London is rife with displaced Australians, yet the latest album by their beloved king of pop, the resilient cult figure Dave Graney, is available only as a sporadic import or from this website. Like Nick Cave, Graney began his career in the late 70’s antipodean post punk scene, but abandoned bone shaking noise, learnt to sing showbiz style and became an Entertainer. The Brother Who Lived plunders various styles. From playful funk to slow burning blues, allbound by Graney’s ever evolving grasp of lyrical drama, comic timing and theatrical personas. As the slyly self referential "I am you humble servant" explains: "what this situation needs is a veteran from a strange land, a crank, someone with nothing to prove and nothing to lose, someone wjo’s just stickin ‘round for the hell of it…"
Stewart Lee the The Sunday Times (UK)

The Royal Dave Graney Show, Rob Roy 12 December
It’s only God knows how many years since the first technically controlled sound-amplification, and really, we should confidently understand this important craft. Alas, many of us, even those involved in the Business of Sound, can’t tell their middle ear from their still-weeping palm blisters. The good people at The Rob Roy do not fall into the latter category – the room, the speakers, their engineer, all schmicko. Gigs sound bright, warm and gainly. None of the overtly-amped-up pole-swinging, bass-blasting distortion you ear at so many venues. Perhaps this is an irritating whimsy and preoccupation of the audiophile set, maybe, but what’s the point, seriously, fuckin’ stay at home twiddling with the graphic equaliser, or the bass/treble knobs, or your own knobs, whatever put’s a smile on your dial, if none of this strikes a chord with you.
The Royal Dave Graney Show was awesomely clear, immediate and cast in sonorous tones from the git-go. At once lyrical and decadent, his set swayed languidly between soft-rock lullabies and riveting rhythm and blues adventures (Just too hip a particular gem). The tonal nuances between Stuart Perera’s Rickenbacker and Billy Miller’s old strat were lucid and striking. Both the Toshiro Mifune lookalike (Perera) and the sallow-faced, cyptically-boned Mossie double (Miller) imparted a mellifluous and delectably tense collaboration, soloing in turn with style and grace. Hard-driven, dirty-edged Rickenbacker hooks bolted and baited the tightly-wound sassy licks of Miller’s pro-worn strat.
Two-thirds through the set, the music drifted to familiarly desolate Tom Waits-influenced soliloquies, and we were as Mr. Graney lilted hilariously, "in the eye of the vibe".
The Royal Dave Graney Show is local, lyrical, and plays tunes with substance. We were dancing sheepishly in the corner admist a compass of pelvises pointed satisfyingly towards the stage, as Mr. Graney and co. poured themselves like hot mollasses into our ears. What is it exactly with the unisex pelvic beer stance in Aussie pubs? Surely this was toe-tapping, funk-grindingly good enough to boogie to? One wonders what less-local bands make of this sort of reception of stunned mullets, beer poised in hand, hips thrust forward, feet evenly apart – are you enjoying yourselves?
The show was a standout highlight of 2003. Check them out this year, they’re surprisingly fun to move with.
Jim Bean, Inpress January 2004

 

RDGS 2004
Miller, Graney, Moore, Perera
pic Tony Mahony

"No doubt the kids will take shots at Graney for this latest collection of ruthless social commentaries that range from mischievous to scathing-'cause he's an easy target. But Graney doesn't care too much about what the kids think. He has such a rich body of experience and achievement behind him, you're never going to push him over. So why do he and Clare Moore keep making music , holed away in their hillside Ponderosa? Because they still have something to say.
"what this situation needs is a veteran from a strange land/ a crank. Someone with nothin to prove and nothin to lose" he observes on "I am your humble servant", typically and charmingly switch hitting between arrogance and self depreciation. Amen!
So here comes our golf buggy driving prophet. Graney and Moore are leading by example in "the Brother Who Lived"; nurturing organically home grown sounds and assembling them with educated but also adventurous ears into unfashionably honest songs. Songs that , in their reminiscences and sharp contemporary observations , always speak with intelligence and passion".
Martin Jones, Inpress

 


art tony mahony

" Taking another step towards being a Vegas lounge act. Dave Graney again proves he can pass as a modern Australian version of a member of the Rat Pack.
The Brother Who Lived bears the same languid sense of humour and smooth, dulcet tones as the work of those famed American crooners.
While the albums title track may start with a burst of electric guitar , it quickly settles into consumnate lounge pop and leads the way for All our friends were stars with its breathless harmonies.
Surrounding the charismatic ringmaster, Graneys fellow musicians know just when to sound loose and relaxed and when to kick in and lift things a notch.
Danielle O'Donoghue, Melbourne Herald Sun

