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1) Tim, us & Basement's Rod (back) Suzanne & Patrick
gig report
At last! The CD launches - rock & roll rules!
30.3.08 -
As I took Tim Gaze to the airport late yesterday morning we discussed the possibility of getting a joint mini-tour in Sydney and Melbourne with Spectrum and Khavas Jute - or even the Shud. It was such a joy having Tim play with us over the past couple of days, I really hope it might come to fruition. Friday and Saturday were a whirlwind couple of days - the Breathing Space EP jackets arrived on Thursday arvo (see Gasp! below) and Tim arrived in town that same evening - and Bill arrived at 9.30 the next morning to load up for Basement Discs, which we fondly imagined was to start at midday. We duly arrived at the Block Arcade at 11.00
and loaded in, but it wasn't till I got back from parking the van that I discovered we weren't actually due to start until 12.45 - and then Suzanne discovered that dilettante sound engineer Mark Sydow had completely forgotten that he was supposed to be there at all and had to hastily jump in a cab and race into the city from Port Melbourne. Fortunately the audience wasn't under any such illusions about the time of the performance and the room was nicely full when we kicked off the set with Dreaming. Tim joined us for Rocket Girl and I Play My Guitar to huge acclaim - and then a girl standing right next to the stage fainted and fell to the floor! 'How very rock & roll', I thought - but funnily enough I don't recall it ever happening to us before.

2) The band cranks into action at The Basement Discs 3) Tim Gaze electrifies proceedings

4) The only shot of Daz all day 5) Tim goes hot and cold at lunch in Clarendon St
To add to the general mayhem and confusion, we were barely forty minutes into the set when Suzanne and Charles started waving at us agitatedly - and it was only then I was made aware that we were only supposed to be playing for thirty minutes, and not the hour I had imagined. Talk about rock & roll vagueness! All's well that ends well though, and we signed innumerable copies of both CDs for happily satiated audience members before packing up and loading out.
If getting into Baserment Discs wasn't difficult enough, getting out again is even more problematic, and Daz made things really difficult for himself when his car broke down in the centre of town and he had to be towed and (eventually) get his battery replaced. While he was enduring this embarrassment, Bill, Robbo, Tim and I were in Clarendon St grabbing a bite before heading down to Capers to load in and sound check (pic 5). Our other musical guest, bassist/violinist Nicolas Lyon, was already there, but things were running so far behind we barely had time to run through one song with sound engineer, Peter Fearn, before the doors opened and our fate was in

6) Nicolas Lyon serenades an indifferent Bill in Sensible Shoes 7) Robbo grabs a few zeds

8 ) Tim slips in an unexpected inversion 9) Mike and Tim both knuckle down and get serious
the lap of the musical gods.
To be honest I had no expectations about the night, so I was very pleased to see the room looking pretty near full when we ambled on stage at 9.00. Although the Rocket Girl clip that Mazz had dropped off that day never got an airing, Milton Hammon's DVD had plenty of interesting material from the '70s which kept everybody highly entertained while they ate. (Oooh, they look so young..)
As soon as we started playing, I felt as though everything had fallen into place. The sound, which had been excruciating in sound check, suddenly sounded sweet, the lighting cues were on time, and even the fog machine seemed to be on its best behaviour. The addition of Nicolas Lyon on bass for the first few numbers was inspired, (and fiddle in Sensible Shoes (pic 6)), to be followed by the positive jolt of Tim Gaze in Rocket Girl and I Play My Guitar, which provoked the regular Mike, Bill, Robbo and Daz ensemble to new heights of heightness, and elicited a rapturous response from the audience - although, disappointingly, nobody fainted.

