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James Clarke Five - Gadfly Groove (Favourite Recordings)

16 February 2024

At the risk of sounding all pretentious and all hi-falutin, I will kick things off with this. How do I love thee, “Gadfly Groove?” Let me count the ways.

Well, before I even get to the music, I love the fact that, in the same way that Cocteau Twins were more numerous non-siblings, and Ben Folds Five can’t easily be folded into two equal halves, James Clarke Five is, in fact, the solo project of one individual, ex- Cherry Boys main man, James Hughes.

And on to the music. I love the blend of pop power, purpose and poise inherent in the song. I love its confidence as it struts across the musical landscape. I love that killer staccato riff. I love the fact that “Gadfly Groove” sounds like XTC had they taken a more glam rock route. And I love the way that the sax solo that seems to wrestle ownership of the song out of James’ hands as it heads towards the finish line. Man, this is pop perfection. And then some.

So, on reflection, to answer the question posed above. Six. I love the song six ways. But to be fair, that’s still quite a lot.

Gadfly Groove single
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