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The Celebration of Paul Kelly show trims the huge volume of Kelly’s work down to the most essential and powerful essence of his appeal.
It is a high energy performance relying on audience interaction, performed by a group of six seasoned professional musicians conscious of the huge task set for them by diehard Paul Kelly fans and they are respectful of the value of Kelly’s music that they are entrusted with to present to their audiences.
Audiences hear all the hits and recreate all those characters and places which Paul Kelly’s audiences and loyal fans have come to know and love. All this appeal is packed into two x 1 hour powerful musical sets supported by lighting and visuals.
No time for navel gazing and introspection here…
but a real “show” to send audiences home singing!
To create a mental picture of some of Paul Kelly’s characters and settings, we already have a head start. We know them from Australian history (Bradman, Jundamurra, Lingari and Whitlam) in familiar places (St Kilda, Kings Cross, Maralinga and the MCG). Other characters are equally lifelike (Billy Baxter, the returning husband in the silver–top taxi, the four mates on the fishing trip) in familiar places (the frozen lake, the Darlinghurst Street and under the smoky bridge). They are all uniquely Australian, even that silly Aussie backpacker in Europe he sings about, just like the great works of Henry Lawson and Albert Namatjira.
The trademark of a great artist is one who creates pictures that are scorched into our memory and come back to us clearly whenever we hear “those songs”. Paul Kelly has written “those songs” over 350 times in his lengthy career.
Over thirty five years, Paul Kelly has released 18 albums, 5 film scores, co-written with Nick Cave, Kev Carmody and Yothu Yindi, and written for Jenny Morris and Renee Geyer. He has never stood still musically, performing and recording with bands like The Dots, The Messengers, The Coloured Girls, Professor Ratbaggy, the Stormwater Boys and his acoustic A-Z shows with his nephew Dan Kelly.
He has recently released his memoirs in a book, (“Paul Kelly – How to make Gravy”) and also a full length feature film of his life (“Stories of Me”). He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.