Best known as frontman and songwriter for hard-travelling band The Re-mains, and after twenty years on the road through Australia, Canada and Europe, Mick Daley has taken a turn for the verse with a swag of new solo picking songs. Reared on Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Townes Van Zandt and Nick Cave, these songs bear their lyrical and musical hallmarks, by turns tender and savage.
In 2014 he recorded an album, ‘Courage and Shuffle the Cards’ with The Corporate Raiders at Sydney’s Megaphon studios. In April 2015 he worked with Melbourne’s singer songwriting multi-instrumentalist legend Matt Walker on a proper acoustic solo album, Tiny Violins.
With these ballads and dirges he delivers a rich history as a genuine Australian folksinger.
Coming on top of the eight albums of original material released with The Re-Mains and played on national radio and television and in Europe and Canada, this represents a significant body of work –enough for Jeff Glorfeld of The Melbourne Age to call The Re-mains “arguably Australia’s best country rock band”.
Mick’s new solo work, which returns to his folksy, hitching-around-Australia-thinking-he-was-Bob-Dylan roots, kickstarted at the 2014 Majors Creek festival and in pubs and clubs around NSW and Victoria. Hauling the personal kicking and screaming into the political arenas, he’s fond of stark tales from the interesting times we live in. As well as rock and roll.
Mick will be touring these two albums, solo and with the Corporate Raiders throughout 2015. There’ll be rock, there’ll be folky rock, there’ll be country rock n roll, if Jones is squiffy, there’ll be bossanova.
There are two chapters of The Corporate Raiders, one residing in Sydney, one in Melbourne. Melbourne boasts the inimitable Scotty Dog Bennett, a long-time Re-main and founding Raider. A king-hit drummer, much demand in his beloved and chilly city. Tarmes.
Alongside him are Sam Fiddian, seen in the first pic, and Mark McCartney, in this photo playing bass with Mick Thomas.
Former Raider Tim Crossey tired of that instrument and got his own band on the road, though he now guests on piano and riders.
He’s seen here using a Big Muff pedal to make insane feedback noise.
The Sydney chapter is anchored by live-wire Marrickville bass-playing bar bloke Tom Jones, who is partial to jazz. And beer. Another long-term Re-mains detainee, he has taken the noble art of the bossanova a little too far. Also in that pic is Grant Bedford, who the Re-Mains tried to kill, and who now plays the blues with the Hipshooters, and occasionally Raids.
Here is a sensitive pic of some of the Sydney combo, taken by my good mate Dean Sewell. It features Michael ‘Plugger’ Ward (right) on drums. An interesting fact is that Wardy has been sober for a loooong time now, after breaking his elbow following a night spent doing sound for the band.
Here’s what stuff used to be like.
Here’s Tom Jones being cool as fuck.
Some interesting cats have played in the Raiders. Marty Burke played on the album and lived, briefly, in Melbourne. He’s now back in NSW and often to be found propping up the bar at the Junkyard. He’s also responsible for the crazy guitar runs in Secret Spell. He can be seen here at far left, being unobtrusive.
And here, overdubbing some organ on the album out at Moore Creek.
Then there’s Ross Waraker, a Hammond man, who also played fantastic stuff on the album, and plays in the Sydney ensemble.
Here he is in the line-up that played on the album, less Sue Morley, and Sal Yates, and Tom Hespe, and Doug who will feature shortly. It’s all pretty blokey so far, but they’re shortly to be revealed in all their glory. Oh, and Grant Bedford, second from left, didn’t play on the record either, but he did play at the Town and Country that night. And he’s my brother-in-law, and I did try to kill him once. Or rather, the Curse did. Rosscoe is in the middle.
Su did some sterling work on the album and played fiddle with me at the Majors Creek Festival last year, my first solo festival outing. She had a tough time last year and is back firing on all cylinders.
Sal Yates, the owner of one of the greatest voices around, is a swell chick who I’ve played in a few outfits with, including the mysterious Ghost Mountain. She did some spookily good backing vocals on the album.
Tom Hespe and Doug Hazell are also mainstays of the fast drinking Slowdowns and together they comprise the Kenny G Spot Experience. They’ve been blowing horns with the Re-Mains here and there for a few years, and they blew up a couple of songs on the album with rare finesse and power.
Dylan Hartas, who’s got his own band and is a member of the notorious Slowdowns, is playing guitar with the Sydney group. He’s seen here with me and Tom Jones at the Grand Junction Hotel, best pub in Australia, hands down.
