« view all posts
(Don’t try and work out the title of this piece. It’s just something that appeals to Bass players)
Anyway, back in August, FAQ was entirely subsumed by Spectrum as we ‘Battled With the Bands’ as part of the Canberrang weekend of swing dancing. Spectrum and The Blamey Street Big Band set up at either end of the Albert Hall for a Savoy-style battle of the big bands. The winners were clearly, music, swing and dancing, as both bands filled the night with top big band music.
Next week, we celebrated James’ birthday at the Southern Cross Club with a great evening of music by Janet Seidel, along with her touring trio, plus piano great Joe Chindamo. Janet was promoting her most recent album: Charade - The Henry Mancini Songbook, and we now have several autographed copies, if you want to hear a sample.
On the weekend, Sarah and Peter were part of Spectrum as they played at the 70th birthday party for Bob Wood – the living legend within Canberra City Band. Bob has been playing with City Band and Canberra jazz groups since the late 1800’s, including the days when live dance bands were just about the only form of entertainment in this town. Apart from an unfortunate incident involving bagpipes (ie they were played in a confined space), it was a great night for all.
Spectrum also had a bit of a novelty night on 29 August when it played for “Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque Graduation Night” (the title says it all really). Billed as Searchlights and Sirens, the combination of swing, World War II songs, and women of all ages in varying degrees of undress, definitely had something for everyone. Spectrum leader, Rod Mason, was later heard to remark that he felt that he had too much fall in his lap – but we still aren’t sure if he was talking about setting up the sound system, or the audience participation segment. Whilst the trumpet section did generally behave themselves, there did seem to be a lot more saliva on the floor than normally produced.
Moving on to things more decorous, Spectrum (including all of FAQ) played at the Folkus Club, the following night. Set within the Serbian Club, Mawson, the Folkus Room is an excellent live music venue and deserves the support of all music fans. For the band it was also a delight to play a ready made venue with everything set up and the sound all under control. As a trio we have vowed to return there at the earliest opportunity.
Early September saw us back at the Casino for a regular Friday night slot. Several new charts made their debut, including Pick Yourself Up, Secret Love, and What’ll I Do – a delightful waltz, as long as we remember to play it in three–four. Due to whole host of rearrangements, playing on the Friday left Saturday free for some us to go and see The Kranksy Sisters. This trio is a truly inspirational, comic music group, and since we already have the Tuba, we are now seriously investigating which one of us should take up the musical saw.
Mid-September saw the trio grow into a sextet. Under the ambiguous guise of 'the CCB Combo' we played a conference dinner at Old Parliament House. With running theme of 'The Forties', Frequently Asked Questions, plus Doug Luke and the Levers Brothers (Mark and Scott) were well suited to rolling out dinner music and swing dance tunes. Some of our friends from Jumptown dropped in to provide some demonstrations and a quick lesson in dance steps. We were left only slightly bemused by the actions of the commercial event organisers, for such odd requests as “Band to play CD so people can talk”, and the inability to distinguish tempo from genre:
“Can you play something more up tempo ?”
”You mean faster ?”
“No, we were thinking ABBA.”
The next night we were back at it, in the slightly less salubrious, but much better decorated, surrounds of the YMCA Boat Shed in Yarralumla, for a private 30th birthday party. The requests this time were far more appropriate, so we were able to knock out a version of Fever without too much trouble. It is also quite likely that Sweet Georgia Brown is going to find its way onto our play list more often from now on.
You won’t see us around this town in the immediate oncoming weeks, as Sarah sets off overseas – to buy a new microphone, and possibly some earrings. Peter will also be up at the Manly Jazz festival, playing with Spectrum on October 4.