Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deb's Night Out

A couple of days after seeing the Shihad doco on the weekend, which is well worth seeing for its own sake even if you have no interest in the band, I came across this revisiting of one of my favourite tracks of theirs, "Deb's Night Out", as well as another better known song (that I kind of have a love/hate relationship with). I knew the broad backstory to "Deb's Night Out" already, but I enjoyed the more detailed insights into just how it came to be.

It's the song that finally got me into the band, after flirting with earlier singles. I remember hearing it on the radio sitting in a car in a supermarket carpark in 1995, hearing that looping melodic drone, the line about "pray for the rain, to wash you far away", the relentless drum sample that propels the song forward and I was hooked. It was perfect. In its more guitar based reworked live version it has become one of my favourite songs to see at a gig as well. The doco used the song brilliantly, cutting from live footage of it being performed last year to archival footage of the band's manager at an early 90's show.

When released as a single it was packaged as an EP, with four other tracks, two of which are also favourites, the bulldozering cover of their then manager's band Flesh D-Vice's "Flaming Soul", and the gloriously moody and atmospheric instrumental "Last Day Of A Three Day Journey". I remember driving around in a car all night with a few friends in 1996, talking about loves and life, and playing this tape over and over until the sun was about to come up. The video too is cool, capturing the conflict in the song perfectly (as well as some Wellington locations that are now either very different or gone altogether).

I like it's unusual structure, and the way it presaged where the band was going creatively. It isn't only unique in style on it's album, it pretty much stands alone in their entire back catalogue. But it showed there was more to this band than just riffs and noise. It's dark, moody and uplifting at the same time, and I love it.

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