Moore is a drummer and mult instrumentalist
and has played with Dave Graney in their bands The
Coral Snakes, The mistLY and Moodists since 1978.
Clare started playing music in the early 70s as a drummer at Rock Masses in Adelaide, which were organised by Australias singing nun, Sister JanetMead. Sister Janet hit the top of the charts with her version of the Lords Prayer. Clare remembers suited, sunglassed A&R men coming to the school trying to entice Janet to go on the road. Clare then spent time playing in avant-garde rock bands around Adelaide before teaming up with Dave Graney and Steve Miller at the age of 16 to form The Moodists. This band, contemporaries of The Go-Betweens, The Birthday Party and The Triffids, spent most of their career in London and Europe.
In 1988, Clare returned to Australia and spent the next decade as the driving force behind Dave Graney And The Coral Snakes, and then the Dave Graney Show, playing, writing, arranging, tour managing and eventually co-producing the music.
Now Clare is branching out on her own with her own stories to tell. The Third Woman is Clares debut solo album. Her songs are stories too, from the homely tale of two crosswalk attendants falling in love on opposite sides of the road ("Lollypop Man"), to the fantastic vision of Clare playing in a bar on a distant asteroid ("Sirens Call To Arms"). Hers is a voice that is sometimes exotic, sometimes prosaic, but always truly distinctive.
Musically the record provides nods of appreciation in many different directions, from the sounds of 80s synth-pop, to the grumpy romanticism of Serge Gainsbourg, to the gritty country of Bobby Gentry (whose version of Mose Allisons Parchman Farm is covered here), to the sweeping soundtracks of John Barry. All eleven tracks were produced and played almost entirely by Clare (the only other players being Bill Miller and Dave Graney, who each
contribute a little guitar).
Special attention should be drawn to the albums closing track, Yes! Fat Chicks, although really it draws attention to itself. If Mad Max had been written by Germaine Greer, John Waters and Valerie Solanas and produced for ABC Radio, it might have gone a little like this. Yes! Fat Chicks is the tale of two lusty women on the open road, preying on unsuspecting suburban P-Platers. There has been nothing like it before, and there will be nothing like it again, for Yes! Fat Chicks will go down in history as the most bizarre and compelling song ever recorded!
The Third Woman
Available as a digital album at Bandcamp.Some physical cds left too.
There is but one third woman,
and she comes with tales to tell from a familiar, yet very strange land.
She begins in a spooky manner, seemingly all at sea and "LOST
IN SPACE". She isnt in any mood to suffer fools though.
She sets the controls for the heart of the scene early on, listen to her
say these words in that low, almost mafiosi voice over that spooky Star
trek 3am groove,
The Third Woman
|Like we know,
there is only one Third Woman , but like any artistic type she allows her
mind to roam. Sometimes she settles for a while in the body of another just
to see what the world is like from that angle. In the pounding , insistent
groove of "USER FRIENDLY", she plays the part of a city
office worker, sitting on a tram and watching in horror as a junkie in a
shell suit walks down the aisle toward her,
"Oh god,hes coming straight for me!
like I have just come into view
becoming visible only when
he needed an ear to piss in"
She watches him stop midway and have a quick nod off, quietly appreciating his abilitiy to keep functioning,
"gravity is kicking his ass
he repels its insistent pull
like Nureyev , he don't fall over...."
Still, she wonders why she is proving to be so attractive to such a fellow,
"User friendly, Im in his stare
User friendly, he aint goin nowhere
Old spice and headlice you can photograph
My lifes in crisis since I crossed his path"
On track five Clare Moore (for she is the Third Woman) stops to pay homage to one of her aforesaid "Sirens". An old Mose Allison song but coming to Clare Moore via Bobbie Gentry, "PARCHMAN FARM" is a mysterious song which is even further turned on its head when sung by a woman. Is she the wife who has been killed? We know that "he's gonn a be there for the rest of his life". Is she going to watch him do his time forever? When she sings that killing his wife was all he did is she asking for more substantial punishment? "LOLLYPOP MAN" is a strangely ribald yet innocent tale set to the sweetest of pop R&B /pop grooves. As any Victorian knows, the kind people who direct children across the road outside primary schools are referred to as either a "Lollypop man" or "Lollypop woman" . Something else seems to be on these two lollypop peoples minds as they stare at each other across the pedestrian strip,
"Red light green light, amber...
lets do the pop before they march all over us
give me a sign"
"THE THIRD WOMAN" itself is the first of several instrumental tracks. Clare Moore has been a musician all her life and is aware of how a lyric set to music can sometimes limit the directions in which the piece is straining to go to. Sometimes its cool to stretch out. Just for the sake of a little weirdness. Words just get in the way.
"THE SECONDHAND MAN" is a lonely character the Third Woman passes one day in the street. Like the office worker in "User Friendly" she sits a while and espies the passing parade through his eyes but one feels that she was glad to get out of this particularly musty ride,
"staring out the windscreen like its the blitz
some people look so lonely
you know, like "Lonely" out of Callan"
"THE LAST REAL" sees our heroine write, arrange and play (like she did on pretty much everything here) another instrumental piece. This time your mind wanders towards bleak, elemental beaches, towering, breaking waves, broken dreams ,mermaids and drowning sailors.
Just when you thought the Third Woman was getting all soft she ups the ante with "HE AIN"T UP HIMSELF" which paints a picture of a very popular entertainer walking down the street. People say he's up himself but she leaps to his defence. Set to a strange old R&B arrangement Clare Moore sees him coming and going,
"whos that guy walkin down the street
meetin the gaze of all he sees
seekin the spark of recognition
seein if he lives in there as well
he ain't up himself
he's up everybody else"
The closing track on "the Third woman" is there because it can be nowhere else. Nothing could follow "YES!FAT CHICKS" Like something from a musical written by John Waters and Germaine Greer, this is almost a mini opera. Two predatory, lusty woman, an open road , fast cars, a traffic cop and a car load of suburban P Plate driving losers. We need to hear the rest of this movie! Perhaps its best to go back to track one......
All songs written by Clare Moore , (C) Universal
Music, excepting Parchman Farm which is by Mose Allison
As a post script, in 2005, Australian music icon Renee Geyer recorded and released a version of "Lost in Space" from this album on her dynamic set , "tonight".
|Clare Moore discography|