Bruce's Diary

Dec 2018

I know I haven't been that diligent on the blog these days. Not sure who even reads this. I guess it's good to write down your thoughts & reflect on your work life. 2018 for me was a growing year. Gigs came & went but I think they're still building. Finding the right crowd is few & far between. I still think that I have the best versatile show going around. I can fit in to most rooms. But when you get the audience that responds well & you can build the night is still what I love the most. There are artists who may have a better promo or have more followers on social media or who sing & play better but over all these years of playing it still comes back to entertainment & engagement. If I have an audience that wants to have a good time then I'm your guy. I'll provide a few laughs, great songs as well as some terrible ones that we all secretly love, maybe some costume changes, a singalong here & there but an overall fun night. So come along to a gig but don't just sit & watch. Be part of a night to remember. You, the audience are part of what makes it fun. Bring your daggiest dance or something where you're not afraid to expose yourself to ridicule. I do it on a nightly basis & want you guys to do the same. Let's be silly together & have a laugh. 

Jun 2017

This year has felt much more positive with live music. Gigs are coming back. I only had 1 venue left on the central coast but now that's increased to 5. 

Had to deal with the passing of my beloved mother in April. She was 81. She lived a very full life but the last couple of years were sad to see such a strong woman wither away. It was a relief in the end as she had no quality of life. Still never met a woman like her. She got me motivated & stuck by me through all the bad times over the years. She was my rock & I miss her dearly. R.I.P Mum.

Dec 2016

It's been a weird sort of a year. Still doing a fair few gigs but felt like it wasn't the best year as far as consistency. Live music in general felt like it was dying as venues closed or didn't put anything on. Sort of glad to see the back of 2016.

Dec 2015

Posting a half century in December & celebrating with friends. Nowhere near as huge as my 40th but had a crack.

Straight after that I flew to Sri Lanka for a holiday & caught up with an old mate of mine. 

Been a pretty good year with the gigs.

Jul/Dec 2014

Well after nearly 3 & a half years, my personal dramas are over. Woohoo! It certainly took it's toll on my gigs during that time. It's great to be back & able to move on & look forward to doing what I do best. Entertaining! My gigs have been going amazingly well. I'm putting the effort in & the audiences are lapping it up. I know if I'm having fun then the crowd is too. See you at a gig soon.

Jan/Jun 2014

Still battling away but it's getting close to being over. Had a residency every Thursday afternoon at Manly Leagues for 6 months. That was great & got to know the locals & shared a few laughs over some silly tunes. Good to be be back gigging on the Northern Beaches as I've met some wonderful people there over my years of playing.

Jul/Dec 2013

Hopeful of a breakthrough of all this personal hardship I've been going through the past 2 & a 1/2 years. 

Jan/Jun 2013

I've had a couple of great corporate & wild party gigs during this time. I'm in a rebuilding phase which is progressing slowly but it is happening. The new website I built with help from an old mate. Thanks Hugh.

Jul/Dec '12

My Father passed away on Aug 30 aged 82. I had a very good relationship with him and we both shared a life long love of music. He was still singing in The Mentones male vocal group in Wagga up till the last few months. We even looked a bit the same in his younger days. I miss him but happy that he led a very full life. R.I.P Digger. Thanks for all the messages of condolence from friends & fans.

Jan/Jun 2012

My Maloney's gig in the city ended after a 2 year residency. This Winter has been the slowest in 21 years of playing. Still going through probably the hardest time in my life but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger they say. I just want all this personal stuff to be over so I can start fresh. The one good thing is that the gigs I've been doing have been great. I guess it's my outlet.

Oct/Dec '11

It's been the toughest year I've ever had. So hard to be up and happy when you've got personal crap to deal with that wont go away in a hurry. That's life, I guess. Hopefully on to bigger and brighter things in the not too distant future. Hope you all had a great Christmas and may 2012 be a great year for us all. Stay safe over the holidays and hope to see you at a few gigs.

Jul/Sep '11

The final Coogee Bay gig was awesome. Had such a good night. So many old regulars were down there. Each doing their favourite song.We did shots and played some tunes and had such a laugh. I got reports of some very bad hangovers the next day but said it was well worth it. It still seems a shame when pubs and clubs go for cheaper acts rather than pay for some decent entertainment.  

