Deborah Conway celebrates with String of Pearls and Everybody’s Begging


Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier.
Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier.

DEBORAH Conway’s musical journey has been unfolding for nearly 40 years.

And if recent evidence is anything to go by, she may only now be hitting her peak.

Her past two albums – 2013’s Stories of Ghosts and this year’s Everybody’s Begging – are high-water marks.

More than 30 years after her band Do-Re-Mi’s hit Man Overboard, and 25 since the soaring pop of It’s Only the Beginning, Conway is still enjoying the love of a lifetime.

Both Stories of Ghosts and Everybody’s Begging are spiritual albums, deeply tinged by Conway and long-time collaborator Willy Zygier’s Jewish heritage.

Conway said she was fascinated by Judaism, but insisted it only went so far.

“I’m not religious – neither Willy or I believe in God,” she said.

“But there’s all kinds of ways to be Jewish.

“Just because you might not believe in God doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t go through all the emotions, the rituals and all of those things that go with it.

“And these are fascinating areas to explore.

“The first time we started writing about Judaism was on Half Man Half Woman (2010).

“I used some lines from a little prayer book called the Haggadah which is what we read at Passover.

“It’s very beautiful poetry.”

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While the themes on Everybody’s Begging are weighty, Conway’s upcoming WA tour also celebrates another time of life.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the release of her first solo album, String of Pearls.

It was the record that put her on the map, as It’s Only the Beginning entered the national songbook.

Conway said she was proud of the album and enjoyed revisiting it with audiences.

“I think there’s a certain naivete about String of Pearls which some might find charming… and others may find a bit irritating,” she said.

“It made a big splash at the time.

“It’s worth celebrating that stuff – 25 years on it still holds water.”

Conway will perform both Everybody’s Begging and String of Pearls in their entirety during her WA shows.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Deborah Conway

Where and when: Fremantle, Navy Club (December 17), City Beach, Quarry Amphitheatre (December 18)

Tickets: www.eventbrite.com.au and www.ticketmaster.com.au