Dave Graney and Clare Moore - Hashish and Liquor
Reverberation Records

Hashish and Liquor has a galvanising effect on the human body. Thunder-kissed rock shocks power through the delicate physique of mild-mannered specimens. I myself require a fix at an amazing frequency. Quite often, I will awake in a strange land and go mad for it. Dave and Clare's new album is seriously that good. It works out to be two CDs that the hot couple split in two, Dave on the Hashish and Clare on the Liquor. Mind-altering puns aside, this is the ultimate boogaloo.
Late last year, the hot couple closed the blinds and locked the door at their Dandenong Ponderosa. From floor to ceiling they barricaded themselves up in books, music and memories ? the big, heavy stuff. We're talking female adventurers, burlesque babes, family holidays, evil nuns, déjà vu, the gates of hell, Jewish comics after WWII, the stoner prose of Terry Southern, the vivid music of Stevie Wonder, Roky Erikson, corporate criminals, French philosophers, cats, bees, bete noirs, etc. Dave tasted infinity. Clare tasted the abyss. Dessert was served at its usual time.
As for people, only a handful were permitted access. Jazz legend Mark Fitzgibbons on piano, The Lurid Yellow Mist,
Warren Ellis (violin, flute) was forced to communicate from Paris.
On Hashish, Dave does the ecstatic. Subtitled A Taste of Infinity, it starts strong, barely lets up and hits numerous peaks where you nearly wet your pants. There He Goes With His Eye Out places a Thin Lizzy / New Order topping into a total
Dave sandwich as he gets up on his nighthawk troubadour tip. The superb piano work by Fitzgibbons makes you want to
scream. My Schtick Weighs A Ton is hilarious, huge and potentially a hit in both Caulfield and Jamaica. Sometimes You
Can See Yourself arrives from the Harry Nilsson school of psychedelic garage pop.
La-la-la-la-lovely. Mr. Bad Luck tokes on high-grade Steely Dan. Dave touches immortality here, there and everywhere. Arguably the most inspired work he's ever done. It's funny too, particularly when he gets in the bath.
Clare's Liquor is meticulously apocalyptic hump music for flashbacking firemen. Subtitled A Taste Of The Abyss, it starts
strong too with Alphonsus Will Get You, making the head swim in all manner of disco delights. Terribly classy. A harp heralds the Town Bikes in a blazing black rebel number about the two local burlesque babes. I've Had Too Much To Drink takes the gang-rape scene from Touch of Evil, combines it with The Zoo from The Scorpions, adds sexy vocals over the top, swaggering basslines, a louche guitar attack and a sax player anxious to disrobe and you've got the Clare Moore band at their absolute best. Wonderful. Tomorrow Inc. is a beautiful Minimum Chips
style-number set in a carnival. The production on both discs reaches for and eclipses entire galaxies: the drums, Clare's
speciality, pound beautifully; the guitars groove, chime, duel and spit gracious garage fuzz; the organs, keys, vibes hum,
come, glimmer and shimmer.
Clare and Dave treat their instruments the way instruments are supposed to be treated ? affectionately. By triggering an
enthusiastic response in every glandular opening, in addition to gaining entry into several hard to reach places, the new album by Dave Graney and Clare Moore more than lives up to its title. Hashish and Liquor is recommended fun for the entire family.

art Tony Mahony

There's a microscopic essay inside Mr and Mrs Graneys first, high concept double album of opiated jazz-rock weirdness. It ranges over French poets and philosophers, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, comedian Phil Silvers, acid nutter Roky Erickson, precocious 10 year olds and wicked nuns.
Its all about as enlightening as peeking into an eccentrics wunder kammer. Visitors to this pairs strange, velvet lined and style obsessed world are destined to remain nervous outsiders and the implied haze of substances makes this trip perhaps their most discomforting in a prolific twenty years.
Which is all good news if you're open to suggestion. "Lets live properly, like we're stoned"- one line on Graneys album "Hashish" – seems like a key invitation that makes sense of the rest. There's no need to take it literally: he's always in character of some kind ( even if it's him), skewing perspective with stream of madness monologues that reach a new benchmark on "I've got dimensions".
Moore's disc is more challenging still, it's dark lounge atmosphere strewn with found sounds-trucks , giggles, a farmyard and more on "fearless freds shack"- and culminating in a robotic nightmare of the imminent future, "Tomorrow Inc."
As the double barreled title indicates, there's much blissful surrender and quite a few impenetrable moments involved here but nothing you could call safe, sober or mediocre.
Michael Dwyer. The Saturday Age

THE sheer naughtiness of this title is going to have pull for the punters.
It certainly worked for me. However, the aim of the veteran Aussie pair, who are also life partners, was not merely to shock but to explore the abyss.
Baudelaire's writings on wine and on hashish are cited as an influence. The Dave Graney disc, Hashish, is, um, highly palatable, with standouts such as I Wanna Get Lost Again and the gorgeous vibraphone sway of I Will Always Have Been Here Before. The slinky arrangements work well beneath the vaguely Bowie-esque vocals of old satin pants himself. Clare Moore's half of this double act doesn't really kick in until the creative explosion of The Town Bike Song -- "pink tights, hoop skirts and lashings of ginger beer" -- with its mock historical opening giving way to a good old rock belt. Although the music is strong, timid vocal delivery on some songs muddies the effect. For all the talk of intoxicants, Hashish and Liquor, although engaging, doesn't really live up to its stated philosophic intentions. In fact, it's really rather sober.
Ian Cuthbertson..The Australian

The apperception of something (or somethings' opposite) called the "abyss" or the "infinite" has preoccupied humans since they grasped the trick of abstract thought and a long artistic tradition exists whereby the transgression of said "abyss"
perimeter through the use of various intoxicants equals art. OK? An album which takes as its urtext Baudelaires' writings on hashish and wine from his 1860 "Le Paradis Artificiels" ostentatiously becomes part of this tradition. But Graney and
Moore are not on any Jim Morrison trip of literary libertinage. Just listen to "Saturday night bath" and you know that Graney is more interested in the blissfull disengagement of "irrelevance" than in being anywhere out of the world. Perhaps
though, in aligning himself with the syphillitic French poet, he is telling us he has been playing the dandy all along, with that peculiar persona and "fun moustache" of his. Well might he soak smugly in that bath, face covered by a wet cloth,
indifferent to whether the world accepts or rejects his new album. Because when he croons " only the stoned can hear me" , he is as menacingly suave as Dean Stockwell in Blue Velvet and when he tells us about a man who "got his nose for free
outside a pub in 79" it's a typically obtuse indicator that somethings not quite right in this world of charming, beguiling jazzscapes. Along the way, he plays mental ju-jitsu with Roky Erikson and totally fails to convince me that his heart is
really in his resolution to "let's live properly". This is piss elegant lounge music for a Creature Cantina full of bulbous 70's kitsch.
Long term cohort Clare Moore is just as disarmingly flippant in her elaboration of the demon drink and its abyssal affinities, but while Graney likes to toy with the idea of the void, her taste for it is immediately apparent. "The world is still full of crazy fuckers/my guardian angel joined the militia". The laughter she inspires is also more ferocious: witness the unparalleled hilarity of "Fearless Freds' shack", the musical antithesis of "the day we went to Bangor" set to a carousel ride which screams "stop the ride, I wanna get off!" "Tomorrow Inc" brings a smile of recognition at its' lyricizing of those shittily familiar slews of recorded options contrived to make life "easier" and the hateful reassurance that "your call is important to us", while "Alphonsus will get you" suggests that all Moores' years of drumming may have been just exorcizing the memory of a nun who also weilded a stick. A stick with a christian name. Yes, there is some evil shit going down here and its all as drearily human as getting on the sauce or the choof. Graney and Moore are bona fide eccentrics and have produced the most startlingly original double album since the Necks' "Mosquito/ See through".
Mark Stockdale….Inpress…Melbourne

Over 25 years, Graney has evolved from the scabrous front man of the Moodists into the dandy poet king of the antipodean underground. His half of this double-CD set, Hashish, is the only record ever to filch from both Phil Silvers and the 19th-century essayist Charles Mackay. His sinister-sensitive croon floats through a lotus-blossom landscape of heady, jazz-inflected tunes. I Wanna Get
Lost Again is a masterful exercise in delay and release. Liquor, a companion piece by Dave’s long-term musical collaborator, Clare Moore, sets surreal stories in a smoky cabaret lounge. The Town Bike Song, a punky paean to badly behaved women, will delight delinquent listeners. Four stars
Stewart Lee, Sunday Times...UK

...and so to the continuing adventures of Dave Graney, Australia's self-styled King Of Pop, and his paramour Clare Moore. It's a weird and wonderful world in which Dave and Clare live; about the only thing that's straight on this latest release is that Dave's dropped the monikers (no White Buffaloes, Coral Snakes, Dave Graney
Show, Royal Dave Graney Show, or Lurid Yellow Mist, just Dave Graney). Oh, and it's a double CD. For Dave's disc ('Hashish'), it's business as usual: laidback lounge lizard crooning with a twist of pop, flights of lyrical fancy, and of course fantastic song titles (My Schtick Weighs A Ton, I Will Have Always Been Here Before). If you're unacquainted with Dave, you'll no doubt be puzzled; if you know and like the man, you'll nod along knowingly. Perhaps
the one small detour Graney makes is towards some jaunty late night jazz; jazz pianist Mark Fitzgibbon contributes to four tracks and two, There He Goes With His Eye Out and I've Got Dimensions, are among the best songs of Graney's career.
Dave might be a strange cat, but his partner, Clare Moore, has produced an album ('Liquor') that is even more eccentric, and easily the more challenging of the two. Where 'Hashish' is organic, 'Liquor' is all atmospherics and machines and rhythms and simple,
evocative keyboard lines. Initially impenetrable, 'Liquor' eventually reveals itself as a wilfully subversive little record featuring evil nuns, town bikes, night trains to hell, the void, and the abyss - and also some great song titles (A Lot To Drink About, for example). Who put these two together? They just encourage each other - and thank goodness for that.
db magazine - Adelaide -Peter Strelan

This husband and wife duo, the spine of Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes, seems to be exorcising the effects of this double album's title. Graney's mood is fuddled as though in a feckless fit of murky introspection (My Schtick Weighs a Ton), while drummer-vocalist Moore seems to have adopted his former wildly swerving swagger (The Town Bike Song). Graney's old oeuvre has become maudlin and drawn, and Moore has absorbed his power to sprout sharp new spikes.
Adelaide Advertiser-Mike Gribble

Unless your first name is Snoop or, like Lou Reed, you prefer your "wine in the morning and some breakfast at night", I’d advise you steer clear of hashish and liquor until at least lunchtime. Lest you be one of those oddly balanced people, or one self-righteous enough to abstain in the first place. To you I say well done. Would you like some dessert wine with that stigmata?
For the rest, however, who prefer a little light relief to ease the general shittiness of life, you may find some of that calm dizziness of the chemical of your choice in Graney and Moore’s latest work. One disc
Graney’s may be the name to get bums on seats but it is Moore’s side – full of liquor-licked tragedies – that will dazzle most punters. I say that not as a reflection upon the quality of either disc, but simply to note their accessibility. Dave Graney’s Hashish side is a spiralling, reflective, hazy lounge act. It’s the type of rock album that happily accompanies vibes and flute and bells and with its tautological take on one of drug culture’s greatest lyrics (herein known as I Will Have Always Been Here Before), of course you know I’m gonna love it.
Upon a time Clare Moore was working on a project of town bike songs (shame on you if you don’t know the concept of The Town Bike; what, are you un-Australian or something?). Presented within the Liquor album – and let’s hope the tipple of choice is some kind of passion pop, just to make it all the more poignant – it’s pretty sad stuff. Even if it shouldn’t be.
The Graney/Moore show has always been as much concept and high drama as it is fine fine music. Let’s not forget, their first ever gig together, post-Moodists, included something like seven lesbian saxophonists (and one stoned man up front in a safari suit).
So for them to follow through two decades later with an actual Concept Album(s) is no wonder whatsoever. How much was moulded to fit the themes, rather than written for them, is always an unwinnable debate. Let’s say some, they say none, and let’s call the whole thing off.
If you’re looking for a Night Of The Wolverine or a You’re Too Hip Baby then you’re only about a decade too late. Whilst not having ditched the whole midday show circuit shtick of previous albums (immaculately summed up in the title of one of the songs on Hashish; My Shtick Weighs A Ton), there is certainly no need for elevated collars and lime green jumpsuits this time round. It ain’t no dark night of the soul but it certainly
seems to smell more confessional than anything the pair have done in a good long while. I get the feeling the glass is half empty, not half full, when they look in the mirror. Judging from these songs anyway, with their morning-after tone of regret.
Gorgeous self-mordant stuff, baby.
Faster Louder magazine

HASHISH & LIQUOR – Dave Graney & Clare Moore
Wasn’t it alleged cock flasher Jimbo Morrison who dropped the line “I’ll always be a wordman/Better than a birdman” on the out-of-it (and very posthumous) “American Prayer” spoken word album? Rhetorical question, but it fits right into a review of a double CD set from Australia’s Royal Family of Pop, Dave Graney and Clare Moore. After all, they’re the folks responsible for the best (only?) ode to the Australian Doors Show tribute that you’re ever likely to hear.
Speaking of wordmen, we’re often justifiably accused of being Birdman acolytes at the I-94 Bar, but even a staunch rock and roll soldier needs diversionary listening material after a long stint in the trenches supporting the War Against The Jive. Which makes “Hashish & Liquor” such an enjoyable and off-beat pleasure.
Hopefully it’s not too much of an over-simplification to paint Dave Graney as the “wordman” of his partnership with drummer/wife/muse Clare Moore, but it’s the lyrical musings on “Hashish” - about the nature of stardom, being stoned (in the many senses of the term) and all parts in-between - that get me every time. It’s not so much a ‘drug concept’ album as a ‘life concept’ piece, breezy enough for the casual listener but rewarding if you’re up for a challenge, too. So put that in your hash pipe and smoke it.
The music ranges from deft, jazz-tinged rock interspersed to diversions into folky and neo-country byways. It feels all warm, like it was produced your lounge room – which it probably would have been, in part, if you lived with Dave and Clare at their Ponderosa.
The usual range of recent suspects that makes up The Lurid Yellow Mist play various instruments, supplemented by Melbourne jazz pianist Mark Fitzibbon, who’s now also part of the live show.
There’s a consistency in the run of recent Graney albums that makes you glad, in a way, that he no longer carries around a major label AustraliaCard in his knapsack. He’s free to do whatever he likes - and you’re also free to listen. It ain’t Detroit rock but it’s fascinating. As the man says, his schtick weighs a ton.
There’s a neat commentary that explores the rationale for dividing this package into explorations of infinity (Dave) and the abyss (Clare), but you’ll have to buy the CDs and pore over the liner notes to be up to speed. What you can expect when you spin the second album, Clare’s “Liquor”, is the unexpected. “Liquor” is a dazzling trip into various musical dimensions, where the drinks are served straight up and the language is glam, sequenced beats, psychedelic sounds, strings and woodwind. It is also seriously out there and, at times (“The Town Bike Song”), fairly rocking. Tales of lust, boredom, love and cane-wielding nuns.
One of the most interesting and arresting packages to defy classification in 2005. -
the i94 bar....The Barman
Dave Graney has always been a bit of a clever bastard. When he was named Best Male Artist (and dubbed himself ‘King of Pop’) at the 1996 ARIA Awards, his crushed velvet suit and curly wig said it all. The man had come along way since his beginnings in Adelaide punkers the Skunks in the late 1970s, and he was going to savour every minute of his moment on top.
He’s been with Clare Moore since the Sputniks formed from the ashes of said act, evolving into the Moodists (who moved to London in a pursuit of fame and fortune), before Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes battled away for a decade in obscurity before the ace Night of the Wolverine suddenly found him in the spotlight. After a while it became the Dave Graney Show, but now it’s just Dave, Clare, and a bunch of guests.
Split over two albums, the muses square off with one another, and it’s obvious that Graney was going to come out on top on Hashish (it’s just a better drug) – "My Schtick Weighs a Ton" in particular is a great faux-cabaret/lounge moment, with great piano from Melbourne jazz man about town Mark Fitzgibbon. Other guests abound: the biggest name to note is that of Warren Ellis, from the Dirty Three, and now a permanent member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds too.
Clare Moore’s briefer Liquor is not exactly a Yoko Ono to a John Lennon, but it certainly is more experimental and less song-based. The opening "Alphonsus Will Get You" opens with a noise piece of which Yoko may well be proud, while the other seven tracks vary from odder to more straightforward numbers, but it’s always an uneasy listen, especially when you compare Moore’s laboured Nico-isms to Graney’s natural warmth. A strange trippy little journey through two different but interweaving psyches, Hashish & Liquor is a double-album that will leave many scratching their head, unsure here it fits into the grand scheme of things.
The Electric Newspaper-Online
Hashish and Liquor (Reverberation)

This release works like those two-for-one albums you see in junk shops where
you get two completely different artists in the one package. The only difference here is this isn’t the Glitter Band and Mud doing re-recordings of their hits: this is more like a musical and personal partnership bottled on record. Dave Graney’s Hashish is typical of his persona: a wild, eccentric and intelligent man who moonlights as a singer, with songs that lyrically outshine and underline his often underrated craftsmanship. Hashish is almost like a lounge jazz ruminating from Henry’s girlfriend’s house in Eraserhead. It’s naturally quirky, yet pop-aware and still in touch with his own genius.
Clare Moore’s side of the coin, Liquor, shows senses of Euro cool that shadows Jane Birkin’s Baby Alone In Babylone (‘Alphonsius Will Get You’) in amongst bizarre waltz lullabies and general kookiness. Moore’s icy cool voice breathes an eerie sensuality of little-girl-lost-in-a-cruel-world-with-a-knuckle-duster-in-hand. When you fuse the two sides into one record it becomes quite a strange, enjoyable and engaging package.
Time Off (QLD..Donat Tahiraj)

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