Saloon Bar - Churchill
I had every intention of going for a ride today, but I changed my plans. I had made it across to Traralgon and was having lunch at Subway. I was about halfway through my meal when I hear a "Hello John". The voice belonged to Tony Burns, who then went on to tell me that Phil Manning is playing at the Saloon bar at Churchill in about half an hour. "That sounds interesting, I may see you there." I reply.
Drove the Mobil service station and filled up. I had planned a ride via Noojee and Warragul, but the thick dark clouds heading from the direction quickly changed my plans. Rode back to Churchill and stopped in front of the Saloon bar. Peter Fitzmaurice was waiting out the front and Tony Burns arrived as I was taking my helmet off. We walked in and paid $5 admission. All except me that is. Tony suggested that Phil would be on later in the afternoon, I went back to the bike and rode home. I hadn't done my daily walk, so I thought I'd incorporate the walk with the music.
I set off around 3:00 and walked up to the Saloon Bar. When I arrived, Tony Burns rushes up and says "Wasn't Phil's acoustic set great?" I quickly pointed out that I'd just arrived and hadn't heard a note. I thought I'd missed Phil completely, so I thought I'd better head for home while the weather was still dry. I was quickly assured that Phil would be doing another set, so I stayed.
I had just bought a drink before there was a call for muso's from Dean Bruerton. I was quickly assigned a guitar (Mark Leyshaw's) and I was up on the stage with Dean on drums, Tony Burns on vocals and harmonica and Rob Boothman on bass. Tony quickly reminds me that songs should be in 'G' or 'A'. We started off with one of my songs 'Mr Clapton', followed by 'Long Grey Mare', 'Kansas City' and finally 'Aint No Sunshine'. All went well.
Phil returned a few sets later and finished off the afternoon. Phil has never sounded better. The combination of his Stratocaster and the small Fender Cyber-Champ amplifier had a wonderfully warm, balanced sound.
I noticed Phil bring in his collection of CD's, so I bought his latest CD 'Migrants Dance'. I haven't heard it yet, so I alter this section when I've had an earful. I had Phil autograph the cover. Phil said he still had my CD 'Eleven Bars' and enjoys it. High praise indeed.
A most pleasant afternoon. Since this event happens twice a month, I may give the middle of the month event a more consistent patronage.
P.S. Walking home was quite a task as the rain had set in and the wind was ferocious. I had images of become a Mary Poppins clone :)
From left to right: Dean Bruerton (Drums), Phil
Manning (Guitar), Mark Leyshaw (Guitar), Brendan Deary (Vocals) and Peter Howle
From what I'm told apart from Phil, the band is called ScrubTurkey, a local band.