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Our bumper year continues with another busy few weeks kicking off the new financial year. On 11 July we had another of our regular Casino gigs, and this one was a corker! A very friendly audience member introduced himself to us, and then to a few others, and then introduced his new friends to some even newer friends who had just arrived, and by the second set everyone knew everyone else, and us, and were chatting and dancing and we suspect the bar was doing very well! Lots of requests - some even for songs we had just finished - and a fun and riotous evening for all concerned. We trust everyone got home safely and will come and hear us again - we could name names, but for a modest fee we promise we won't!
The following night saw us performing at a much more decorous EoFY celebration for a corporate client at the beautiful Royal Canberra Golf Club at Yarralumla. The audience was fairly quiet until we decided to ginger them up a bit with Blues In The Night! Once again, by the end of the evening there were a bunch of couples up & dancing and requesting their favourites - including "something romantic", and what could fit that bill better than My Romance? (If you think the answer to that is Isn't It Romantic, then you should listen to that second chorus again.) Some more than usually persistent listeners clamoured for an encore even as we were packing up - so finally we gave up, plugged ourselves back in, and let loose with Somewhere Over The Rainbow (we knew there must have been a reason Peter left it off the set list proper!). OK, it made for a late night - but it's good to be appreciated.
A scant few days later we were all back with Spectrum for the STOMP Titanic Ball at the Albert Hall, raising funds for CanTeen. Sarah dug out her flashiest earrings (and the competition in that regard is fierce) and the boys looked very dashing in their tuxes - especially Peter, who wore his Captain Stubing cap at a rakish angle, the effect being only slightly spoiled by Sarah's claims that it was left at his place by a sailor. James got a few solos to show off his big band chops, and Rod Mason darted about impressively, directing, sound-engineering, MC'ing and playing tenor sax all at the same time, while Tony Haley and Sarah raced up and down the stairs during each others' vocals trying to gauge the sound balance! But the effect was great, with everyone up and dancing and some excellent feedback from the crowd. As usual, the highlight of the evening was Sing Sing Sing, with the dancers clearing a space for their crack squad, and climactic solos from Mark Levers on drums and Tom Manley on clarinet.
Spectrum's fast developing a reputation as a first-rate swing band, and getting lots of work from swing dance troupes. Our next big gig is the Battle of the Bands, for Jumptown, on 8 August, where we'll be facing off against the formidable Blamey Street for the title of Best Big Band - it's going to be brilliant, so make sure you get there!