THE GADFLYS Friday 13th December @ 12.45

Phil Moriarty is the man even an on-stage heart attack could not stop. He and his band The Gadflys, in which he performs with his brother Mick Moriarty, are back with their first album in almost 20 years, and we at The Basement Discs are very excited to host them live and in-store. After suffering a cardiac arrest while performing on Christmas Eve 2017, Phil recooperated and recorded – including the song he was performing at the time he collapsed, called Love & Despair – which also became the title of his band’s new album. Phil said Love & Despair was an attempt by the band to express themselves in the face of the modern world.

“We have a strange combination of a roots take on things with pop-rock sensibilities,” he said. “We came up with the phrase the album sounds like T-Rex on Alligator Wine. It’s a meaningless catchphrase, but it seems to suit us!”

The Gadflys first formed in 1982 as a three-piece punk band. Normally, ‘punk’ means distorted guitars and loud drums playing as fast as possible. For The Gadflys, it meant a double bass, guitar and clarinet playing an eclectic mix of pop, rock, country and ballads. The trio made its mark first as distinctive buskers, then as a popular pub band, and eventually found their way onto ABC’s Good News Week with Paul McDermott, playing original songs to a mass audience in their jungle skiffle style. Over the years The Gadflys have grown from the basic trio to a big band with horns, keyboards and backing vocalists.