text & images by Kerrie Pacholli
St Kilda based singer / songwriter / musician Mick Moriarty, brother Phil Moriarty and fellow long time minstrels Elmo Reid and Pete Velzen filled The Spotted Mallard with cellular enhancing original music at the launch of their new album LOVE AND DESPAIR.
Mick coined the term Mongrel Jazz to describe their blend of blues, klezmer, skiffle and cool jazz, underpinned by righteously rootsy grooves, which has formed the Gadflys sound.
With resonating consciousness from Socrates being a gadfly to Athens so too The Gadflys spring fourth creative fervor in music and lyrics that prick and stir the soul.
As Phil made mention to the audience, all the band members are fathers to girls. Perhaps to give explanation to their somewhat piecing magical Elvin harmonies. An extraordinary blend considering who was performing on stage.
Just to digress a little from the Album launch it is worth mentioning that whilst on tour in Edinburgh 20 years ago Mick met his wife Susan Provan who has been the Director/CEO of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for over 20 years. Another exceptionally productive union.
Playing the room with their haunting music, I could not but think it is musicians like these that made the descent of the Titanic seem less despairing and final and perhaps that spirit lives on in the souls of musicians of this calibre.