Apr/Jun '11

Life throws some whoppers at you sometimes. These past few months haven't been my best. My gigs suffered for a while but I think I've dragged myself out of my slump. Don't ask! Just found out I'm losing my Coogee Bay gig after more than 6 years. Was far from happy the way they went about it. Not only was there no pay rise in that time but they offered $100 less per night. A pub as big as that downsizing after building up a rather big following. On my 20 year gig, I'd like to thank everyone who came along to help me celebrate and for your support over the years. It was a great night.

Jan/Mar 2011

Attention everybody! I'm having a big celebration one-off gig on SAT, MARCH 26 at PJ Gallaghers (the old General Bourke Hotel) Parramatta. It's to mark 20 years as "They Call Me Bruce" performing solo in Sydney and around Australia. As a young kid from Wagga moving to the big city to have a crack at the music scene and surviving 20 years (and still going) is a good enough reason to throw a party. The invite is mainly for fans of past and present who used to (and still do) come to my gigs. I know it might not be in your area but it's the only one I'm doing so would love to see you there. Come up and say hi and tell me where you used to see me and a story that goes with it. If I played at your wedding or function or anything like that then come along. Try and get in contact with people you used to hang out with at my gigs that you might not see anymore. Use this date as a reunion of your own so it will make your night even bigger. Send me an email and let me know you're coming so I have an idea of numbers. See you there!

Oct/Dec '10

It seems to get quieter every year around this time. After the footy finishes and before xmas there's a lull even though the temp is warming up. Coogee Bay Hotel is stuffing me around a bit and put a band comp on my regular Wed night. I've been there 6 years now mostly on Wed nights. I've just found out they're putting me back to every 2nd Wed in 2011. I'm far from happy about it. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and safe New Year. Look forward to seeing you at a gig somewhere in 2011. Come up and say hi.

Jul/Sep '10

Really flat out with work these past few months. Was back to doing 5 gigs a week which starts to push the voice too much. Luckily I got through that unscathed. I'm back to managing the amount of work a bit better. Other than that it looks all pretty steady till the end of the year.

Apr/Jun '10

Had to go on a strict diet for about 7 weeks to drop the 6kg from xmas and the holidays. Finally got there but hate having to diet cos your taste buds miss all the good stuff. I finally won a squash comp for the 1st time in years and it felt great. On the gig front, it's been flat out. I think I must be the most worked muso in Sydney over the past 19 years. I'll have to look back over the records and see exactly when I started and have a 20 year anniversary party next year. 

Jan/Mar 2010

A new decade rolls around and they are definitely going quicker than they used to. There was no let off in Jan and had some great gigs. In February I had a well deserved holiday to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for 3 weeks. I even got a bit of a tan which is rare for a whitey like me. Not having to look after my voice like I normally do, I hit the booze on a daily basis and ate like a pig on the buffet. Needless to say I gained about 6 kgs. I came straight back into squash comp and playing terrible and moving like a sloth. It takes so long to lose the weight these days. Hope everybody is well and look forward to seeing you at a gig sometime soon.

Oct/Dec '09

It's always very busy this time of the year and there was no exception again. I was so close to blowing out my voice again. I took on too much work again and old habits die hard. When you're self employed you take as much work when it's on offer. For me it's about getting enough time for my voice to recover. I was very lucky that I had a last minute cancellation when my voice was about to go. I just scraped by. It's all good now.

Jul/Sep '09

The rest of the year is all booked up pretty solid. If you ever want to hire me for your function just remember to give me plenty of notice. Some people book up to a year in advance. I think 4 months in advance and you should be ok but a lot of agents are doing 6 months in advance. If it has to be on a specific date then book as far ahead as you want to be safe.

