Matt Walker drove us to the train station at Upper Ferntree Gully to get the 12-25 train to Spencer street. From there we caught a bus to the airport. Clare Moore and I had a bag each and a guitar and we were to be away for six weeks. I wore a pair of suede trousers and a suede coat. One pair of (patent leather) shoes. All our clothes in one bag and gear (keyboard, cds and leads) in another. Clare had a Yamaha REFACE CP keyboard (all electric piano sounds) and I had my Maton EBG808 acoustic with a MXR micro amp pedal for clean boost, an Aphex acoustic BIG BOTTOM pedal and a Tech21 XXL overdrive.
We were checked in at 3pm for a 6pm flight. Melbourne airport being refurbished meant that there was one or two small cafes open for everybody flying out. We ate some expensive sandwiches and waited. We flew Emirates all the way to Singapore and then Dubai and then on to Amsterdam. I watched the fourth season of Ray Donovan for the first two legs and then started on Tony Martins soon to be released novel , "A DeadlyKerfuffle".
We sorted Euro phones at the train station/airport in Amsterdam and then caught a train to the city where we checked into the Iron Horse Hotel. We walked around the red light district and amazing churches in the city with a friend the next day and then played in Haarlem with Georgio "the dove" Valentino at a great Irish bar called THE WOLFHOUND. A couple from Australia were among the people in attendance and we played our first show with acoustic guitar, keys (Clare) and Georgio on electric guitar. We stayed with Georgio's friend Joost who plays in a band called Grey Lotus and again took in some spectacular city squares and churches. (Chris Bailey from the Saints also lives in Haarlem, his partner came to the show with his regards as he was off on tour.)
We travelled on to Luxembourg to meet up with Georgio's partner Patrizia Finzi and also drove on to play in Brussels at Cafe Chaff. We had played there last year. Brussels is quite a thrilling, vibrant city with beautiful squares and a real mix of people. It’s open and swinging all night.
We returned to Luxembourg and played at a cafe in nearby Esch. This time, Patrizia joined us for four or five songs on bass and Clare had a drum kit.
There was also a delayed wedding party for Georgio and Patrizia with lots of their family and friends in an impressive hotel on a hill in the city.
Georgio's sister had flown in from hurricane threatened Miami for the party and we drove her back to Brussels for her flight. On the way we listened to the entire recorded output of the Doors on the car music player. I still love every note...
We also got an education from Georgio in the later works of Echo and the Bunnymen and the general ouvre of Richard Marx.
We touristed about Luxembourg for a couple of days before driving on to Orleans in France where we played on a Monday night in a rock'n'roll bar in the centre of town. We stayed at a friends place in a very rustic street in an overall completely charming town, dragging gear and cases up three flights of stairs.
Rennes (Brittany) on a Tuesday was cool. The show was organized by the very generous Seb Blanchais from Beast records. What a cool cat. We set our gear up at the Bistro De La Cite and hooked up with our contact who was putting us up and then scrambled to meet up with old friend Brendan Perry from Dead Can Dance and his partner Francoise, Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Florence and their friends Oliver and Fabele . The show was great. I reckon....
We stayed at a wonderful flat around the corner from the gig, just a very short walk. Martin was our host. He runs a large world music festival in the area. He had played guitar until the age of twenty in a band called Kalashnikov whose singer was Dominic Sonic. We had played with the latter in Lille in 2014 as part of Harry Howard and theNDE.
Next day, Martins wife cooked an amazing meal of mackerel and salad with wine and chocolate.
We stopped at Brendan’s on our way out of the city and took a tour of his amazing studio. We had coffee and cake and cooed over the miniature goats, horses and donkey. We’d known Brendan in Melbourne in the very dawn of the 80s before he started Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard. We saw them play then in 1982/3 before they left for good and then again in Melbourne in 2013.
Caens venue was in an industrial part of the city. I'd always wanted to come here as the Dandy Beau Brummel spent most of his life here after fleeing Regency London and all his debts. This was a small party more than a gig, still, we made show. The venue was built, maintained and run by a lovely fellow. Emeric, who had his warehouse full of curios and oddities. Like a pickers giant cave. Quite magical. Also, his food was spectacular. (He cooks in wholesale quantities)
We drove to Beau Brummel's grave, with Georgio playing the garage band THE BEAU BRUMMELS in the car. There were no signs for it anywhere. Georgio had found it before, on another trip.
We headed to a place on the freeway called Saintes where, on a whim of Georgio's, we ate a meal called "potato five ways". Deep fried onion rings and crumbed cheese balls. All light brown in colour - a sepia meal.
