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Features 4

The Moodists - They're back and they're mighty convincing

It's been a long time coming but the Moodists revival seems to be gathering momentum. Their recent show at the Tote featuring the line-up of Dave Graney, Steve Miller, Clare Moore, Chris Walsh and Mick Turner got such a great reaction many wonder why they don't do it more often. I count myself among them. I was parked close to the front of the stage directly in front of Mick's amp with Handsome Steve's Fender Twin pointed directly at me from the other side of the stage and all I could think was "somebody should be taping sounds amazing".

I wasn't the only one thinking along these lines. Here are some choice quotes from two reviewers regarding the show.

Firstly from James Bean in Inpress:

Everything about Dave Graney exudes panache. He's the dapper wheeler and dealer in a Hemingway novel, set in Havana's swinging days, selling rum to the Cubans. Last night he sold me the Moodists. And I bought it up big time......

It's probably twenty years ago that Melbourne last rejected the Moodists, and even now they don't fail to confront and jostle with your brain for space.....

The Moodists are no prank. Parade your ears in their slipstream. You'll genuflect - Christ, even Steve Miller was brought to his knees - all the while stabbing his strat and torquing the tremelo - in an environment of scarce resources the self maximising consumer can do little but suck it up.

And furthermore from Shane Moritz in Beat:

A crushing stomp from Clare Moore elicited the first of many acts of danger. Machine, Machine, Chad's Car and Runaway got us hot early on. By the fourth cut, Clare clipped her fingers with an errant rap of her sticks. Blood spattered all over her kit. Handsome Steve Miller played on; he was dressed to the almighty hilt and coaxing dirty black magic from the depths of his guitar. To his left Mick Turner (one third of the Dirty Three) stirred a burning cauldron of trenchant noise, while bassist Chris Walsh simply stood his ground. Chris looked eager to butt people in the head. His bass is the one holding them steady, while Clare snapped gum and dropped deadly bombs on drums.....

Unlike his hat brim Graney's groin had optimum flexibility. What he said and how he moved could best be imagined by the distillation of Clifford Odets, screenwriter, Too Short, Oakland gangster rapper and Lou Reed's Tai Chi master. He prowled the stage producing leg kicks in synch with the whip cracking blare. Sometimes the man in the hat would creep out centre stage, lurch forward and, with a hint of madness in the eye - growl. "I was in an onanistic state when I wrote this next tune, reading aleister crowley, listening to too much Led Zeppelin. I held an erection for six months." It was then that the band launched into something equally pointed.

We can't offer to sell you a live CD from the current Moodists (yet) but you can get some idea of the kind of vitality that's missing from your life by checking out the retrospective 2CD set Two Fisted Art. You never know - you too may hold an erection or something similar for six months.

Some useful links follow:

Listen to some Moodists tracks

See some pictures of the Moodists

Visit Dave Graney's site

Buy Two Fisted Art



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G.Lee © 2004