SINGLE REVIEW: Deborah by The Gadflys
As Michael Moriarty has said about his band The Gadflys, ‘We’ve always generated an air of rootsy authenticity’, and that authenticity is identifiable on their new track Deborah. Taken from their forthcoming album Love & Despair, the song is an affectionate tribute to punk rock icon Deborah Harry. And who better to release such a paean to one of the biggest names in rock history than a band whose punk roots has led them from busking to featuring as house band in a weekly nationwide TV show (the ABC’s Good News Week)? Beginning as a three-piece in the 80s, the Moriarty brothers Michael and Phil set about turning the notion of punk on its head, forging a style that incorporated double bass, clarinet and guitar, a sound that melded punk, county, rock, folk and pop. With years of touring under their belts, four albums and two EPs, The Gadflys have reemerged with a wistful yet alluring song, combining elements of rock, pop and country to create an entrancing musical bouquet. Kicking off with the rhythmic bed of the track, a rolling 50s era guitar chugging over a rockabilly-like drum part the song unfolds, with Michael Moriarty’s rock and roll crooning at the fore, initially delivered with restraint until the rising fervour allows him to wail a little when he gets to a few higher notes. The instrumentation is confined to guitar, organ, bass and drums and these corresponding parts are performed with passionate dexterity and rise and fall with the mood of the song accordingly. The lyric outlines a feeling of yearning, a perspective that utilizes the past, ‘Deborah, out of the blue, you were a wave across my ocean’, as well the present, ‘I’ll catch the A train to your station’. These perspectives create a dreamy representation of the power the subject holds over the narrator, indeed the song becomes an incantation as well as a dedication. Deborah is a marvellous, genre-crossing track that will resonate with many old and new fans alike.
When most people hear the phrase ‘come as you are,’ the first thing they’re usually …