in Melbourne and fully expecting "I was the hunter..." to be released, we
began playing around Melbourne and Sydney.
Gordy Blair came over from London and Robin Casinader began playing
keyboards with us. With Clare Moore, myself and Rod Hayward, this line up
would stay together until December 1997. With no current record to promote,
and if there were to be one, one only available on import, we set about
playing live as an end in itself. For about three months we played on Friday
nights at a club called the Lounge in Swanston street, Melbourne. We also
played for the same amount of time in the piano bar at the Prince of Wales
hotel in St Kilda.
I was really hopped up on red wine and was still heavily into buckskin
(tempered with a bit if velvet) and wore my moustaches waxed. I had
invented a tradition where we would play every year on the 25th of June
in honour of the anniversary of the Battle of Little Big Horn. For
the anniversary this year we played at the Prince. We played Aaron Copelands
"Billy the Kid" over the PA to vibe up the audience of sad drunks and drag
queens and the band improvised 10 minutes of free rock behind me as I read
out an anonymous 19th century poem called "the Lure of the tropics".
We did it again the following week as we opened for Bob Mould in
a larger room at the same venue. Someone had left a Hammond organ on stage
so Robin commandeered that. We also played three songs, "You wanna be there...",
"Warren Oates" and "Jesus what'd I do" for the first time, the last of the
three also being completely improvised.
After the sound check, we left Robin with his legs hanging out from the
bottom of the Hammond, trying to get it to work. We recorded that night
with the help of Chris Thompson and the ABC outside broadcast truck. It
was one of those lucky nights, everything did work and we got it down on
After everything was over with Fire we put it out on a small Melbourne label
and proceeded to go out and play some more.
Dave Graney with the Coral
Snakes THE LURE OF THE TROPICS
Recorded live in mid 1991, released mid 1992.
Engineered and mixed by Chris Thompson. Released at first on Torn and Frayed
through Shock records, remixed by Tony Cohen and available
only through this site.Cover designed by Tony Mahony.
Track listing (as on the remixed/ re released version):
"I caught my heel in a crack of time"
"A million dollars in a red velvet suit"
"You wanna be there but you don't wanna travel"
"Jesus what'd I do"
"The lure of the tropics"
"Everything flies away/Rave on"
"In the misty morning/My life on the plains"
"just the bullshit"
Blair had returned to Britain in August 1991, intending to come back later.
We began playing with Andrew Picouleau on the bass and also without him
as a semi acoustic four piece (Myself, Clare Moore, Rod Hayward and Robin
Casinader). We called these performances, "the soft'n'sexy shows".
We played all through 1991 and 1992 in this fashion. Predominantly at the
Lounge and the Punters Club and the Esplanade in Melbourne and the Hopetoun
and the Annandale in Sydney. We never played outside these two cities.
Clare, Rod and Andrew also played many shows backing Robin doing all
his material. This was known as "the Vanishing Lady". We seemed to build up
a little momentum as, first "I was the hunter..." came out and then, "the
lure of the tropics. "
Towards the end of 1992 I signed a publishing deal with Polygram
music (now headed by Roger Grierson) and used the advance
to finance the recording of "Night of the Wolverine". It was going to have to be cheap
so we recorded what we'd been working on as "the soft'n'sexy shows" and
got Andrew in to guest on bass.
On Saturday December the 19th we played at the Lounge, on the Sunday
we recorded 9 songs at Metropolis, on the Monday and Tuesday we recorded
more songs and then mixed the whole lot at Atlantis.
Adam Yazxhi, who had worked at MDS, who imported "My life on the plains"
and "I was the hunter..."into Australia, was now setting up a small label
at Mercury and wanted to put the cd out. The title track was an attempt
to make something in the style of Lou Reeds' "street hassle".
That was a long story song which featured a sweet middle section where Bruce
Springsteen came in to read a few lines of lyrical stuff. In the
middle of ours, Tex Perkins from the Cruel Sea came in and did
something similar, "the king of Adelaide". Tony Cohen was a physical wreck as he was simultaneously working
on the Bad Seeds live album and the Cruel Sea's "Honeymoon
As this record came out we began to play outside the inner cities of
Melbourne and Sydney, opening for the Hunters and Collectors through
a national six
week tour. We then did the same with the Cruel Sea and then by ourselves.
