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    Cousteau Biography

    When you hear Cousteau, your yearning pours forth. The yearning never really goes away, but sometimes it forgets to live in music. In Cousteau's songs, the yearning is everywhere: strong, vulnerable, and vital. "We'll just go on doing this beautiful thing", says Davey Ray Moor. "We're dreamers. It's the truth of our lives."

    That must tell you something.

    There is something heroic, something noble about this record, which saw Cousteau catapulted into everybody's "Top Tips for the 21st Century" lists. It's strain of romantic, epic ballads is increasingly hard to come by in a pop world of boy hoofers and Ibiza pizza. Sure, some said it reminded them of Tindersticks or Nick Cave, but were compelled to add "if those acts had more than one trick".

    Most people hearing these songs, if they have any kind of interior emotional life, will feel they were made for them. Songs that possess but can't constrain the yearning. That must communicate, with great tides of romance, both heartbreakingly thwarted and joyously fulfilled.

    Songs that must tell you something.

    Cousteau's ascent from the murky depths began in London, May '98, when the man came along who could wear the songs...His wilderness years saw Davey Ray Moor abandoning Oz, keeping himself alive playing barroom piano. Collecting, on the road, stories of love, loss and sorrow.

    A gift for soundtracks meshed with Robin Brown's lust for sleaze-guitar set the scene-in-waiting for a vast and gorgeous, though unmanned, theatre.

    Enter Liam McKahey. From Cork. Tattooed, picaresque survivor of excessive battles, well on the way to another oblivion. A demented angel with a voice of velvet. It happened by chance. The songs and the singer, like strangers on a train.

    When he met Cousteau. He knew "this was the one. It'd always been my ambition and dream to be a crooner, but I'd never been allowed to be what I'm meant to be. Now I am. You don't necessarily need an orchestra and tuxedos." Nevertheless, the intensely tattooed Liam, like the rest of the band, wears a suit well.

    Indeed, the generally affable Liam, despite possessing the tenderest, most melancholy swoon-croon, has been known to demand people pay attention to Cousteau's musical offerings a little too ardently, leaping into the audience at one gig and thumping a chattering philistine.

    Then came Joe Peet, the Drifter Kid, ingenue fugitive from the jazz police with his double bass and his soaring tenor.

    Joe's North London scene had various interlopers and Craig-the-funky-drummer Vear was about to quit the cafes when he heard the Irishman sing.

    On rainy afternoons in a fading century, on no budget, Cousteau made a first album, which was "more guerilla campaign than recording session. It was a patchwork of blind faith, against all good advice, hand-turned in dodgy bedrooms and bedsits too sordid to detail, in East London and Somerset". When it was finished, they said, "Send lawyers, guns and money - this thing might fly."

    In 2000 Cousteau were signed to Palm Pictures and their debut release was this past November.

    The rest is maritime history...

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