Monday, 27 June 2011

Review - MADLLIPS are in da house!

Hi Everyone,

this blog is a review of the gig we played last Saturday for a lovely lady's birthday.. It is amazing to be playing all these 50th birthdays for people who just don't look their age at all.
Maybe the fact that they opt to have a LIVE rock band play for them gives an indication of how young they are at heart!

We play many parties, in many places, venues, function rooms, club rooms and even.... yes LOUNGE rooms.

Yep, MADLLIPS can set up in pretty compact little areas and produce a great sound and have everyone dancing the night away.

You still get a great light show with flashing lights, lasers and smoke, even if we can't get the whole lighting rig into the room... and we still have just as much fun.

The great thing is when it's so intimate is that we can dance with you, party with you laugh with you and everyone has fun.

Being wireless we can dance from room to room while we still play music.. it amazes a lot of people, but we've been doing it for a while now.

Thanks Lyn & Tony for looking after us and it was a pleasure playing for you.

Rock on and party hard..


Friday, 24 June 2011

Tales from the road: Losing a fan belt in the middle of freakin’ Nowhere

Playing in a band looks like all fun and frivolity from the front, while we play, sing and dance, making music for happy punters to dance to.
However, just have a little look at the floor along the front of the stage, then along the sides and then at the back of the equipment.
Dozens and dozens of cables are plugged in to a piece of equipment at each end. Then of course unplugged and rolled up at the end of the night.
The equipment is a carefully thought out array of power amps, mixing desks, amplifiers, lighting desks, drum machines, foldback speakers, front of house speakers, effects units, lighting rigs and it goes on and on. This stuff is set up and packed up time and time again, loaded into our vans and lugged from house to gig then back again and again and again.
So that’s the gear… let’s spend a moment on the vehicles which travel all over the place carting all the gear and us crazy muso’s.
For a long time I had a Toyota Hi Ace which we loaded up and the three MADLLIPS boys would head off to the gig.
One fateful night we played a gig at the Growling Frog golf course in Yan Yean. Great gig, but the drive home was not so great. As we’re travelling along I could hear an unusual whistling noise. Now those of you familiar with Hi Ace vans will know that the engine is tucked away under the front seat with what is laughingly called access via the middle seat that lifts up and a little side panel. The ever increasing noise was coming from under our butts and this time it wasn’t the vindaloo! The noise suddenly stopped which we thought was pretty good, until the temperature of the motor started to increase rather quickly.
We pulled over, lifted the seat to realize that we had done a fan belt. We took a moment to ascertain where we were. The middle of freakin’ nowhere with no houses, no street lighting, no passing traffic, no sign of life and now, no bloody fan belt.
Well, we’re resourceful men and this was way before “Bear Grylls” so we set about doing what “McGyver” does with a bit of pipe, a garbage bag and some gaffer tape. Problem was we didn’t need to build a hang glider. But all was not lost! We had gaffer tape (duct tape for all you American TV show watchers), guitar leads and various bits of wire. We attempted to fashion a temporary fan belt but then found we struggled to actually fit it.
Time to ring the RACV. Thank God for mobile phones! The man in the yellow van turned up about an hour later, fitted a fan belt that he told us he just resupplied the day before, charged me $185 to join up on the spot, and we continued on our way.
So we made it home at 4:30am still believing that just a few more minutes and we would have had that guitar lead fitted and singing like a top.
So the moral of the story is, make sure your RACV (or similar) membership is paid up, and ring ‘em straight away if you break down… and ALWAYS keep your sense of humour.
You will look back and laugh!
Rock on

An excited MADLLIPS fan!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


.. well short answer is NEVER,
however if you are playing a fund raiser for some really great people, the theme is  Country & Western and a lot of time has been spent setting up the venue to look like a big ‘ol barn, complete with a cow, a horse and a bucking bull… well why not.
All those years ago when the country lost its mind and bought so many copies of Billy Ray Cyrus’s single to make Achy Breaky Heart number one in the charts, we didn’t add the song to our repertoire because we wanted to maintain some musical integrity.
We capitulated only when we were doing a gig at the Lavington Sports club in Albury and the gig was going ok. However when we took a break and the DJ played that song, the dancefloor was completely full in seconds… I still shake my head with despair.
So we learnt the song… two chords, A and E with a 4 note riff. Took about 3 minutes and that includes the time to open a few stubbies, tune the guitars, plug stuff in and do the crossword because we really didn’t want to play the song, but how do you fight against mass insanity?
We played the song at a couple of gigs after with great success and more to our total delight, the song disappeared almost as fast as it had hit the charts and we couldn’t drop it from our set quickly enough.
So for our friends at Warrandyte we dusted off the hayseeds and cow shit from good ‘ol Achy Breaky Heart and played it for them while they did a line dance routine and great fun was had by everyone.
We would also like to thank Dinah for great organizing and Rolf for taking another great set of photos of the gig as well.
Rock on… and ya’ll come back now… ya hear!

