"Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum" was officially launched at "The Rainbow Hotel" in Fitzroy on the 4th February, 2006 (photos here). The enthusiastic crowd demonstrated their fine dancing style to the pounding "bush surf" of Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum. The first 100 lucky punters received the inaugural "Asylum badges". These hand made treasures (keep your eye on e-Bay...) were not the only gifts bestowed by the band on the night. The generosity of Instrumental Asylum knows no bounds as evidenced by the magnificent prizes distributed throughout the night.
The band was ably assisted throughout the night by the "Asylum Hostesses", Jayne and Margaret. The delectable duo distributed badges and prizes and sold CDs to the more solvent sector of the audience. (Speaking of solvents, a fair few were consumed over the course of the night... No names at this point.) Highlight of the night (no prizes for guessing who's writing this) was the outing of bassist Nikki Scarlett: mild mannered musician by night, wannabe evil scientist by day. Resplendent in lab coat and safety glasses Nikki set the tone for a rousing rendition of "Surfing the Synchrotron". During this tune Asylum Hostess Margaret dished out the fabulous synchrotron frisbees donated by our friends at the Australian Synchrotron (check out their website and "be enlightened"). Most of the glassware survived the experience.
The band also featured some very special guests for the more complex numbers. Drummer, Denis Close, contrary to aural appearances, is not possessed of multiple pairs of arms. In order to fully realise the percussive vision of this "Maestro of the Maracas", help was required. This help came in the form of our percussive chorus girls: Elspeth and Jasmine (aka "The Two Bob Watches"). Elspeth was entrusted with the sounding of the gong (imagine the start of a J.R. Rank production, but without the sweaty chap) in Surfing the Synchrotron and later on treated us to a particularly memorable cow bell solo. Her lead triangle in Kangaroux also sets the bench mark for this vastly underestimated instrument.
Co-conspirator, Jasmine Mahon, was persuaded to break the instrumental spell by singing a wonderful version of From Russia With Love, instantly transporting the assembled mass to the frozen steppes (with vodka martinis in hand, of course!). Jasmine also tapped the primal beast that lives within us all with her revved up version of Mean, Mean Man in the final set, wringing out the last few dance steps from even the tiredest punter.
It ended as all nights must, with happy punters weaving their way home and a tired band rejoicing in the fact that they had actually been paid for having that much fun (don't tell anyone that). Thanks to everyone who came and made it the fantastic night it was and special thanks to those who helped us, not only on the night but in preparation (in no particular order):