It was quite horrible. Then I learned the salad had duck gizzards in it.....
We stopped briefly at the Catholic miracle town of Lourdes. As it was raining, I stayed in the car to mind the gear and Clare and Georgio braved the garish, holy casino alleys of the town.
The gig in Argeles Gazost was a true honky tonk affair. An audience of faux/for real gypsies and anarchists. All wanting to boogie. We played for more than an hour and gave them more than they wanted. One fellow was immediately dubbed "your boy Pirates Of The Carribean". A group of Australians were in town on a cycling tour. From Katoomba. Another fellow in a Richmond beanie who told me he used to go and see "the Gravies and the Dockers". I couldn't offer him any thoughts there. We ate a truly excellent dinner at 7pm and played at 10 pm and waited until 2pm to decamp to our digs. I cannot say any more. A beautiful town at the foot of the Pyrenees. Real music lovers running the venue.
While we waited for our accom we sat in our car outside and watched the crowd come out to smoke and get drunk and loose. The PIRATE was mostly sitting in a stoned dormant state on an outside settee but was suddenly espied in a hot embrace with TWO women - then they left and he deflated back to his natural posture.
We were almost asleep when our ride-guide made to leave. Drunk as a Gallic fuck in his car. We waited for even longer as more romances bloomed and died while the venue was slowly turned off. Suddenly there was action and he sped off and left us in the empty streets! Then he reappeared, driving at speed straight at us, suddenly braking inches away and laughing madly behind the wheel. We (equally madly) followed him for a further 15 minutes drive through the towns streets to his large party house where we found his car parked and the doors flung open and we walked in and stayed the night. A strange, intense, stop and go night, ending in a silent chateau.
We got up at 9am and left to get some breakfast. We drove for most of the beautiful Autumn day, listening to Jobriath, Nectarine No. 9, The Sexual Objects (both bands fronted by former Fire Engines main man Davey Henderson) and Chucho Libre. All sounded great. Davey Henderson is a genius on the guitar, the songs, the vocals and the whole god damned conceptual thing. I have been educated.
We stopped in the principality of Andorra because Georgio had always wanted to do so. Between France and Spain, high in the mountains. Beautiful views all around. Like staying in a ski resort in summer though. Restaurants closed at 4pm and open again at 8. We ate at a Mexican joint- though it was no "joint".
We arrived in Torredembarra, Spain, and drove to the venue. Very funky and down home feel to it all. Driving past vacant blocks and unfinished building projects, lots of graffitti. Dusty and dry. A bit like Darwin in the dry months.
The hotel was a house attached to a restaurant. We entered through the gate which was tethered by a bent piece of dark iron like something from a 1940s Australian farm. After knocking on the door, we entered to see a small woman with her back to us watching tv. We got her attention and were shown our upstairs rooms. Very beautiful and rustic.
We went to the venue which would not have been out of place in old timey Deadwood or Tombstone.
It filled with people out to socialize and listen to some music on a Monday night - just as if it was a normal thing to do....
We played for an hour and fifteen minutes and went over well to the crowd of people in the room and drinking outside in the warm, night air.
People said things like "nice" and "i enjoyed! Strange but good..."
An annoying posh busker from Perth popped up in my grille with an impossibly plummy voice. He told me he'd heard of me around the traps "but you know how homogenous the folk scene can be..." This was after saying he'd heard I came from Perth as well as him. Noticing my puzzled expression after his commentary on the "folk" scene he asked if I'd taken his words as being somehow derogatory. I said I didn't know what he could be possibly trying to say. Later he was playing his guitar to some girls outside at a table.
Next day we visited a Roman ampitheatre in nearby Taragona. There was the sea and an ampitheatre. In the intervening years a railway line had been built in between, making the ruins hard to access. We did it though. A single black cat roamed through the dusty, deserted stones and fallen pillars.
We drove on to Zaragoza for the next show. My shoe had come apart from climbing over rocks and one sole was flapping about in a comic manner. I asked the man at the venue if he had any gaffa tape and he gave me some glue to fix it, which worked a treat. Nothing was difficult for these Spanish, it seemed. the nicest people I have ever run into in Europe.
We played in the basement of a hostel which had once been a palace and also a place for the inquisition. The room was 600 years old!
The sound was wonderful. We played there for the Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The venue threw both performances up onto Facebook. Whilst in the city we visited their Goya museum and another Roman ampitheatre. A wonderful place.
The next day we drove to Madrid, listening to nothing but mid career, easy listening Scott Walker.
