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Rockin' Ruckers Hill

1) Haven't seen Jen and Alana for a while 2) We played at his 50th b'day party but I can't remember his name..

3) Robbo was driving his new-ish Gretsch kit 4) Aunty Margaret was a surprise guest
gig report
Peacock Inn Sun. 29.5.11
The trio struts its stuff at the Peacock Inn
30.5.11 - It was a chilly afternoon in Melbourne yesterday, so I wasn't too hopeful that at our first gig in the courtyard at the Peacock Inn in Northcote a) there'd be a crowd and that b) we would have a fun time. I was looking forward to it nevertheless as gigs of any description have been thin on the ground lately and as it turned out there was already a crowd on hand as we loaded in and so I started to relax. We got the gig in the first place as a result of the The Pardoners, who regularly play there on a Sunday arvo, removing themselves interstate for a couple of Lizottes' gigs and nominating us as their fill-ins - I got a call from Sam See driving down the Hume this morning asking how it went and if we'd still like to do the July 3rd date.
My feeling is that on the whole we would -. the crowd was mostly young but with a fair sprinkling of au fait boomers and it all seemed to go down very well. There were one or two there that we knew too, including a surprise visit from in-laws Marg (pic 4) and Syl Cafarella. And once the gas heater on the 'stage' was turned on, the chill became less of a factor for the players, so it was quite a jolly gig all in all. See you in July..


1) Mike meets fellow Christchurchian Dave Miller (pics 1 & 3 Maz Rudd) 2) Iain McIntyre watches as Linda Cable speaks

3) Co-authors Ian Marks and Iain McIntyre wonder if Rudd will ever shut up..
Wild About You! book launch
26.5.11 -
Ian Marks was in full throttle when I finally arrived after parking the van and so I waited in the background while Linda Cable (pic 2) and then an excited Ian McFarlane said their piece. There were several '60s and '70s-type identities in the audience, quite a number of whom I could even put a name to, but perhaps the most unexpected was Dave Miller, (pic 1) who was one of my heroes in Christchurch in the early days, but whom I'd never met before.

Chants' Matt Croke, Marty Forrer and Mike are glowing..
Chants' summit in Franger
22.5.11 -
Last night I was picked up by Matt Croke, whisked out to Andrew Forrer's place in Seaford where Marty and Carol have been staying and thence convoyed to the Waves on the Beach restaurant in Frankston. Half way through the night we realised it was a veritable Chants' summit and Carol took the accompanying pic so we could say Hi to Trev. There has been a hint from the John Baker camp that another Chants' reunion could be on for the end of the year and for the moment at least it's been established that this version of the band is alive and kicking.
Chants R&B gets an honourable mention in the Wild About You! book that's being launched this Thursday night at Readings of Carlton - see more details on the flyer

1) Robbo and a trio mood-enhanced Bernd Rohrmann 2) Janice says yah, boo, sucks to NRG's Andrew Smith
gig report
Lomond Hotel Sat. 14.5.11
The Lomond still hot and sweaty on a cold night in East Brunswick
15.5.11 - The folkies were still hard at it with their fiddles and acoustic guitars when Bill and I arrived so we caught up with each other's respective adventures on the footpath in the cold and damp while we waited for them to wrap up their folkie proceedings. There were quite a few regulars in the room, (pic 1) but with a fair contingent of interstaters and younger people I've not seen before. The acual temperature in the room was never in question however, and by half way through the night I was quite smelly - luckily smells are not really an issue in a pub - and the crowd was in an ebullient mood with quite a few even dancing sporadically, including some of the younger girls.
A few of the older crowd left after the retro-Spectrum set, satisfied they'd heard The Song and some other Spectrum, Murtceps, Ariel faves, but an influx of late-comers ensured the dance floor remained full and the momentum was sustained until the end of the night when an encore was loudly demanded. Judging by the reaction and comments I got as we packed up from the 'kids' in the room they were surprised and delighted at what we had to offer. Aah, there's life in these smelly old bastards yet..

1) This table arrived well before we started and enjoyed the whole night 2) Dom Barbuto had far too good a time..
gig report
Fleece Hotel Thurs. 12.5.11
The Fleece's magic works against the odds
13.5.11 - As we were setting up Bill proposed we should guess how many people would turn up, given that it was a cold, wet night and Robbo had said that the night he'd played there with Bobby Bright there were only about three patrons. Bill predicted three and I said fifteen, and then I thought Robbo said seven, but apparently he said seventeen 'cause he was the winner. It wasn't a bad crowd at all as it happened and they were in very good spirits too. (pic 1) There were a few familiar faces, including the indomitable Dom, (pic 2) The Fleece's booker Julie Cavanagh and Di Buettel, (who were leaving for New York together the next morning), plus a guest appearance by Mae Parker, who very considerately adjusted the dimmer for my lights so I magically became visible.
Of course, it was all a bit loose (herumph, herumph) musically speaking - this business of playing only intermittently doesn't allow one to relax - and not having Daz there was a mixed blessing, but overall it was great fun and the more boisterous hangers-on were still demanding we play some more music for them half an hour after we'd finished.
According to the screen at the end of the room, Thursday nights at The Fleece are safe for the duration of 2011, so there's every chance we'll be back again before the end of the year. Hooray!


1) Robbo wasn't there, but he did a session at Pinewood Studios 2) Ross was at The Bay however and loved it..
gig report
The Bay Hotel Sun. 8.5.11
Happy fucking Mothers Day
9.5.11 - To be honest I wasn't expecting a large turnout at The Bay Hotel on Mothers Day, but I would've been happy with a moderate-sized crowd. As it happened there were about a dozen people in the room when we started and bugger-all when we finished, which made for a demoralising afternoon if you were to judge it solely by the numbers. Luckily the people that were there seemed to enjoy it and Ross (pic 2) was thoroughly enchanted as it happened and told us quite a few times we were 'classy' - and Bill and I did have a pleasant enough work-out on the music-making side of the equation.
Robbo (pic 1) came over in the morning to finish the session we'd started the previous afternoon when I'd discovered I was short of a midi lead. He was adding drums to the OMG track mentioned in the current P&W. Sounded pretty good too - I'll be working on it today and should make a decision soon on whether it will find its way onto the next Breathing Space EP.

1) Sonny delivers a wry eulogy to his father 2) Dutch Tilders leaves the room for the last time to a standing ovation
Dutch Tilders has left the building
5.5.11 -
Dutch Tilders' funeral was held on Tuesday at the Mitcham Baptist Church and was attended by nearly every blues identity in the village, plus a few jazzers as well. Some footage of Dutch was shown before the service with a band that included Brod Smith on harp - I'm guessing it must've been recorded quite recently and it sounded great. Sonny and Sam, Dutch's two sons from two different relationships got up (pic 1) and spoke about the man and then his twelve year old grand-daughter Olivia spoke briefly before Peter Gaudion, Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel gave us an inside glimpse of Dutch, the old blues guy, and then the casket left to a standing ovation (pic 2) while the band gave the Dutchman a New Orleans-type send off with a rousing version of St James Infirmary. Very moving it was too. Robbo went to the wake at the Manhattan and said there was a real crush there and all the snags had gone by the time he arrived.
(See some more thoughts on Dutch in Mike's Pith & Wind)
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