I’ve written a lot about Paul Ubana Jones, I’ve written about him often – covering his gigs, reviewing albums, plugging his work and worth. He’s a friend. A hero. Someone I’ve admired for a long time, and consider myself lucky to know – to be able to chat to, to look forward to catching up with; he’s still one of my all-time favourite players. His warmth shines through – in the banter, the song selection, the voice when he sings, and those nimble fingers when he plays.
This show was a special one for many reasons. It was Paul’s first time playing at Downstage, and the start of a good gig for him; a sit-down/theatre audience and a chance to take old songs out for a stroll, to play covers and mix in his originals. He played a few times at Downstage after this – always good shows – but this was the first time I did a formal interview with Paul to help promote the gig. I also reviewed the gig (and hey, I’m biased I guess, but I liked it, it really was a good one); it was also my first time seeing Paul play in a while. For various reasons – usually out of town or busy at another gig – I had missed his Wellington shows for a few years.
I think I might have had something to do with this gig even happening too; I was in chats with someone at Downstage about how Paul Ubana Jones should play there. They started up a series of gigs – and most of the people I recommended didn’t end up on the bill, but Paul did. I was pleased about that.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.