Madrid was equally intoxicating for us. We had no show, we were just stopping off on our way to Vitoria, in Euskadi. (Basque country). We picked up Patrizia Finzi in Madrdid. She had flown in to do the show as we were to be supporting Tav Falco’s Panther Burns in a club called HELLDORADO so we thought we’d better make some noise. With drums and bass and guitars. The venue was in an industrial area full of panel beaters and motor mechanics. Like the Australian rockabilly scene is a close mix of hot rods and music.
We soundchecked after Tav and I played a lick of SNAKE DRIVE, from the first Panther Burns album, “Behind the Magnolia Curtain”. Tav was fixing his guitar by the side of the stage and said I had to get up and play it with them later.
We all ate some beautiful food together. I had a pesto salad and then baked cod. Then we played at 11pm and Tav played at 12:30 to 2:30 am.
It was a great night. I’ve always loved Panther Burns and Tav is as weird and cool as ever, playing that Hofner “beatle” six string and messing with the strict blues timing all through the set. He ended with a great new song called “Whistle Blower Blues” about Edward Snowdon et al.
At some point, I did indeed get up and play SNAKE DRIVE. It was most enjoyable!
The next day we drove to Aignan and played in the amazing house of ex pat Australian Tim Wotoon. He invites people from around the area. As we arrived, his daughter was on the swing – inside the top floor of the house. Her pet rabbit was jumping about. We played to a gathering of international locals. This is the kind of set we did at these gigs with drums, bass, guitars and Clare also playing keys and percussion...
A woman skinnies a man up
Everything was legendary with Robert
I been trendy
A boy named Epic
Twlight of a villain
You need a kleek, klook
How long does the raunch?
All our friends were stars
Night of the wolverine
I’m never Off
Rock’n’roll is where I hide
At other gigs we played without drums and included songs like
Midnight to dawn
There’s the royal troll
Sometimes you can see yourself
Are you Out of your mind?
Mt Gambier night
How can you get out of London?
I wanna get lost again
Then we drove to Gare de L’Est in Paris and said farewell to Patrizia and drove toward Calais…Hearing of news of violence in Catalonia and in Las Vegas.
Fri 6 Oct | Fred's Ale House | Manchester GB w/ Poppycock and UKEPUNK
Sun 8 Oct | O'Rileys | Hull GB w/ Loudhailer Electric Company
Wed 11th + Thurs 12 Oct | Betsey Trotwood | London GB
Sun 14 Oct | Leith Cricket Club | Edinburgh, GB w/ Buckleys Chance and Maggie Holland
Dave Graney and Clare Moore at the Skylark Room - Burrinja Arts Centre in Upwey-Tecoma. October 21st.
Oct 22nd - WORKSHY BOOK event - Q and A with Gerard Elson at Readings Bookshop in St Kilda.
Oct 25th WORKSHY BOOK LAUNCH at Magnet Gallery in Bourke st Melbourne w/ Tony Martin.
Wednesday Nov 8th WORKSHY book launch Mt Gambier , SANov 10th WORKSHY BOOK LAUNCH at Imprints in Hindley st Adelaide.
TIME: 6:30 – 7:30pm
VENUE: Mt Gambier Library, 6 Watson Terrace, Mount Gambier 5290
TIME: 6:30 – 7:30pm
VENUE: Mt Gambier Library, 6 Watson Terrace, Mount Gambier 5290
Tuesday 14 November WORKSHY EVENT
VENUE: The Avenue Bookshop - Richmond
TIME: 6.45pm for 7pm start – 8.15pm end
Dave Graney and the mistLY
The Wheatsheaf Hotel - Adelaide Saturday November 11th and Sunday Nov 12th (4pm show)
Sunday Nov 26th WORKSHY BOOK LAUNCH in SYDNEY
VENUE: The People’s Republic of Australasia, Camperdown, NSW
Dave Graney and Clare Moore
Thurs 30-Nov Brass Monkey - 115A Cronulla St, Cronulla NSW 02) 9544 3844
Dave Graney and the mistLY
Fri 1-Dec Petersham Bowls Club 77 Brighton Street Petersham NSW 2049 T (02) 9569 4639
Sat 2-Dec Hardys Bay Club 14 Heath Road - Hardys Bay, NSW 2257
Sun 3-Dec - afternoon show at Co-op Club 1860 Pittwater Road Church Point, N.S.W. Australia 2105
Friday 8 December - Backlot Studios
solo acoustic session PERTH
Saturday 9 December - Fly By Night -Fremantle WA
Dave Graney and the mistLY
Sunday 10 December - Bar 459 - PERTH
Book launch - in conversation with Bob Gordon.