The Best Dressed Chicken In Town

Dave Graney has been written about, at some length, on this blog over the years, so regular readers will know of my admiration for his work. Indeed, I do see it as a bit of a crusade on my part to get his extensive back catalogue known about, and shared with other like minded music loving souls out there. In light of my ramblings, and regular features on podcasts and radio broadcasts, there has been contact between he and I over recent years. So, when he advised me he was coming over to the UK to play at All Tomorrows Parties and asked could there be the chance of a gig in the Manchester area I was, of course, keen to do something. The chance to actually see Dave play live in this part of the world is rare,  so a few messages were interchanged and the wonderful Una Baines made it happen.

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Another by-product of the trip was the chance of a session on Radio 6 with Marc Riley and through the sterling work of Ian “Moet” Moss this was also put in place. Dave had played two nights in Scotland the preceding week and arrived in Manchester, and at Salford Quays more accurately,with the ever present Clare Moore and Stu Thomas, and, special guest, Malcolm Ross, to play three songs in session with Marc. A nice aperitif for what was to follow on the Thursday night in Salford.

The Eagle Inn nestles just of the Inner Relief Route between Manchester and Salford, in an industrial area. The pubs’ proximity to the Blueprint Recording Studios makes it a haven for post recording session musicians wanting to whet their whistle with a beer before heading home. It is a relatively recent edition to the selection of well run music venues (alongside Gullivers and The Castle) and it is one of the best small venues on the fringes of the city centre area. It seemed to be the perfect place for an intimate gig with Dave Graney and the mistLY.  The unique concert room ,which is essentially is a hollowed out Victorian terraced house, adding to the experience.

With regular band member Stu Perrera back in Australia old sparring partner Malcolm Ross (Josef K,  Orange Juice, Aztec Camera)  was brought into the band to create the essential second guitar sound which makes the mistLY band so vital.  Malcolm’s history with The Moodists and the early line-up of the Coral Snakes allowed for a set-list which covered most of Dave’s career.

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But i’m getting ahead of myself. The evening kicked off with a solo set from Franco Bandini. On acoustic guitar and piano Franco worked through his recent EP release on German Shepherd Records, a cover, and a couple of newer songs. Franco’s intense delivery and passionate tunes were received well by the crowd. He is working on parallel material at the moment and news of his forthcoming ventures will be shared in due course.

Having seen Poppycock the Saturday before at Dulcimer in Chorlton I knew what to expect. Once again they did not disappoint. The eight strong line-up worked its way through recent material, the latest single,  tracks from The Fates album, and an excellent cover  of Lou Reeds “There Is No Time”(from the New York album). The collective gets increasingly stronger with, notably, excellent vocal performances, and memorable tunes. The beauty of the band is their mix of stripped back VU style rock with a traditional music edge running alongside.  If you are in the Greater Manchester area and you have  not seen them live yet I suggest you ought to go out of your way to catch them.

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On stage promptly at 10pm the incredibly dapper Dave Graney lead us through an hour and fifteen minutes of his best material. His assured and witty delivery, and a rhythm section with a clear telepathic understanding was wonderful to witness live, the added bonus was the unique opportunity to see Malcolm Ross working with the band. With two Moodists songs “Chad’s Car” and “Frankies Negative”, a number of Coral Snakes tunes, including a personal favourite “I Got Myself A Beautiful Nightmare” and a spine tingling “Night of the Wolverine”, plus a good selection of Dave’s “solo” material including a sultry “Body Snatcher Blues”, “Death By A Thousand Sucks”, the excellent “Everything Was Legendary With Robert” from the “Fearful Wiggings” album, and recent single “I’m A Good Hater”, Graney fans were treated to a special evening. Closing song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Where I Hide” and encore “You’re Just Too Hip, Baby”, a special request for Una, brought out the best in the band with two classic Graney compositions closing a very special evening.

Those fortunate enough to be attending ATP in Prestatyn are in for a treat. After that Dave and the band  are off to France for a run of gigs, then Amsterdam, and then back to the UK a couple of nights at the Betsey Trotwood in London, before heading home to Melbourne. If you get the chance to catch any of these gigs I suggest you make the effort.

Thanks to Dave, Clare, Stu, Malcolm, Una, Sam and Moet for making this happen.

I Will Have Always Have Been Here Before

Dave Graney & the mistLY

Play mistLY for me – live recordings vol 1

Bandcamp

23rd February 2015

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One can assume from the “vol. 1” part of the title that this is the start of a series of releases of recordings made by Dave, Clare & Stu with appearances from Stuart Perera and Mark Fitzgibbon on some tracks. Given the quality of this release one would hope so. Another milestone in a now legendary and very productive career.

Dave says “a collection of live recordings from shows over the last few years. Shows in Adelaide, Newcastle, Katoomba and Melbourne. Featuring different instrumentation and approaches to songs. Recorded on a hard disc recorder sitting in the rooms where we played. No direct feeds from a desk or mics on any instruments, just a stereo track from somewhere in the ROOM. No overdubs attempted. It’s all here just as it happened.”

There’s a fine mix of recent and back catalogue material here with a good nod towards Coral Snakes era tunes. The “audience” feel of the recordings does give a sense that you are actually there in the room enjoying the laid back ambience of the proceedings. The arrangements are both fascinating, effortless and rich giving a new life to a lot of the compositions. The sequencing of the material allows for a seamless listening experience, in some instances the transitions between the songs are little works of art in their own right with a feel of the tone poems of Miles Davis on “Get Up With It” in one instance.  The occasional witty inter-song commentary is worth the price of admission alone.

The highlight for me is a funky stroll through a complete reconstruction of “The Stars Baby, The Stars” which takes an already excellent song to a completely new place.

Many artists tend to try and replicate their album music on a live setting so that the audience gets an almost carbon copy of what is on their dansette/I-phone. Dave stands resolutely apart from that methodology and continually re-invents his work. In the same spirit as the Graney & Moore release “Keepin’ It Unreal”  from a few years back this is an excellent 64 minutes of quality music. Lovers of studio perfect audio capture will probably get hot under the collar about the occasional lack of fidelity, if they do they are missing the point completely.

Roll on Vol.2. say I.

Aural Delights Radio Show – 11th July 2012

Listen to the show here

1 Fast Years Like It Or Not Women Bandcamp
2 Craig Finn Apollo Bay Clear Heart Full Eyes Wikipedia
3 Dave Graney and the MistLY We Need A Champion You’ve Been In My Mind Official Webpage
4 Gunn-Truscinski Duo Taksim II Sand City
5 Led Er Est A Darkness In My Soul White Towel Ants Official Webpage
6 Suburban Sundays Fade to Black Demo Track My Space
7 Moff Skellington Greeting Card No 2 Condolences Thorny Conduits Official Webpage
8 Moff Skellington Song of the Mackintosh Lady Thorny Conduits
9 Dave Graney and the MistLY Cop This Sweetly You’ve Been In My Mind
10 Tucán Tocayo Empatitis Bandcamp
11 Ded Rabbit Ice Cream Ice Cream EP Official Webpage
12 Smilex X Single Official Webpage
13 The Stowaways Changing Times Single Official Webpage
14 Fast Years Stolen Love Women