Video may have killed the radio star, but that hasn’t stopped veteran Australian musician Dave Graney who has been releasing a song every month since February, yet hasn’t produced a physical record in over two years.
“We started putting our stuff up through a digital distributor, like our back catalogue, and wondered what it would be like,” Dave explains. “The digital world promises more immediacy and you're freed up from manufacturing, so you can record something quite quickly and put it out. I haven't been using a big stockpile of songs; I come up with an idea, execute it and release it.”
In August, Dave released the sixth track in his song-a-month series, 'You Need A Kleek, Klook' with his long-time drummer, and wife, Clare Moore.
The song is a tribute to the iconic London rock club Klook's Kleek, which was named after jazz drummer Kenny 'Klook' Clark and played host to early shows from Cream and Led Zeppelin. “When I was a kid I had a live John Mayall album recorded at Klook's Kleek and I was in a backwater country town, so I'd stare at record covers and they would suggest a really glamorous world to me. I thought Klook's Kleek must have been a fucking happening place.
“A decade or so later I went to West Hampstead in London and there was a club called The Moonlight Club and that was where The Birthday Party was playing and where Joy Division played their first gig in London, U2, Echo & The Bunnymen; it was the same place where Klook's Kleek had been, in the same pub. So I thought it was like a portal into another world, from the outside it just looked like a pub but it's like a TARDIS or something.”
The building now stands derelict with its windows boarded, both Klook's Kleek and The Moonlight Club just faint whispers of a musical culture gone-by. Yet for Dave the legacy of these venues went beyond their walls, straight to the heart of what drives and inspires creative development. “I was thinking about how a musician needs to come from a place and come out of a club like that, out of a scene, that's what a musician needs. So I was thinking, 'you need a clique, Klook'; you need to have a groovy crowd to come out of.
“When I started making music in the '80s there was no helping each other, it was all cutting each other and it was all really brutal,” he laughs, “it's different now though. Among the younger generation there is a softer feeling, but we were brutal because we didn't have any media or online stuff, we just had ourselves and you really had to walk it and talk it.”
Dave is on tour throughout September and October with his band The Coral Snakes, having reunited for the first time last year since parting ways back in 1997. Dave says he’s looking forward to getting back on stage as a designated frontman. ”I don’t play guitar in these shows,” he explains.
“Everything I’ve done since 1998 I’ve played guitar and I enjoy that a lot, but previous to that I’d only ever stood there and been a singer. So it was great to do a show where I was just doing that again, that's the main thing for me. Nobody does it like me; they're all my moves I got to say,” he laughs.
“Everything we've done is our own thing, so I’m not like Steven Tyler or anything. I’m definitely from the post-punk scene, so everything people from that scene do in music is very self-conscious and a 360-degree commentary in some ways.”
Dave Graney Shows
Sat 3 Sep - Brisbane Festival's Spiegeltent (with The Coral Snakes)Fri 16 Sep - Bowral Bowling Club (with Clare Moore)Sat 17 Sep - Petersham Bowls (Sydney, with The Mistly)Sun 18 Sep - Smith's Alternative (Canberra, with The Mistly)Sun 2 Oct - Semaphore Festival (Adelaide, with The Coral Snakes)