it was Trollop numero uno Jennie's birthday (pic
3) and they'd booked a booth to celebrate. Bill and I got
there early followed by the afore-mentioned Trollops in festive
mood - to the point that I had to issue a stern 'don't peak
too early' warning. I was delighted when the McClatchys arrived
unexpectedly with Marg Bird (pic 1) and then amazed
when Rose (pic 2) identified herself after the first
set as the receptionist at TCS all those years .
|ago. She joined the Trollops later
on the dance floor - you never know, there could be another
Trollops' initiate as a result!
It was a warm and humid night with a bit of thunder and rain,
(hence the Georgia reference), the band was hot as well and
and the crowd was receptive. As I e-mailed to the agent, Scott
Carne, this morning, it was a most congenial night.
reacquaints himself with the rep' 2) Faye feeds the bird
& Bill visit Harv
12.11.10 - I've been in constant telephone
and e-mail touch with Harv (pic 1) since he discovered
he was stricken with cancer, but it was still a shock when he
opened the door of his and Faye's home deep in the backblocks
of Olinda. That first impression was quickly forgotten as Harv
was in good spirits and chatted cheerfully about the many people
who have put their hands up to be involved with next Thursday's
After watching Faye feed the tame King parrot (pic 2)
we worked our way through the repertoire from the Rock &
Roll Scars album. It's going to be a big night - it's almost
booked out already!
rocks the Ivanhoe Golf Club (pic Jim Z. Kozlevcar)
2) Robbo and Nik reflect on a splendid Cup Day
Ivanhoe Golf Clubhouse 2.11.10
Melbourne Cup Day bash
3.11.10 - The morning's weather was intermittent
showers and the afternoon promised more of the same, so Nik
(pic 2) decided to relocate from his backyard to the
Ivanhoe Golf Clubhouse down the end of his street. This year
Daryl was initiated into Nik's Cup Day ritual - a pleasant change
from wandering around Flemington with a mandolin serenading
drunken racegoers as he did in the '80s.
We had time to scoff some of the fine food on offer before the
first set - then there was a brief interruption while the race
was run and we were back into it. We had an enraptured audience
and I even got some ladies to join me in a conga line later
in the day!
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