Three cheers for nepotism! In their enduring
quest to play anytime anywhere, The Hummers
entered the end of 2013 buzzing with musical
expectation. The excitement started with an out-
door charity gig at Waverley Oval where 'The
Hummers Lite' (minus Greg, Maurice and David)
wowed the crowd with a single guitar version of
some of their biggest hits. This also saw the debut
of Richard's wireless microphone and the Hummers
new sound desk. Now that they could do their own
sound checks, who knows where they could go?
To the Fox & Lion actually. Returning to the scene of one of their greatest triumphs, the "Summer of Hummer" kicked off with Caz Schall's huge 40th birthday party with the full lineup plus guests (let's face it, if Luke ain't there, we can't sing 'Tie Yor Mother Down" and we love "Tie Your Mother Down"). A short break followed until November and Ruth Rosens 70th birthday at the Double Bay Bowling Club - the home of great live music in the lower Rushcutter area! And who knew septugenerians liked loud music? Having prepared a more sedate set with a few new inclusions (none of which Maurice had rehearsed but we're used to that by now) the audience clamoured for good old Rock 'n Roll and provided one of the most energetic and enthusiastic crowds yet. The rug was well and truly cut (carpet actually, as there was no parquet per se) and a wonderful time was had by all.
The Hummers made headlines late in 2014 when "artistic differences" nearly caused a split. After a much anticipated and highly sucessful debut appearance onstage at the Goulburn International Music Festival, also known as Cash'd Out, singer Schall and guitarist Rosen almost came to blows over whether the 4 hour set should be extended further into the rural night. At least they may have come to blows if Richard would have stopped singing the chorus to Hunters & Collectors "Throw Your Arms Around Me" in the wrong key and David hadn't already packed up and was half way back to Sydney in his wife's damaged Lexus. Fortunately, neither happened and the next day all was forgotten - mostly by Richard, until his wife, and the rest of the band, reminded him. Numerous times.
With peace restored the Hummers were back in the rehearsal studio preparing for Jono and Vitek's 40th extravaganaze at the home of adult contemporary music in the southern hemisphere, the Eastern Hotel. The highlight was Jono's lycra Union Jack jumpsuit confirming his religious affiliation to the chosen people, (see photo opposite) and co-celebrant Dave Vitek
joining the happy six on sax. With no rehearsal, these experienced muso's
added INXS's classic "Never Tear Us Apart" to the repertoire and were so
impressed by their efforts, they played the chorus again as an encore, just
so Dave could wail on his saxamaphone one more time, to uproarious
applause from the 100 strong guests, resplendant in their costumes!
The year ended with the second leg of the Hummers World Tour, this time
in Young, the cherry capital of Australia, and the joint was ripe for a party!
With Chris Brown racing in from Canberra to be the Hummers' Jimmy Nicol
whilst MBM climbed the corporate ladder in Singapore, 150 guests of all
ages grooved to the latest offerings from the boys. The gig nearly didn't
happen when the power went down to the "stage" (read: back of truck) for 45 minutes before the sound check (which subsequently didn't occur). But sanity, and power was restored and as the sun set slowly in the west and the insects flew in from...everywhere, The Hummers punched out two sets of fun to an enthusiastic and well lubricated crowd deep into the night. "We love you Hummers. You Rock" shouted Mrs Schall, Richard's mum. And she was right. Bring on 2015.