- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
Friday, March 9, 2012
a trip to hobart -melbourne review story- spiegeltent sunday march 25th
This article appears in the latest issue of the Melbourne Review. In edited form of course as I lairize a bit too much here. It is the full wack again here though...
Hobart.Its a different joint every time you step onto the island. Every time you turn around! Sometimes it’s a very sophisticated scene, other times, a world of sleepy thugs. Not very scary though as , you know, I’m from Melbourne. The flight over was strange. I walked up the gangway and watched the pilot washing the window of the plane. At least he didn’t get a squeegee out like he was in a gas station. Two extremely tall men were last to get on. A voice from nowhere was announcing their presence as they walked up the plane. They squeezed into a couple of sets back behind and across from me. Then the “voice” appeared at eye level to me. A Person Of Restricted Growth. With a very loud, deep, rasping voice . He climbed in between two old ladies with a few apologies that would not have been out of place in the rural 1940s and then sat perched high on his seat. His legs were not in proportion to the rest of him and didn’t reach the floor. The two tall men behind kept ragging him and touching his crusty baseball cap and he said something along the lines of “strike me lucky! Its gonna be outta control dealin’ with these jokers for the whole trip! “ Something like that anyway. Colloquial antiquities abounded. The show was on for young and old let me tell you! The old ladies giggled, kind of pleased to be supporting players to a bunch of recognizeable, old school blokes. As the flight took off the loud voiced man had a VB in his hand as soon as he could and proceeded to burp very loudly. As if he was in a shearing shed or work lunchroom. Only this time there were women around. Ducks on the pond! Didn’t seem to phase him though. He carried on regardless. A trouper. As we flew in to touch down he and the old lady were both deep into nodding tut tutting agreement about some politically correct bureaucratic bungling that was impinging upon the world as they experienced it. Madness - but what can you do?
I took a bus to the venue. I was staying in a room above the stage.
I went for a walk to the harbour to buy some fish and chips from one of the punts there. On the way a young sheila smiled and winked at me. On the way back another young bird gave me a flying flirt from a passing car. Of course I pulled my gut in and walked a little lighter. Like I still had it. At this stage, that sort of interaction is odd and seldom. Maybe they don't have enough men in Hobart?
Seemed like a bit of a ghost town, something must be on! Suits me as I’m feeling a little ghostly.
Spent most of my time in my room playing guitar and reading a book by Paul Theroux about a modern day grand tour around the Mediterranean. Where was I?
The next day I went for another walk around the town. It was cold and wet. Hobart always turns it on for me. Last two times there I have been chesty, phlegmy, feverish and always walking headlong on into an Antarctic wind. This time I was in rude health and the wind was light. I find an apple. I always look for them in the apple isle. I feel it’s my duty. They are not easy to find though, as if the locals are ashamed of them and shush them under the couch when vistors are on the scene.
Poncey Melbourne aquaintances have yelled at me about the new art museum in Hobart. I have nothing but time here but don’t take the opportunity to take the ferry to MONA. Yeah, I’m a philistine. Guilty. I’ll make the trip one day, when I have even more time to fill up, is that more positive? I enjoy the freakiness of Hobart itself. Just being there. I’ve read lots of great stories written about the island. Christopher Kochs’ “the Double Man” being my favourite. Witchcraft, dope and folk rock. I love those flavours. When I get to the end of the kinks that abound in Tasmania I’ll get on the ferry and avail myself of the freaked collection at the gallery. That’s my story!
At the soundcheck I made the young soundman work hard. I had an exciter for my acoustic guitar and was trying to get the instrument and my voice as loud as possible in the room. I was also trying to get it loud and present enough coming back to me through the foldback so that it would be exciting to me as well. Not so loud that I didn’t sing with enough gut though. Took a longer than usual check for me to get happy with the setup. With my band I’m usually a bit slack in this attention to the onstage sound. Trying to get in the habit of getting it right. Using a house sound guy, you have to express yourself clearly as to what you want. I tell him I do a lot of picking but want all the dynamics so don’t compress it. I also say I want the lyrics to be heard. He tells me to sing out. I say that the way I am talking is about the level that I will be singing at, I am like a talking blues type of a singer. He nods like he knows what I’m talking about.
I chat with him after the check as I drink a glass of pop. He tells me he is in a band, a “heavy band”. “Whoop dee doo” I think to myself, somewhere deeply removed from the world. He proceeds to detail their activities and how he has been in the studio with them and he has been playing guitar and also engineering. He is mixing this gig and also did one at the wharves during the afternoon. I nod politely. A fellow comes up to ask me to sign a book he has bought. The young mixer asks me if I am from Hobart. I say “no”.
I’m getting the feeling I’m not really present or connecting with people on the ground on this trip. Getting a drink from the barmaid, she asks for assurance that I am with the band. I reassure her. Just doin’ her job, like every security guard in the world giving adults the shits in a club after 10pm. As if they were all drunken 16 year olds. I go back up to my room and watch a bit of bad tv. It seems worse than ever.
I come down again and start to do a couple of sets. I am alone with my songs and an acoustic. Takes me a few songs to dig into the right tempo and intensity of playing. When you start to play a solo gig , after playing with a band a lot, you try to fill up all the noise a bit too much. Strumming and singing out, getting some smoke and noise happening. I started out pretty low key. The fellow who’d wanted me to sign a book had mentioned some songs he liked. I did them first up. The first time I’d touched them in years. “I’m just havin’ one of those lives” and “ a million dollars in a red velvet suit”.
I walk through the two one hour sets, enjoying myself and visiting all kinds of tunes I normally can’t accesss with my band. Yes, I am otherwise being held prisoner.
Making the most of this tiny rush for freedom I play all kinds of tunes and feels and get to enjoy the picking and singing and groaning. Sick skills. After the show I walk upstairs and read myself to sleep.
The next morning I get a cab to the airport. I see a table load of African Americans in the food area and gravitate towards them. People from the real world. I enjoy a coffee and a literary journal I have brought with me in my bag and ascertain that they are the band members for the Pointer Sisters and that they had played at the casino last night. As I walk to the plane I hear a familiar sound, “the voice” appears in the queue along with his too tall buddies, all cracking up at some pedestrian bloke shit that a normal person would have stepped over pretty easily. I also see the Pointer Sisters themselves sitting amongst the waiting passengers for their flight to Sydney. All huge sunglasses and floppy bohemian hats. Later that night I hear that one of them has been arrested on drugs charges, in the USA. But!!! Turns out to be a missing, errant, wayward sister. I feel for them all. Sisters and Brothers, waving to each other.
A fugitive couple sat next to me and sneezed and coughed their way through the flight. I sat sideways, dodging microbial foam and spray.
I grabbed my guitar and took a bus and a train to the hills. At the train station there was another Person of Restricted Growth at the bottom of the escalator. This one had hipster glasses and a rockabilly hairdo. Melbourne style. Got off the train at my stop and walked up the hills. Hadn’t really talked to anyone for a couple of days but had sung my life out for two hours the night before. Sat around in an empty, quiet house, taking the silence as it was. Happy to be within a night of no appointments or places to be. I’d already started the sweet slide downhill to the changing of the years.
Digital single available now from itunes
Full AIFF version available via Bandcamp also
Next show in Melbourne is Sunday March 25th at the Spiegeltent which is outside the arts centre. 5pm show...
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release