10) Daz, Deb, Robbo and a smirking Mike celebrate Earth Hour at The Palais in Hepburn Springs

11) Bill celebrates his own way
The finale featured Tim again, playing a bracket of Ariel tunes, which tore the house down. I was even able to interpolate the yah-yahs in Jamaican Farewell for a change. In the end, we were all exhausted, (apart from Nicolas Lyon, of course), but, despite the occasional glitch, the day had been a conspicuous success. Many thanks to everybody who made it such a success, including Alana, who handled the CD sales on the night, and Music Junction, who loaned us the Fender Blues Junior amp for Tim to use. Ian McCausland couldn't make it regrettably, and there were a few other notable absentees, but they missed out.
The next day we rocked on down to Hepburn Springs to do a 'regional launch' at the fabulous Palais. I don't use the 'fab' description lightly - if we could transport it into town, I believe we'd have a ready-made successor to the Continental. Anyway, the night was an absolute pleasure in almost every respect - except there was hardly anyone there! Oh well, we sold a bundle of CDs, which was the point I guess. Next time..
Pics 2 & 3 - Mark Noke. Pic 4 - Dick. Pics 6,7, 8 & 9 - Mazz (check more Mazz shots)

Ted's hands are a blur as he packs up the EPs
Gasp! Breathing Space arrives just in time!
27.3.08 -
At a little after 4.00 this afternoon, Ted suddenly announced the courier had arrived and disappeared downstairs. When I arrived in the store room he triumphantly held up a Breathing Space cover and pointed to the pile of boxes still sitting on the trolley. Fortunately I'd had the presence of mind to bring a couple of hundred CDs with me, so we spent the next half hour packing them into their sleeves so Lou has something to send out tomorrow, and I'll have some for Basement Discs and Capers. Tonight I go to the airport to pick up Timmy Gaze - and at 10.00am tomorrow all hell breaks loose for the biggest day of the year. (I'll have the EP available to purchase on the site by Monday).

You can now have the 'must have' re-issue CD

Milesago available now!
26.3.08 - Bugger! I can't find my camera - I must've left it at Aztec today. Oh well, the good news is that I have stock of the new Milesago CD and it's available right now on the CDs page. The guys at Aztec are very pleased with the way it's turned out and I must say (again) that the packaging looks brilliant. The best news is that they've managed to keep the price down to a reasonable $30.00, so if you can't make it to The Basement Discs or The New Capers on Friday, go to the CDs page and order your copy right now - and be the second person on your block to have one..
I droppped into Audiophile while I was in Fitzroy, and Nik and the lads surveyed my defunct Yamaha amp, admiring the veneer and all the redundant buttons and bows, and then made me take it home. Mind you, they gave me another one for nothing to take its place..


1) Derek Guille lights up the Southbank studio 2) Steve Fraser hatches a cunning plan
Radio lives!
26.3.08 -
As predicted I popped down to the ABC at Southbank last night for a quickie with Derek Guille (pic 1), which was as pleasant as always, (although I seem to have an ongoing problem with air conditioning at the moment), and then meandered off to Smith St to the very community radio station, 3CR, and
another interview with Steve Fraser (pic 2). Steve was able to be a little more expansive and played three tracks from the Breathing Space EP amongst a bevy of Milesago tracks.
I just spoke to Ted at Aztec, and I should be picking up some Milesago CDs later today. Fingers are still crossed for the EPs..
Fab news on the CD front!
25.3.08 -
It seems the complete Milesago package is on the doorstep at Aztec - and the Breathing Space CD (minus the packaging) has also arrived! They're saying 'a coupla days' for the Breathing Space digipak, so the wait isn't over yet, but chances are we'll just scrape in. Sigh! The other good news is that the Milesago CD is retailing at a very modest $30.00, (it's a double CD remember), so you'll be able to afford two copies!
Tonight I'm having a chat on the Derek Guille show on the ABC's 774 at 9.30-ish and then later on Steve Fraser's 3CR show at 11.30-ish. It's all happening, baby!

Silly Robbo, Barry 'Healthkick' Murnane and the Pump
gig report
St Andrews

24.3.08 -
Given the sparse crowd at the Lomond the night before, I was dreading arriving at St Andrews and finding nobody there at all, but, although it wasn't a large crowd, it was quite respectable under the cicumstances. The Vermont St gang was there, and they had the table right in front of the band for a change, and Chris had the best seat of all, so it was a bit of an Easter treat for us both. From a playing perspective it was a pleasing afternoon, and we took the opportunity to run through The Crab, But That's Alright and Love's My Bag, which was a useful thing to do with the launches being the next gigs. Let's hope that everything arrives on time..