"Responding to what neighbors described as a 'beastly disturbance,' Victoria Police forcibly entered a house in East Richmond yesterday to find the residence virtually empty, except for a Bengal Tiger and the body of an unidentified man in his mid-to-late thirties.
After a struggle that left one officer with a slightly crushed skull, the jungle cat was detained and transferred to local police headquarters, where it remained unstable, a condition marked by the
occasional deafening roar (it is also hungry and quite ferocious). To make the investigation easier, police have been diligently scouring the property for potential evidence. Items seized so far include a 1920s inoperable egg timer, a cup of sand, a CD called The Brother Who Lived by the Royal Dave Graney Show; and an extra large vibrating egg. After labeling and packaging the evidence, Constable Chetty Poon returned to the station to catch up on paperwork.
Sometime after midnight, Chetty was alone save for a 190kg Bengal Tiger mumbling in a nearby cage. Chetty looked at the CD before him and scratched his chin. He ran his thumb over the saintly cover art. There was a time when he too wanted to be a professional riverboat gambler, decked out in a powder blue suit with an unscrupulous moustache and a broken halo hanging over a crooked felt hat. This Royal Dave man looked virile, exalted, etc. Chetty played the CD as high as it could go, meanwhile monitoring any changes in the big cat's behaviour. Not exactly tiger music, thought Chetty, but it was definitely 'animal'.
Extremely hairy rhythm and blues beast wearing pop sequins over its extra rude bits. Royal Dave alternated between a scabrous Screamin’ Jay Hawkins' growl and a more medicinal Marvin Gaye soul kiss. The sexy backing vocals made Chetty rock in his chair excitedly. He thought of Playboy.
The Bengal tiger, on the other hand, responded best when a few slashing, carnivorous chords were fed with distortion, unleashing a stormy growl of appreciation. The towering title track was one such tune, as was the blistering blues stomp of Midnight to Dawn. The guitar noises occur frequently and after awhile, Chetty became rather unnerved by the tiger’s vocalising, eventually prodding the beast through the cage with a broom handle. It was then that Chetty observed murder in the tiger's eyes. The beast began marching around the cell, seething, anxious.
Chetty loved three songs more than his job and he sure loved police work, busting all them crims whilst slurping coffees. He loved All our friends were stars but wasn’t sure why, perhaps it was due to its luminescence. The funky-ass, two-note riff on Like a millionaire certainly brought a gleam to his eye, while Twilight of a villain is one of those early morning ballads Chetty could kind of get lost in and he did, falling into a deep trance. In that short space and time (4 minutes 34 seconds) the tiger managed to bend the steel bars wide enough to make an escape. After a deadly pounce, the tiger playfully juggled the appendages that once hung from Chetty’s body, then made a departure out the front door, heading south on Church Street. The tiger was last seen at the corner of Church and Swan at 2.27am erroneously waiting for a tram.

Shane Moritz , Beat Magazine
If you think you know Dave Graney-rock'n'roll's master of hipster cool-think again. The once -King of Pop has become the Brother Who Lived, and he's bringing his "evil and sinister sound" to scare the hell out of your post irony blues. On their latest monster of a jazz-funk-blues-boss nova-guitar-pop record, the Royal Dave Graney Show go from transcendent power rock to the hard boiled cocktail, with everything from latin hip hop folk to film noir atmospherics in between.The man is still swingin'; alright....can you dig the experience?
Luke Goodsell, Drum magazine


Graney,Pickvance,Perera,Miller, Moore
pic tony mahony

The critics who've dubbed this "lounge pop" aren't listening hard enough. There's a chance they never made it past the opening "I'm Seeing Demons", where an edgy vocal should have given the game away. Not lounge, more like doing laps around the sunken island bar of a very whacked-out nightclub where rock dinosaurs once ruled the world.
The latin rhythms and acoustic guitar that underpin most of these tracks mask a dark heart and a hovering rock influence. These are the usual Graney musings and observations - Rock Star as the Great People Watcher. While it would be tempting to attribute this to recent forays with the Moodists - the old band for Dave (or David, as is his current preferred moniker) Graney and drummer Clare Moore - it would also probably be wrong. It doesn't pay to try and second guess royalty.
"Heavy entertainment" reads the subtext on the CD slick, and in some ways this album IS at least a mirror image of 1995's "The Soft 'n' Sexy Sound", whose lush textures were more Bacharach than Birthday Party. They're not altogether missing, but on cuts like the title track and "There's the Royal Troll" the guitars of Bill Miller and Stuart Perera give proceedings a rocky edge, against the always nimble rhythms of Clare Moore and bassist Adele Pickvance.
Variety remains a watchword: "All Our Friends Were Stars", for example, takes things back to the loungeroom, but "Like a Millionaire" is a jaunty walking
blues and "I Am Your Humble Servant" an exercise in folk narrative. The various incarnations of Dave - sorry David - Graney pre-date the lounge music fad by several years and many shades of powder blue safari suit, so let's dump the labels (except those inside the collars of shirts that say "Polyester-rayon: Do not iron") and listen up.
There's no pretending that this fare is going to satisfy every I-94 Barfly but those who know the Graney muse will be well pleased. We'll be giving it more
than the odd late evening spin.
- The Barman (from the i94bar, a brilliant hard rock web mag)
3/4

 

The story (and reviews of) the previous album KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE

You can find an interview with Dave on the Sand Pebbles site here.

notices for the following album Hashish and Liquor (2005)

 

you've been in my mind? (2012)

rock'n'roll is where I hide? (2011)
the remake/remix/restringing/remodel that was supermodified?
(2010)

We wuz curious? (2008)

Keepin it unreal? (2006)


 

a short bio of Clare and David