The Moodists

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The Moodists
Origin Melbourne, Australia
Genres Rock
Years active 1980–1987
Past members Dave Graney
Clare Moore
Steve Miller
Chris Walsh
Mick Turner
David McClymont
Malcolm Ross

The Moodists were an Australian post-punk band that formed in 1980, when Dave Graney, Clare Moore and Steve Miller of punk group The Sputniks moved from Adelaide to Melbourne. They added bass player Chris Walsh and later added guitarist Mick Turner.

After recording two singles and a six track EP for Bruce Milne and Greta Moon's Au Go Go label in Melbourne they relocated to London. This was at the behest of the Red Flame label who had released a compilation of their Australian releases. They then recorded the albums Thirstys Calling (1984) and Double Life (1985).

The band supported Public Image Limited on their 1984 tour of Australia, along with punk band Box of Fish.

[1]They returned to Australia in 1985 for six months (Turner quit and reconvened his earlier group Fungus Brains; he would later form Dirty Three) and then travelled again to the UK. During this time they toured extensively through Northern Europe and also made a short tour of the United States. In 1985 they recorded an EP for Creation Records. In 1986 they released two EPs on the TIM label. All their recorded works from the time they first decamped to the northern hemisphere were produced by the band and Victor Van Vugt (who went on to work with Nick Cave, Beth Orton and PJ Harvey as well as many others) Their final gig was in London and the lineup by this time featured Dave Graney, Clare Moore and Steve Miller as well as former members of Scottish band Orange Juice: David McClymont on bass and Malcolm Ross on guitar. (Malcolm Ross was later to play with Graney and Moore as part of the original Coral Snakes). After they disbanded in 1987, Dave Graney and Clare Moore formed the first of Graney's solo groups 'Dave Graney with the Coral Snakes'. This band featured Malcolm Ross, Gordy Blair on bass and piano player Louis Vause. They recorded an ep for Fire Records which was produced by Barry Adamson.

In 2003 a retrospective CD Two Fisted Art was released on the W.Minc label (run by guitarist Steve Miller) and the band reformed for a limited number of live performances in Melbourne. In 2004 a DVD of a performance recorded for British television in 1984 was released by Umbrella Entertainment. The band were asked for any contributions and they reconvened for a filmed interview for the disc as well as providing footage from Mick Harvey's private archives and also film of another, more raw performance at The Haçienda in Manchester.


  • 7 single, "where the trees walk downhill" b/w "I should have been here" on Au GoGo 1980
  • 7" single "Gone dead"/"Chad's car" on Au GoGo 1981
  • Engine Shudder (1982)

Originally a 6 track ep on Au GoGo, later combined with the second Au GoGo single and released as an album on Red Flame Records in the UK (1983).

  • Thirsty's Calling (1984)

Recorded and mixed at Livingstone Studios in London with Victor Van Vugt, who had travelled from Melbourne with the band as their live sound mixer. A reformed Yardbirds, known as Box of frogs, were working in the same studio at the time. The Moodists did a John Peel session as the album came out. 7' single "enough legs to live on/"can't lose her". Continued the Moodists knack of having the best songs as b-sides released late 1984. Another Victor Van Vugt production.

  • Double Life (1985)

Again recorded at the same studio with Victor Van Vugt recording and mixing. A compilation of the "enough legs" single and b-side and unreleased material which was the beginnings of a new album. Never actually mixed, "Double Life" is the most focussed, dynamic and powerful song the band ever recorded. The last release on Red Flame. Another John Peel session was done in 1985.

  • 12' single "justice and money too" b/w "take us all home" and "you've got your story" released on Creation Records in 1985. Recorded and mixed by Victor Van Vugt. Featured Mick Harvey on piano and Adam Peters (at the time working with the Triffids as well) on viola.
  • two four track 12" vinyl eps released on Tim/Abstract in 1985/86. One featured "Take the red carpet out of town" (with horns by Louise Elliott of the Laughing Clowns), b/w "everybody don't tell her" and the traditional "jack of diamonds".

The last ep featured "someone's got to give" b/w "hey little gary", "somebody to love" and "it takes a thief". The band by this time featured former members of Orange Juice, David McClymont and Malcolm Ross. With their influence, the songs grew tighter and more ambitious and generally more arranged. The last session also included Mark Fitzgibbon on piano who later re surfaced in 2005, working on the Dave Graney and Clare Moore cds, "Hashish and Liquor". All were recorded and mixed by Victor Van Vugt who had by this time become a much in demand live and studio engineer. He later went on to work with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for many years on the road. He also worked as producer for Beth Orton, PJ Harvey and, in a brief return to Australia, for "the soft'n'sexy sound" of Dave Graney 'n'the Coral Snakes.

  • Two Fisted Art (2005) (Retrospective double CD, featured only one track from the last two eps)

One disc was a collection of their recorded work. The other disc was live and unreleased material from 1982 in Melbourne and 1984 in London.

  • A film of the Moodists was made in 1984 and this was broadcast on ITV. This film, The Moodists live in London was released on DVD in Australia in 2004. The original footage of their live show (shot by several cameras and a 24 track mobile studio at the Camden Palace) was the main part of the DVD but there was also an interview with the band in 2004 (conducted by David Nichols) as well as another complete show of the band playing at The Haçienda club in Manchester.

Dave Graney and Clare Moore resided and worked in London from late 1983 to late 1988. They toured Europe extensively and made one tour to the United States.


  • Engine Shudder mini-album (Au Go Go Records, 1983) #19 UK Indie
  • Thirsty's Calling LP (Red Flame/Virgin Records, 1984)(Virgin Records Australia 1984)
  • Double Life UK only mini-album (Red Flame/Virgin Records, 1985)
  • Two Fisted Art retrospective double CD (W.Minc, 2003)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "Where The Trees Walk Down Hill" (Au Go Go Records, 1981)
  • "Gone Dead" / "Chad's Car" (Au Go Go Records, 1982)
  • "The Disciples Know" (Red Flame/Virgin Records, 1983)
  • "Runaway" (Red Flame/Virgin Records, 1984)
  • "Enough Legs To Live On" (Red Flame/Virgin Records, 1985)
  • "Justice And Money Too" (Creation Records, 1985) #42 UK Indie
  • "Take The Red Carpet Out Of Town" (TIM Records, 1986)
  • "The Moodists" (TIM Records, 1986)

See also[edit]


[1]An article in Mess and Noise from 2013 - retrospective interview with Graney and Moore [2]a retrospective review of the Moodists from a Go Betweens focussed site. [3]review of a 2004 reunion show by the Moodists from the i94bar website [4]review of the "two fisted art" double cd set


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "That Striped Sunlight Sound: The Moodists - Engine Shudder". 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived November 24, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]