Alana Galea, Robbo and Miranda Worthington
gig report
Lomond goes off - quietly..
23.1.08 -
When I arrived at the Lomond I suspected it was going to be a quiet-ish night, and it was - but enjoyable nonetheless. Miranda Worthington (pic) advised me that the Rocket Girl clip was on track for Wednesday or Thursday, which makes it consistent with the projected arrival of the CDs. It's going to be a tight thing, and I can do without the anxiety. I guess it's a lesson I can take into the production of the second EP - have the thing in hand a couple of weeks (at least) before the launch.

Chants R&B podcast and other shards of info
19.3.08 -
I never did get that story on the Chants R&B Wild Things tour finished, (I promise I will), and in the meantime Radio NZ have broadcast selected highlights from the Auckland gig and have now lodged the podcast on their website. If you'd like to listen to highlights from all the artists who appeared on the show, or pickily just select the Chants' contribution, click on Radio NZ. Incidentally, tomorrow I'm heading down to Aztec to pick up stock of the Breathing Space EP, or just look at the empty covers, or something. Wish me luck.. 20.3.08 - Nup. Didn't arrive. Ted says they just might be delivered on Tuesday..

Imagine an Easter bun
Easter weekend special
18.3.08 -
And before you realise it, it's bloody Christmas again. Oh well, for you diehards that refuse to succumb to the allure of the family clambering into the family wagon and rushing down to the shack for three days of utterrly predictable al fresco domesticity, Spectrum presents the alternative utterly predictable pub double. You know the one - the Lomond on the Saturday night and the St Andrews pub on the Sunday arvo. The Sunday arvo Easter lunch is a pretty attractive option when you think about it - the country air, the odd Harley note echoing through the hills, the quite acceptable pub nosh - and Spectrum! If I were you, I'd insist on a version of What The World Needs Is A New Pair Of Socks...

1) The Grizzly Bros entertain the thronging masses 2) Stringybark McDowell and Homesick Joe have a bash
gig report
Myrniong, O Myrniong, your Music in the Park rings in my ears still..
16.3.08 -
I checked on Wikipedia, and Myrniong's population is a steady 210 souls, so I would guess that most, if not all of them were at the Music in the Park, plus a few ring-ins from around the district constituting a healthy, if not handsome crowd. Bill and I arrived just after 7.00, expecting to be on stage at 9.00, but, as these things do, the program was running about an hour behind - the finger of blame pointed squarely at the talent quest. When we did finally mount the stage, with willing hands helping us from the audience, the sound guy quipped it was 'too easy', which always arouses my suspicions, and sure enough, Bill proceeded to have an extremely difficult time with a low-mid resonance that only evaporated when it was all but too late. We were received with due reverence nonetheless, and Karl and Alan seemed pleased with the way things had gone. At least it didn't rain like last year.. It would've been better with Robbo..
1) Ed Nimmervoll 2) Ted confidently presents the proof for the Breathing Space cover Two days..
13.3.08 -
The autumn weather is starting to bite - and this year that means it's stiflingly bloody hot. Goodness knows how they're coping in SA after ten days of this stuff. Yesterday I popped down to Southbank for a session in the ABC Tardis with Ed Nimmervoll, (pic 1), who has a weekly broadcast to those poor, deprived souls
at the top end who crave news from the civilised south. I've spoken to Annie Gaston before - probably round the time of the Part One release - and she certainly does her homework, (she knows all about this site for instance). Anyway, we had a lovely little chat, and I suppose it's by way of a prelude to the flurry of interviews that will undoubtedly occupy me over the next few weeks. This afternoon I got a call from Ted at Aztec (pic 2) saying he had the proof for the Breathing Space cover ready for my approval, so I whizzed down to the Aztec Music office for a peek. Naturally, given the way things have been going with this project from the start, I discovered a flaw in the credits, (my fault again), but hopefully that won't translate into a major delay..