May/Jul '09

Half way through the year and it's going fast as usual. Gigs and voice have been holding up well. One thing that's bugging me is the new policing of the alcohol laws. I've had to stop playing at Wests Leagues Club cos' the licensing police have come down on them hard regarding the serving of drinks to intoxicated people. They have RSA marshall's appointed and throwing out people who are a little merry and having a good time. This is ridiculous! I'm fine when it comes to tossing out people that are too drunk and annoying but when people are having fun it's interpreted as being intoxicated. I'm always looking for people like that at my shows. The fun ones who want to get up and dance and sing and do something funny. We play at Pubs and Clubs that serve alcohol but don't want us to get drunk. I think businesses will go broke if they only serve 2 or 3 drinks per person per night. Just because there are a few idiots out there who abuse the laws doesn't mean that they should spoil it for the rest of us. I'm off my soapbox now.

Mar/Apr '09

Hi all, everything's going great. Plenty of gigs around considering this economic climate. The last time this happened back in the 90's it didn't effect me then. When recession hits people tend to go out and drink a few beers and listen to music to cheer them up. So if you need some cheering up then come along to a gig. Come up and say hi.


Jan/Feb 2009

I think I spoke too soon regarding my voice and not overdoing it. Even though it wasn't as bad as last year, I still did too many gigs without having the right amount of rest. I had to take a week off and not talk during that whole time. I did 15 days last year. I thought it would come back strong but it was still bad. I was wondering what else I could do. I really started working hard on getting my falsetto back and did some more practice. The week after that it came back really strong. Very happy now. I also had a stomach virus that put me out of action over the Australia Day Long Weekend. I've been going through the wars but so glad to be back fit and well.

Dec '08

Very busy Chrissy period with just the right amount of breaks so I wouldn't overdo it like this time last year. Coogee Bay is always great to play at in Summer being a beach pub and with all the backpackers. To summarise this year I would say it has definitely been up and down. My voice was worn out from too many gigs in Dec, Jan, and so I had to blow out a lot of gigs in Feb. It came back strong but then I lost my mid week residency at Coogee for 3 months and gigs were drying up. Got Coogee back and other gigs came up. The year finished in a very positive way. I was shocked that the economy had affected my industry. In the past when recession hits, people still want to go out and have a beer and forget about their troubles. I think a lot of it was hyped up by the media and pubs and clubs got scared so they cut back. Let's hope 2009 gets the people back into going out again. Thanks to all friends and fans of mine for the support. It is always appreciated, even if I don't get the chance to come up and say hi every time. Have a great New Year.

Aug/Nov '08

Work has picked up again even though it's a tough economic climate. I seem to be playing at the same venue as The Radiators lately. I did a support for them at The Ettamogah Pub then we were on the same night at North Ryde RSL then again at Doyalson RSL a few weeks later. I hope to see you at a gig soon around this festive time of year.

Apr/Jul '08

Wow, I've been slack. Sorry about the lack of updates. Things have really changed since last time I wrote. Work has died off in a big way. It's been happening to a lot of musos for a while now but has finally hit me. I lost the Coogee Bay gig I've had for 3 or 4 years. One of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me was that my regular fans got a petition going to get me back there and got 400 signatures. I was amazed and also felt so privileged by it. That's the nicest thing fans have ever done. I thank you all for your efforts and it worked. A lot of it was organised by a fan site on Facebook. If you ever want to join then look up They Call Me Bruce on Facebook. That way you can upload your photos of nights out at a gig. Wintersun in Coolangatta was still the best gig of the year. That many people just make the gig so much fun. I hope this slowing down of the economy doesn't last too long. It's definitely the worst it's been in the 18 years I've been playing in Sydney. 

Mar '08

All my gigs have been going great since I came back from holidays. I really should be having a break regularly. As you probably know, some gigs work better than others. Without putting too much wasted energy onto a crowd that don't seem that interested. I'm just trying a little harder to win them over. I'm still not happy that the NRL has 2 games on a Friday night. It's hard enough having to compete with one game of footy, let alone 2. The other thing is that managers and owners of venue's should be turning the tv's off in the same room as entertainment. If they want to watch the footy then have it in another room. Not trying to please everyone by having everything in the same room. See the difference when they're separated. There are too many distractions for the audience these days. If you have the room set up right and no distractions, ie pool tables, pokies, tab, tv's there's no reason why the room can't rock. People have too many options these days which negates the potency of the entertainment. Here ends my lesson. Just having a little whinge. I'm ok now! Ha

