Making gravy

What a concert.

It kicked off at 5pm. You know how at some concerts the support acts are a bit half-rate, fledgling bands still finding their feet? Not a bit of it here. All superb.

Marlon Williams.

Kate Miller-Heidke.

Courtney Barnett.

And then headliner, Paul Kelly.

Myer Music Bowl 12/12/2019

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl was packed, and no wonder — this gig had sold out months ago.

I don’t think I’ve been to a concert at the Music Bowl since I was a kid. Carols By Candlelight one year. It poured down with rain. We were so drenched the tram conductor took pity on us and gave us a free ride home.

This time it didn’t rain, and we were lucky enough to get seats undercover in row G – close enough to see everything; not so close that the crowd at the front blocked the view. The General Admission areas were also packed, with some people finding a comfortable spot on the grass where they couldn’t really see anything, but could at least hear all the music.

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I’ve done all the dumb things

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A friend rang before the main act came on. “We’ve got some spare seats. Row P. Do you want to join us?” Sorry Steve, it’s really nice of you to offer us an upgrade from Economy to Business, but we’re already in First.

There was free bonus entertainment: the couple next to me who got narked-off by the couple sitting in front of them who kept holding their phones up to record long videos of many of the songs. They resorted to tapping them on the shoulder. Then towards the end they got really irritated when the phone couple stood up to dance and see betterโ€ฆ but really, that’s part of concerts.

PK played all the hits, and some new stuff. It was all great.

Paul Kelly, 12/12/2019

The clouds threatened but the rain held off, the queues for the food weren’t too ridiculously long, and all the musicians and the crowd were in top form.

And one of my favourites, perhaps his best obscure song: Love Letter, probably the most mainstream song from his terrific Professor Ratbaggy side-project from 1999.

As the crowd dispersed, we walked back along the river to Flinders Street Station. Plenty of people around at 11pm on a Thursday night – and I was once again struck at how busy Melbourne can be, 24/7.

As I walked home from the train, I pondered that I’ve seen Paul Kelly live in concert many times in the past 20+ years. He’s still great.

Melbourne music TV

Sights of Old Melbourne Town – as seen in music videos

Dragon: Are You Old Enough (1978) — around Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, including the now-gone behaviour of riding the running board on a tram, and a Silvertop taxi back when they really did have a silver top.

John Paul Young: Yesterday’s Hero (1975) — around Swanston Street

Paul Kelly: Leaps and Bounds — mostly the Nylex sign, of course

Everyone knows this one… AC/DC: It’s A Long Way To The Top (1975) — Swanston Street again

More recent… The Living End: All Town Torn Down (1998) — various spots, including Citylink and Parliament station

What others are out there?

Update lunchtime

Suggested by Scott: Skyhooks — This is my City (1976) (sorry, can’t embed)

And of course I should have thought of this obvious one: The Whitlams — Melbourne (1997):


What ever happened to…?

Last night’s talk between Paul Kelly and Robert Forster appeared to be a sell-out. (Marita managed to get last minute tickets.)

They chatted for quite a while about Paul’s new book, he sang a couple of songs (Sweet Guy, and You Broke A Beautiful Thing), and answered questions.

The best question: What ever happened to the characters in To Her Door?

Paul came up with an eloquent, almost poetic answer, the gist of which was he thought the people in How To Make Gravy were probably the same people.

And perhaps the bloke in Love Never Runs On Time, as well.

For a theatre full of people very familiar with the music, it made a great answer.