Photos courtesy Rolf Meuller

Monday, 6 June 2011


MADLLIPS played a private function on Saturday night at the historic Studley Park BoatHouse in Kew. Nice old building and a bit tricky for a band to play in. They set up a dance floor for the guests for an extra $300 which left us with the option of setting up in another room which faced the dance floor or half on the dance floor which then took in that room and another room making a larger dancing area… half with dance floor and the rest with carpet.  We opted for the second and went ahead and set up amps, racks, foldback, front of house lighting tree, blacks and back drops. Did a sound check and then went and got changed into our suits for the gig.

Imagine our horror when the owner turns up and says he will not allow anyone to dance on the carpet because women’s high heels will wear it out. If anyone does dance on the carpet, he will cut the power and stop the gig… Not much room to manoeuvre with that kind of statement, and would have been SOOO good if that snippet of information was relayed before we set up. We dutifully unplugged cables, dismantled rigs and man handled speaker boxes and moved it into the other room so we had only the designated dancing area in front of us.

So there we go, starting the gig already hot and sweaty from setting up twice and half knackered as well. Luckily, the couple had a great night. And most people had lots of fun dancing and drinking. There were areas where the older people could escape the dance music and sit and chat. The finger food was ok but we have had better… and as always there was one character that had drunk way too much and demolished the table where the tea, coffee and hot water urn was set up by trying to sit on it.

Anyway, all in all a successful night if not with a shaky start

See ya at the next gig


Have you ever thought about how society changes, technology advances so quickly, tastes change, music changes even the environment is changing within our living memory?

This is a conversation I’ve had with a few people over the years and sadly for some of us, just gets closer and closer.

We all get old and for some weird-arsed reason we Muso’s seem to hang onto our youth a little longer than others. Possibly because we can still do something that we did in our teens and people still like to come and see us play and have a dance to the music we produce. Maybe we can still indulge the inner child… or refuse to let it go! Each generation has its music of choice. My folks love trad Jazz, the next generation were into big band or swing, the next old time rock n roll, then came the guitar bands which is where I cut my teeth with all manner of punk, emo and epic music. After that was a vast range of disco, rap, gangsta rap, hip hop, the DJ craze and well it does go on and on. Just a quick side note, classical music stays classical and covers most generations and hopefully will for a long time to come. I personally love classical music.. perhaps not opera, but I marvel at the abilities and skill of great pianists, violin players, cellists, brass players, woodwind and the list goes on. People playing music written hundreds of years ago on instruments sometimes over a century old… just amazing… again I digress!

So what happens when people retire get older and move into retirement homes and villages? When my grandmother was in her retirement home, the entertainment was bingo and the piano in the corner was only really used to play “knees up mother brown” and “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts”

As the next generations move into the villages they’ll be taking their guitars, Marshall amps, drums, keyboards and all manner of gizmos, gadgets and pedals to make their music for their entertainment. I reckon it’s going to be a lot of fun as long as I can remember which end of the guitar I pluck and I don’t do a knee or a hip leaping off the foldback wedge to hit the final power chord!

Thankfully, there are a lot of people who still want to hear great guitar band music, so I and many other musician friends get to retain some of our distant youth by hammering out those old classic songs that still get people going today. 
So when we all move into the retirement villages the music will be quite different to the music there at the moment.
With the old adage, “…if it’s too loud you’re too old”, now we can say, “…if it’s too loud, turn down you’re hearing aid!”

Rock on

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Hi Everyone,

I have updated my automated Set Calculating spreadsheet. As I make amendments for my own use I will post them for you guys to use.

Apart from there being a "Clear Sheet" button which was a new addition, I have cleaned up the Auto conditional formatting. All that means is that there are no ugly red boxes where the play times still showed but had a red box if it was past the number of sets you were playing. Now it simply only shows the times you need to play. Anything past the number of sets you are going to play is now blank.

Pretty simple... just aesthetic really.

Enjoy and keep it LIVE


Click here to download the amended Set Sheet.