Feb '08

Just finished 15 days of not speaking a word. This is a lot harder than you could imagine. It's very frustrating when you can't communicate to people properly. They also treat you differently. They speak louder to you as if you can't hear them. The end result is that my voice feels completely rested and I feel  refreshed. Looking forward to getting back into the gigs with renewed vigour. I did my 1st gig last night and my voice felt great. It was so tired before. I'm not going to push it like that again. Thanks for the texts and email support of well wishers. I hope to see you at a gig soon.

Jan 2008

Well I guess it had to catch up with me sometime. All the work I was doing during Nov, Dec has worn my voice out. The Qld Tour just capped it off. My voice just hasn't been recovering. I went to see the same Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor who operated on me exactly 4 years ago. He did the camera down my throat and confirmed it. He said it's tired and inflamed and desperately needs a rest. I cancelled some gigs to give it a bit of a rest but that wasn't enough. He said it's best to have 2 weeks off and not to speak at all. So I've cancelled all gigs from 17th Feb till 4th March. It should all return to normal after that. I'm sorry if any of you were planning to come see me during that time but I need to have a rest. I haven't had a proper holiday in over 4 years.

Oct/Dec '07

Even though the industry seems to be getting quieter, I must admit I've had a very busy year. I've been working 4 nights a week for most of the time. The last 3 months of 07 have been exceptionally busy. I did some corporate gigs for some big companies like Bunnings and Airbus. Coogee Bay Hotel has been picking up as it normally does over the Summer but there's not as many backpackers as usual. It's great to see so many people out late every Wednesday. Just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and may 2008 be a rocking year. Thanks once again to everyone that's supported me by turning up and getting involved or just listening and appreciating. Go 08!

Jul/Sep '07

Smack bang in the middle of the footy season and I don't like the way the NRL televises 2 games on a Friday night. All the muso's hate it. We get ignored or our times are pushed back so late before we start. I played a few Monday night gigs at the Novatel at Homebush before the footy fans went over to the game. I've had plenty of work on but I organised a muso lunch to catch up with a few of the other solo/duo acts and we all agreed that it's getting quieter. It's something to be concerned about. The audience has a job to do as much as the performer. If ever you're out and someone is playing then give them a round of applause at the end of each song. People don't realise how much it can lift their performance. The performer then puts more energy into their songs and the night builds up and ultimately everyone has a good night. A lot of people have forgotten the etiquette that should go to the performer as they have put many hours into perfecting their show. I know how much I rely on the crowds energy to feed off. Many friends come to a gig and want me to put on my full show when the audience isn't giving anything back. It makes it so difficult and most musos will agree.   

Apr/Jun '07

I started at a few new venues like The Peachtree, Gaels Club, Wallacia, Northies, Brewhouse, Collingwood etc. I also lost a few with some ending entertainment like 2 Blues, Red Cow, Royal at Leichhardt. Just got back from one of my favourite gigs of the year up in Qld at The Coolangatta Hotel. The annual Wintersun Festival was again a huge success. I love the crowds that come back each year as well as the locals. I had too much to drink, especially on the Sunday session and was so hungover the next day. It was worth it though.

Jan/Mar 2007

As usual, the Summer has flown by with hardly anytime down at the beach. I did have my Coolangatta Qld gigs which went down very well. Australia Day at The Orient was also fantastic. Everybody dresses up in their patriotic colours and I can sing most of the gig with Aussie classics. To finish off with, I Still Call Australia Home and the crowd almost lifting the roof off. That's my 2nd year in a row there and I hope it continues. A lot of the same people came back this year and they said it was the best time ever.

Nov,Dec 2006

I had to cancel a whole week of gigs at an unfortunate time. It was Melbourne Cup week. I had a staph infection in my finger that got quite bad and started spreading up my hand. They had to put me in hospital for 4 days on a drip with some heavy antibiotics to kill off the infection. It wasn't a pleasant experience. My finger has healed and haven't lost any mobility so I can still play my guitar.