We did about 85 shows around Australia through 1993. "Night of the wolverine"
was re released in 1996 in Australia with a different cover. It was also
released in 1996 with the new cover in the UK on the label "This way up".
Two singles, "3 dead passengers" and "you're just too hip, baby" were
Dave Graney with the Coral Snakes NIGHT OF THE WOLVERINE
Cd released mid 1993 on ID/Mercury. Produced by Dave Graney, the Coral Snakes and Tony Cohen. Recorded
at Metropolis and Atlantis, mixed at Atlantis, Melbourne. Cover designed
by Tony Mahony.
Video for "you're just too hip, baby" devised and directed by Tony Mahony.
"You're just too hip, baby"
"Night of the wolverine 1"
"I'm just havin' one of those lives"
"I held the cool breeze"
"I remember you (you're the girl I love)"
"three dead passengers in a stolen secondhand Ford"
"That's the way it's gonna be"
"you need to suffer"
"Night of the wolverine 2"
"Out there in the night of time"
Available at itunes July 2015 as an expanded edition with seven of the original demos for the album done by Dave Graney in 1991 ona four track cassette.
Graney with the Coral Snakes YOU WANNA BE THERE BUT YOU DON'T WANNA TRAVEL
This was the first record I had ever experienced making with the
palpable feeling of not only an interested audience but also, "industry
expectation". We worked with Tony Cohen again. We thought we would
have more time and our aim was to make a record that we could tour. A
record that was big and loud.
We had already recorded "Warren Oates" and "You wanna be there.." but
thought that they both could be realised better in an actual studio setting.
We began in early January and spent about four weeks in all on the record.
The band was full of creativity, in April, as the record was going into
production, we were asked to record some extra songs as a give away disc
and came up with seven extra tracks. They included a cover version of
"Pillow Talk" by Sylvia Robinson and "32-20 blues" by Robert Johnson by
way of the Charlatans (from San Francisco). (It also included a song,
"Late , Late , Late" written and sung by Robin Casinader. A gem from the
"Vanishing Lady" set) "I'm gonna release your soul" was the first single and for the
video, Tony Mahony came up with an idea to do a one shot clip.
This involved a lot of things going right on the day and we kept the very
last run through. The record debuted high in the top forty in Australia
and we toured relentlessly nationwide for the rest of 1994. In all we
played 83 shows for the year, mostly in the period June to December. We
also did a lot of tv for the first time, (the Midday show, Denton,
Jimeion, Take 40 tv, Hey Hey it's Saturday, Live and Sweaty).
"You wanna be there..." was re-released in 1996 with a different cover
and a different track listing, (The songs, "let me tell you about yourself"
and "a new life in a new town" were dropped and "the confessions of Serge
The first few thousand came with an extra
disc called "Unbuttoned". This contained the following tracks:
"The confessions of Serge Gainsbourg"
"It's your crowd I hate"
"Late, late, late"
"the lady from Bangkok"
"java la grande (celestial boogie)"
CD released June 1994 on ID/Mercury. Now
available on Universal Music Australia. Produced by Tony Cohen, Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes. Recorded and
mixed at Metropolis in Melbourne. Cover designed by Tony Mahony.
Videos for "release your soul" and "you wanna be loved" both devised and
directed by Tony Mahony.
"I'm gonna release your soul"
"There was a time"
"You wanna be loved"
"Soul into time"
"Won't you ride with me"
" A new life in a new town"
"Livin' out your tomorrow (hard against yesterday)"
"Imagine if what you did on your weekend was your life"
"You wanna be there but you don't wanna travel"
"Let me tell you about yourself"
"The word is nah"
"The stars baby, the stars"
"we didn't have the words to say it (we didn't have the words to get around)"
released a 4 disc set of recordings June 2013. Now deleted. There were a few hundred copies in a warehouse but according to music business practice, these were destroyed even though we offered to purchase them.