Live at Sydney Opera House
I realise now that my ‘break’ from listening to Paul Kelly came about due to the embarrassment of once trying to jump on stage with him once, of nearly wrestling a guitar from his hands, of all the silliness of youth…
I was – and am – such a fan.
But I had to have a few years away. Time off for bad behavior. And, oddly, that made me think he’d lost his touch…when actually I was just out of touch. Certainly the last half decade or so he has been (once again) super-prolific. And what a joy it was to see him again on what was essentially the NZ-leg of this tour (I was way down the back, fortunately).
So here is the live document – this taken from a gig on the Opera House’s forecourt (and already broadcast in Australia on the ABC).
This, then, for those that missed it, for those around the world, and yes, for those that were there and want to be right back ‘there’ just as often as they can.
It’s amazing to me how Kelly breathes life into the old songs. Or maybe they’re just so well written they stay relevant and there’s a buzz to them. I remember wiping tears from my eyes several times in the show as he motored through things like To Her Door and Careless and From Little Things Big Things Grow. And also the new songs. Petrichor. Right up there with Deeper Water. And the Shakespeare sonnets – very clever. And lovely. And just fine to hear – better live than on the record.
But of course you stay for him smashing out Darling It Hurts and Sydney From A 747 and Sweet Guy and Dumb Things.
National treasure. And if we could claim him, the way the Aussies have with so many Kiwis and Kiwi things, they’re be a queue around the block I reckon. Keen-as.
This is a superb live document of an artist – singer and songwriter and bandleader – at the height of his powers. The generosity of spirit in throwing songs to Dan Kelly, to Vika and Linda, and to moments within the songs that allow other bandmembers to shine. The brilliant lines – both lyrical and musical. Its all here. And this is only a snapshot. As soon as I saw this gig I was back going through all the albums. Once again. Almost all of them utterly brilliant.
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