Ted is very pleased wirth the lavish Milesago cover
EP finally mastered
11.3.08 - Today's final mastering session involved some of my mewling children being murdered for the sake of Art - and good riddance too - but it's an exhausting and, worse still, time (and money) consuming exercise. The upshot of it all is that I delivered the latest version of the master to Ted (pic) who is going to make sure it gets to Aztec's pressers pretty smartly. And then it's a waiting game. I mooted that it was a 50/50 proposition that the EP would be delivered on time for the launch, which Ted didn't disagree with, especially after I told him the launch was on the 28th and not the 26th, which is what he thought it was for some reason. This last minute stuff after years of fuck-all is absolutely typical by the way. Sorry.
Milesago launch on track
9.3.08 -
I just wish I could say the same for the EP. After I'd been to see Ian McCausland yesterday, I realised that I'd have to go back to Edensound one last time for an annoying modification. My fault. I managed to get in touch with Martin Pullan and he's going to patch the problem up for me on Tuesday morning. By then the artwork and everything technical should be done and dusted.
So, if you don't want to be disappointed, you should be planning to book your seat now for the double launch on Friday 28th at The New Capers - check the Gig page for details..
No new Bloody Newsletter yet - sorry. Coming soon!
Breathing Space mastered - just!
7.3.08 -
On Tuesday I came down with this wretched throat that seems to be going around, and by that night it had migrated to my chest, making me feel thoroughly uncomfortable. I bravely soldiered on and had the mixes for the EP on a CD ready for mastering by Wednesday afternoon's appointment with Martin Pullan (pic) at Edensound. I wasn't totally engaged, but noticed a couple of the mixes didn't quite gell as I'd hoped, with the result that I went back again today with three revised mixes to be mastered - and this time I was satisfied. Tomorrow I'm popping over to Ian McCausland's to oversee the final stages of the cover art - it's getting exciting!
The Soundgarden

1) The view of The Soundgarden room from the stage 2) Bill with Terry from Way Out West and Prince Albert

3) Stephen presents his large son Jake 4) A dubious Bobby Bright succumbs to Mike's paparazzi camera skills

5) Two local lasses with a positive blackboard message

gig report
Spectrum trio at The Soundgarden
3.3.08 - At just after 5.30 on Saturday arvo, Bill and I set off for The Soundgarden in Laverton North, lured out unfashionably early by the promise of a free feed - and less than thirty minutes later were surprised to find quite a handsome little room round about where the old cinder speedway used to be. Dave and Maree made us welcome and introduced us to members of the family who were helping out for the night before taking our orders. Robbo got caught in traffic but arrived in plenty of time really, and then there was a bit of a wait (in an actual band room, mind you) till 8.30 and showtime. Because people were eating when we were setting up, we didn't get a soundcheck as

such, so the dry acoustics caught us a bit by surprise, and partly because of that our performance was a bit ragged - one chap came up at the end of the night and remarked it wasn't as tight as usual - but I think we'll be better for the experience. Anyway, Dave and Maree were ecstatic at the attendance, (a record apparently), and we were granted a round of cheesecake and hot chocolate after we'd packed up, which was a very nice touch. It was also nice to see so many we knew there, including Bobby Bright (pic 4), and Terry (pic 2), and we were tickled by the enthusiastic message left on the blackboard by the graffiti sisters (pic 5), which reads, 'Spectrum are the grouse! And that's true, fair Dinkum!' Irresistible girls - we'll be back for sure!
Kaz shots from Tas.

1) This is probably the end of first set playing I Play My Guitar 2) This is probably Bill

3) I'm guessing this is I'll Be Gone 4) I think Kaz must've been falling over when she took this shot..
More shots from Tassie
3.3.08 - Kaz (as seen in last month's Stop Press) very kindly sent me a selection of shots she took of the band at the Tuesday night show. Thanks Kaz - if any of you have shots of the band you'd like to share with us, you know what to do..
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