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 70s 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 Graneys 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 wjos just stickin
round for the hell of it
Stewart Lee the The Sunday Times (UK)
The Royal Dave Graney Show, Rob Roy 12 December
Its 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, cant 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 whats the point,
seriously, fuckin stay at home twiddling with the graphic equaliser,
or the bass/treble knobs, or your own knobs, whatever puts 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 Pereras Rickenbacker and Billy Millers 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 Millers 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, theyre
surprisingly fun to move with.
Jim Bean, Inpress January 2004
Miller, Graney, Moore, Perera
pic 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
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
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
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
tigers 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 wasnt 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 Chettys 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
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
than the odd late evening spin.
- The Barman (from the i94bar, a brilliant hard rock web mag)
The story (and reviews of) the previous album KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE