The moodists - take the red carpet out of town



The title track to the 3-song Take the Red Carpet Out of Town EP sounds unlike any other Moodist recording. It strikes a richer, deeper sound compared to the wired, trebly feel of the early output. An excited brass arrangement propels the track while Graney hits his distinctive vocal style delivering his already unique lyrical outlook.
"We played the song with Chris Walsh in the band and then changed it with David McClymont on the bass," Graney explains. "Chris was such a central part of the sound; he was impossible to replace so we started to pay more attention to songwriting and arranging. Louise Elliott, who we knew from the Laughing Clowns, did the arrangement. She was a great player and a wild bohemian."
The b-sides were Everybody Don’t Tell Her and the traditional Jack of Diamonds – a song that had been transformed in the mid-60s by San Francisco folk-psychedelic group the Charlatans. "That was a track we were pointed towards by Epic Soundtracks," Graney explains. "Probably on a tape he gave to me or Steve. It seemed so mysterious and arcane." In later years Graney frequently referred to the band in interviews and photos.
It’s the direct link to the music Graney and Moore later produced with the White Buffaloes on My Life on the Plains.
Released on the Tim/Abstract label in October 1985 Take the Red Carpet Out of Town meet with little reaction. The 4-track EP that quickly followed in February 1986 was simply titled The Moodists. Again it failed to garner much attention but showed the band crafting twisted pop songs.
The opener Hey Little Gary was written about "all these rockers at the time from privileged backgrounds trying on some badass clothes for a few summers. There lots of them around." Another track It Takes a Thief featured lines like "You’re a type and so I am/So lets two famous brands go
for a ride" while Somebody to Love is a delicious melding of wild guitar, funky drumming and Graney’s lyric. ( I went down to the station in the rush/All those faces came at mine/Somebody to Love ). "I really like Somebody to Love for the lyric, the arrangement and the playing," he says.
"Steve is playing really well and so is Malcolm Ross. The ending is really dramatic."
The great, lost hit single off the set is Someone’s Got to Give – a brilliant, timeless track cased in an intriguingly elastic arrangement. Moore sings backup as Graney implores – "if I could only put a face to my troubles."
"Someone’s Got to Give was really heavily arranged by Steve and David McClymont," Graney says. "I, of course, always had too many words for one song. We were just feeling our way to something new."
One of the reasons for the ageless feel on the two EPs is Clare Moore’s drums. "I was going for a "Bonzo" Bonham drum sound," she admits. It was achieved despite most records of the time being swamped with horrendous 80s drum effects – a hallmark of the era that taints many great records. Somebody to Love is the only track to feature a slight hint of the times with some 80s sounding handclaps (actually sounding pretty
good). "Our contemporaries like the Go-Betweens and the Triffids all had to deal with that shit more than us," Graney says. "They all had producers insisting drum machines and programs absolutely had to be used. No one was paying attention to us."
Having no one pay attention at this time proved too much for the Moodists. By mid-1986 it was over. The way Moore remembers it there was no big fight just frustrated resignation – "there wasn’t any band meeting to decide it."
"We ran out of gas," states Graney. "Steve was tour managing the Triffids a lot, going away with them. Their success and easy engagement with the UK business seemed to be a trick we could never manage. We were buggered."

The Moodists were an Australian post-punk band which formed in late 1980 by Dave Graney on lead vocals, Clare Moore on drums and Steve Miller on guitar, all from punk group, the Sputniks. They added bass guitarist, Chris Walsh, in early 1981, and in April 1983 added guitarist, Mick Turner (ex-Sick Things, Fungus Brains). They issued their sole studio album, Thirsty's Calling, in April 1984. Turner left in January 1985 and the group disbanded in 1987.


The Moodists - Take The Red Carpet Out Of TownThe Moodists - Take The Red Carpet Out Of TownThe Moodists - Take The Red Carpet Out Of TownThe Moodists - Take The Red Carpet Out Of Town

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