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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Suzy's Bar & Grill, Hermosa Beach, CA
Purple Orchid, El Segundo, CA

Another day, another two show.

The first show for this afternoon was at Suzy's. This is a big square building (it looks like a double wide store). The stage is in the back of the club, facing the front of the club. Since the new management has taken over, they have made some improvements to the sound system. Although there is no dedicated sound man. The owner turns on and tweaks the system occasionally. The only microphones on stage, were for the vocals. First up, was the Glasgow Tiki Shakers. Their lineup was 1 guitar, 1 bass, 1 drums and no singing. And almost no talking. The bass player is the wife of the guitar player. They played mostly original tunes. I have recorded this band a number of times in the past, and they didn't mind that I was recording them again. 3 Balls Of Fire lineup for this day was 1 guitar (Mike Vernon), 1 bass (Paul Johnson), 1 drum (Dusty Watson) and no vocals. 3 Balls of Fire is normally a band from Texas. The leader of the band (guitarist) is now starting to commute between Texas and California. So he is starting to work with a number of musicians from California. For this performance, his bass player was Paul Johnson (Belairs-normally plays guitar) and the drummer was Dusty Watson (Slacktone). Since this version of 3 Balls of Fire didn't have a lot of time to rehearse together, their set for this show was about mostly covers with a few originals. Since I have recorded all these people many times before, there was no problem with my recording them.

Last up for this show was the Fireballs. For this performance the lineup was George Tomsco (guitar, vocals-Fireballs), Paul Johnson (guitar-Belairs), John Blair (guitar-Jon and the Nightriders), Mike Vernon (bass-3 Balls Of Fire), and Dusty Watson (drums-Slacktone). Even though this was not the regular lineup for this band, all the musicians learned the tunes, so that they could play the regular set that the Fireballs would normally play.

The next show took place at the Purple Orchid Tiki Bar. As the name implies, the club interior is decorated with tikis, bamboo, ... This is a very nice club to hang out in and listen to music. The owners of the club like surf music, and bring in surf bands on a regular basis. I have also seen the owners of the club at other surf music shows. While this is a small local club, there is usually a reasonable sized audience for the music.

I do have a slight problem recording at this club. The stage is small, so I am unable to put my microphones on it. Therefore I place my microphones in front of and slightly to the side of the stage. The stage is near the front door, so there is a lot of traffic. This means that I need to be concerned with people bumping into my microphones. In addition, there is free space in front of the stage where people like to dance. Again, I need to watch for people accidentally bumping into my microphones. Even so, most of the time I am able to get good recordings.

This evenings show was a benefit for the Midnight Mission. While there was no admission charge, there was a raffle with a lot of prizes. The promoter of this show was happy with the money raised. Next up, was the Insect Surfers. Their lineup was 1 drummer, no bassist, 2 guitarists, and no singer. This is NOT their regular lineup. One of the guitarists (Dano) did not show up, so the bass player (Dan), borrowed an extra guitar from the guitarist (Dave) who did show up, and played the guitar through his bass amp. This made for an interesting listening experience. Fortunately Dan is an accomplished guitarist (he leads his own band, the Boardwalkers) who has filled in on guitar in the past for the Insect Surfers. (The Insect Surfers have a policy of having backup musicians for everyone except the leader.) The Insect Surfers played mostly original songs from all three of their studio CDs.

And for those who don't know (and for anyone who reads more than a couple of my show reviews, it is near impossible to not know), I am the official audio recorder and sound archivist for Insect Surfers. I have recorded most of their shows since 1996. My recording of a live performance in June 2004 has become their Lyve In The Valley Of The Sun CD which was released in time for the bands 20th anniversary. These days, I also manage and host their web site, I manage their live show announcements (via a YahooGroup and on their MySpace account) as well as helping with merchandise sales.

Chrome Oxide
have audio recorder will travel

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Last updated by Chrome Oxide on 10/26/2008

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