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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 89 - 01/07/04

The Royal Dave Graney Show
The Brother Who Lived
Cockaigne

What would a good year of music be without a Dave Graney album?! It's been a busy year for the King o' Pop, what with a Moodists retrospective and short run of reunion gigs and soundtrack for fair to middling movie Bad Eggs. All this activity has in no way diminished the wit and flair paraded on The Brother Who Lived.

This one is termed "Heavy Entertainment", so of course you've got "All Our Friends Were Stars" with "a scarf thrown just so". Ah, the circles n' scenes in which Dave and Clare Moore mix - the perfect accompaniment to the Andrew Loog Oldham biog I'm currently plowing through. I could just imagine Graney cuttin' it in Chelsea, Soho and Savile Row with Oldham in tow - shruggin' off the whole scene and walkin' off. Guess I just can't avoid the escapades of the sartorially elegant at the moment.

Anyway-the music. From the boozy merry-go-round of "Midnight to Dawn" to the rolling road show of "Like a Millionaire" it's most apparent the RDGS are, as always, packing a full deck of cards and adept at delivering a wide range of styles.

Must say that when the Coral Snakes were phased out, I was a little anxious at how Graney/Moore may cope without such a talented backing. The current line up of Adele Pickvance on bass, Stuart Perrera and Bill Miller on guitars proving themselves to be versatile and up to the demanding job of backing one of our more charming n' charismatic performers. Good example being the agile playing on "There's the Royal Troll", full of wah wig-outs and blaring blues harp to the end.

Among all the cold hard edges of electro-clash and 'new rock' (hmmm - didn't realise 'rock' ever left the building) RDGS are coming on strong with a suave yet gritty listen. They're so unlike rock, they're more rock than a lot of others treading the milk crates these days. They've created a unique space for themselves and I'd find it hard to name others that have released a run of such strong and overtly romantic albums.

The lights may have dimmed considerably following attention received in the mid 1990's where Graney crowned himself King of Pop, though it hasn't killed the creative spark on the evidence of The Brother Who Lived. Now that it's over I can loosen the cravat, slip off the espadrilles and remove the bespoke jacket and the scarf from over the lampshade. Well, until the next listen.

Copyright © 2004 Brian Stradbrook e-mail address

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