Then there’s Lachy Monaro, who played drums on an infamous tour, and only fell asleep on stage once. Seen here with Tilly.
Here’s my own sadly departed little secret worker, Ticketyboo, showing the pups how it’s done.
Grant also joins me on North Coast forays. We both used to live up there and when in town at the same time, have been known to haunt anti coal seam gas movie premieres with The Orwellian Nightmare. Seen at the Byron Bay Frackman debut. L to R – Connor Cleary, Grant Bedford, myself and Al Brooker.
Another ex-Coastee, now a King Hit gittar playing Cramps-loving rock and roll freak is Adam Bell, who I played with the very weird outfits Bumphead and Pete’s New Lawnmower in Wagga Wagga in the 90s. He does all the Re-Mains and Raiders album artwork and interwebs design work too. As a special bonus, he also played bass on the Re-Mains 2013 European jaunt.
Speaking of The Re-Mains, Leigh Ivin produced the album at Megaphon (Musicfeeds) studio in Sydney and the Moore Creek studio built by himself and Ronny Rindo. Now a big-time studio whiz kid, here he is back in the day on the steel. Alongside him is old maaaaate Stephen Teakle AKA Stretch, AKA Barry Morgan.
In June a cross-cultural chapter of the band featuring Scotty Dog, Tom Jones and Uncle Burnin Love AKA Shaun Butcher the dabbest banjo hand in the North will be jetting to the Territory for a bunch of gigs. UBL is a photogenic banjo player. Seen here in a variety of poses, he’s always good for a rocknroll moment.
Such as this one – at the infamous Nymagee Outback Festival of ’09. Only the hardest of the hardcore hard-travellin CRnR bands would travel out to this far-flung NSW outback town, to play for nothin’ and hardly nobody except their peers. In the heat and the dust, with flies like flying rats and burrs like mines that would take your foot off, we’d carouse for two or three days, sing each others songs and sleep in dusty shanties. Then we’d all limp off home and resume our occasionally normal lives.
UBL at centre stage is clearly indulging in some heated chordal discussion with Glenys Rae Virus.
Other guitarists who have guested at Raiders gigs include Stew Cunningham, AKA Leadfinger, from the band of the same name.
Then there’s the irrepressible Hank Denfield, AKA Den Hanrahan, who’s an honourary Re-Main as well.
Here’s the three-piece Daley, Jones, Cunningham at the Gasoline Pony on Jan 31, 2016. With headstanding assistance from Doc.
Here’s some updates. I’m about to play Mazstock, Lismore’s very own rock and roll festival featuring this lady (below) whom it is named after and who curates it.
The Sydney chapter of the Corporate Raiders, now featuring members of the brilliant band Leadfinger will be joining me at Mazstock. Here they are, some of the best purveyors of rock and roll in the country.
L to R: Stew Cunningham AKA Leadfinger; Dillon Hicks AKA Leadfoot. Yours truly. Reggie Screen.
Here’s us again at Frankies Pizza by the Slice:
Above is another great lineup: That’s from l to r, Christian Pyle, Darren J Bridge, myself, Shaun Butcher, an unidentified male and on drums Brendan Drinkwater. I believe the venue is Federal Hall.
This is the Mick Daley trio, otherwise known as the Wayshegoes. That’s Adam Bell on electric guitar and Tom Jones on double bass.
Here’s another shot of that band at the Gooloogong Hotel in April.
I’ve neglected to mention the release of this album late last year. A solo work with Matt Walker producing and playing thereon, I regard it as one of my best.
Few weeks ago The Melbourne Corporate Raiders played an Americana festival at the Retreat Hotel in Melbourne. This was the night after I’d supported Bill Chambers at the Bella Union, Melbourne’s historic Trade Union Hall, where Squizzy Taylor ran amok with a machine gun and you can still see the bullet holes in the walls. Anyway, the next day Bill came down to the Retreat and played steel on Woke Up Sad.
And here’s another pic of the band, with Tim Crossey standing in as our Bez.
Crossey made another appearance at the last ad hoc Raiders gig last January in Nundle.
He likes to show up whenever there’s a good rider in the offing. Here’s me at a recent house concert in Lismore. I’m playing Wild Cattle Creek, an old blockading ballad of mine from the 90s, when we ferals used to terrorise the robber timber barons.
This is my mate Laurie Axtens, aka the Loon, who hosts the Lismore house concerts.