Basement Discs certainly scored a coup, securing Australian song writer and “National Treasure”, Paul Kelly to perform an in store today. Originally the in store was scheduled for Saturday 2nd October, but as with many other events in Melbourne being stymied by the unexpected result of the AFL Grand Final, it was changed to today.
A much larger than usual audience crammed the store to witness the free lunchtime performance by Paul Kelly, despite the late notice of the change of day and date, and even though I arrived earlier than usual all the good photo spots were taken, so I had to insinuate myself into a corner next to the stage. It was rather squashy but I managed to shoot a few good photos.
Paul Kelly has recently released a deluxe boxed set, comprising 8 CDs and 105 songs from his back catalogue called “The A-Z Recordings”. It is accompanied by Paul’s book of memoirs entitled “How To Make Gravy” whose “four sections mirror the four nights of the recent A-Z shows. Each chapter starts with a song lyric followed by a story. Some stories tell Kelly's personal and family history, some take you on a road trip with the band, some form an idiosyncratic history of popular music, others offer insights into the songwriter's art - from the point of inspiration to writing, honing, collaborating, performing, recording and reworking”
In today’s performance Paul interspersed songs with readings from the book. He'd read a chapter, then sing the song associated with the chapter, firstly Dumb Things, which was used in Yahoo Serious film Young Einstein then his very moving Christmas song How To Make Gravy. He finished the mini show with If I Could Just Start Today Again.
He has an endearing and unaffected stage persona, and so it was today. It was a privilege to see the REAL Paul Kelly up close and personal in an intimate setting.