The Moodists

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The Moodists
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Rock
Years active 1980 (1980)–1987 (1987)
Associated acts
  • The Sputniks
  • Orange Juice
  • Dave Graney with the Coral Snakes
Past members

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 were formed as a rock group in Melbourne late in 1980 after three members of Adelaide-based punk band, the Sputniks, had relocated there: [Dave Graney]] on lead vocals, Clare Moore on drums and Steve Miller on guitar; they were joined by Steven Carmen on bass guitar.[1][2] The band were signed by Bruce Milne and Greta Moon to their Au Go Go label in 1981 and Carmen was replaced on bass guitar by Chris Walsh (ex-the Negatives).[1][3]

The Moodists debut single, "Where the Trees Walk Downhill", was issued in October 1981.[1] It was followed by a second single, "Gone Dead", in June 1982, which was produced by Victor Van Vugt.[1][2] A six-track extended play, Engine Shudder, appeared in January 1983, co-produced by Van Vugt with Tony Cohen and Chris Thompson.[1][2] It had been recorded at Richmond Recorders, Melbourne in the previous October with session saxophonists, Nick Danyi and David Paliser, providing work on a track each. In April of that year Mick Turner on lead guitar (ex-Sick Things, Fungus Brains) joined.[1][2] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt Turner provided "his squalling guitar work to the band's unnerving, avant-garage rock noise."[1]

In October 1983 the Moodists relocated to London at the behest of the Red Flame label which had released an extended version of Engine Shudder with "Gone Dead" added.[1][2] They recorded their second album, Thirsty's Calling (April 1984), with Van Vugt co-producing with the group.[1][2] It was recorded and mixed at Livingstone Studios, London. Van Vugt had travelled from Melbourne with the band as their live sound mixer. The Moodists performed a John Peel session as the album came out.

Thirsty's Calling was issued in Australia on Virgin Records and on Red Flame in the United Kingdom.[2] McFarlane declared "[it] drew favourable reviews, although the fickle UK music press tended to harp on about The Birthday Party comparisons. Even such ludicrous descriptions as 'garage jazz-punk' only hinted at the band's powerful sound."[1] They toured Europe and the United States before returning to Australia in November of that year.[1] There they supported Public Image Limited on their 1984 tour of Australia, along with local punk band, Box of Fish.[1] Turner left the group to reform Fungus Brains.[1][2]

The Moodists second EP, Double Life (1985), "contained tracks like the rumbling 'Six Dead Birds'."[1] They returned to Australia for six months and then back to the UK. Another John Peel session was undertaken in that year. Then they toured Northern Europe and had a short US tour. In August 1985 they issued an EP for Creation Records, Justice and Money. Session musicians included Mick Harvey on piano and Adam Peters on viola. McFarlane noticed that it "featured light, bluesy pop augmented with strings and piano."[1]

In 1986 they released two EPs on the TIM label, which works were co-produced by the band with Van Vugt.[1][2] McFarlane opined that they "had toned down somewhat, the band had lost none of its ability to craft unique and compelling songs."[1] By that time Walsh had left and returned to Australia. The Moodists final gig was in London with the line-up of Graney, Miller and Moore joined by former members of Scottish band, Orange Juice: David McClymont on bass guitar and Malcolm Ross on guitar.[1][2]

After the Moodists disbanded in 1987, Graney, Moore and Ross formed the first of Graney's solo groups: Dave Graney with the Coral Snakes.[1][2][4] This band also included Gordy Blair on bass guitar and Louis Vause on piano.[2][4] They recorded an EP for Fire Records, which was produced by Barry Adamson.[2][4] Turner was a founding mainstay of Dirty Three.[1][2]

In 2003 a compilation 2× CD, Two Fisted Art, was released on the W.Minc label[2] – run by Miller – and the band reformed for a limited number of live performances in Melbourne. Two Fisted Art featured one disc as a collection of their recorded work. The other disc was live and unreleased material from 1982 in Melbourne and 1984 in London. In 2004 a DVD, The Moodists Live in London, of a performance recorded for British TV in 1984 was released by Umbrella Entertainment. The band were asked for new contributions and reconvened for a filmed interview for the disc as well as providing footage from Harvey's private archives and also film of another, more raw performance at The Haçienda in Manchester.


  • Thirsty's Calling (April 1984) – Red Flame/Virgin Records
  • Two Fisted Art (compilation album, 2003) – W. Minc

Extended plays[edit]

  • Engine Shudder (1983) – Au Go Go Records, #19 UK Indie
  • Double Life (1985) – Red Flame/Virgin Records
  • Justice and Money Too (August 1985) – Creation Records #42 UK Indie
  • Take the Red Carpet out of Town (October 1985) – TIM Records, Time/Abstract
  • The Moodists (February 1986) – TIM Records, Time/Abstract


  • "Where the Trees Walk Down Hill" (October 1981) – Au Go Go Records
  • "Gone Dead" (June 1982) – Au Go Go Records
  • "The Disciples Know" (1983) – Red Flame/Virgin Records
  • "Runaway" (1984) – Red Flame/Virgin Records
  • "Enough Legs to Live On" (1985) – Red Flame/Virgin Records

See also[edit]



[5]a retrospective review of the Moodists from a Go Betweens focussed site. [6]review of a 2004 reunion show by the Moodists from the i94bar website [7]review of the "two fisted art" double cd set

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t McFarlane, 'The Moodists' entry. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Entries at Australian Rock Database:
    • The Moodists: Holmgren, Magnus. "The Moodists". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
    • Dave Graney (1980–87): Holmgren, Magnus; Graney, Dave. "Dave Graney". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
    • Mick Turner (1983–84): Holmgren, Magnus. "Mick Turner". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Emery, Patrick (17 April 2013). "Icons: The Moodists". Mess+Noise. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c McFarlane, 'Dave Graney and Coral Snakes' entry. Archived from the original on 4 June 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ "That Striped Sunlight Sound: The Moodists - Engine Shudder". 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived November 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]