Keepin’ It Unreal

Originally released in 2006, and made available again in 2015, this album reflects the live shows Dave Graney and Clare Moore were doing at the time. Instrumentation is sparse, Graney on 12 string guitar, Moore on vibes and melodica and Stu Thomas on bass, apart from closing track which is just Dave on electric guitar and bass and Clare on drums and keyboards.

Originally released through Sydney boutique label and distributor, Reverberation, the album features a version of “You put a spell on me” , which Graney co wrote with Matt Walker and which has been previously recorded by both Matt and Jimmy Little. It also features a cover version of “Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne” from the second album by NYC electronic pioneers, Suicide. Throughout the album , the trio explore and re-interpret many songs from the Graney and Moore extensive back catalogue, revisiting Coral Snakes tunes such as “A million dollars in a red velvet suit” (released only in the UK in 1990) and “Biker in Business Class” (sung by Frank Bennett on the Devil Drives album in 1997) as well as more contemporary tunes including a couple from the Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye album and others from Hashish and Liquor. The set closes with an English language version of the 2003 French smash hit by “M”, “Qui des nous deux?” recorded here as “Who of us Two?”

A year of touring into the interior and all along the coasts of Australia gave Graney and Moore the opportunity to revisit and recast much material from the past recordings in a new light, with an eye to searching out and bringing to the fore the melodies within the songs. They did a two month residency at an inner city venue that saw them make their way through 120 tunes from their song book. At the end of long period of driving and playing, they recorded a set of their favourite songs. Songs that found new depth and meaning in this new setting . All of these new interpretations of these songs were recorded live, in one day and overdubs were kept to a minimum.

To some degree this album mirrors present day Graney and Moore lockdown performances which are broadcast, on Thursdays for an Australian audience and alternative Saturdays for northern hemisphere fans, on Stage It. This stripped back and honest approach to the songs brings a fresh and vital sound into play. There’s much to admire here and this album is a forgotten gem in the Graney/Moore canon that deserves more attention.

I will be featuring this album on the Aural Delights show during January and February 2021.

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