Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Guest post: From little things big things grow...

Today's blog post is a special guest post from Trish, an Australian who has lived in London for 15 years and currently works at Bush Theatre, a true pillar in our community. Trish reached out to me about doing a guest post of a gig she went to recently at Bush Hall. It sounds as if, yet again, this was the perfect venue for a perfect evening of music by her fellow countryman Paul Kelly. I'll let her explain the rest...

There's not many singer songwriters who have so many songs that they can perform 25 of them beginning with the letters ''F' through 'L'.  Yet this is just a tiny sample from the incredibly talented and prolific Paul Kelly who performed 100 of his songs from A to Z over 4 sell out nights at Bush Hall last week.

Standing in front of a red velvet curtain on a bare stage except for a piano and an easel displaying a large black letter that declared where he was up to in the alphabet, this Australian icon played to a very hushed, seated audience.  He was accompanied for much of the set by his nephew Dan Kelly, a talented musician in his own right.

I was really surprised to see seats at Bush Hall as I always prefer to stand at a concert and I am sure they could have sold many more tickets.  But it added to the religious experience that this evening turned out to be.

I have seen Paul Kelly perform more than 40 times over the last 20 plus years in Australia, London and New York (how embarrassing!)  He just seems to get better and better - his voice is so rich.  He is such a born storyteller and poet - so comfortable talking to the audience, describing the inspiration and story behind each song.

Starting with 'The Foggy Fields of France' with its chorus based on E.E. Cummings poem and moving to the story of Lord Vestey's eight year battle with aboriginal stockmen led by Vincent Lingiarri in 'From Little Things Big Things Grow'.

The Bush Hall is such a wonderful venue anyway and it was even more perfect for this show - the sound was faultless.  I stood next to the mixing desk and I could see the set list and get excited about what was coming up next.

He performed many classics (From St Kilda to Kings Cross; How to Make Gravy and Leaps and Bounds) and a few I had never heard.  It was these lesser known gems that really added to the richness of the concert - how could he have so many great songs?

If it wasn't sold out, I would have definitely returned for the next two nights to see what he would play for 'M through to Z' and they can all be found on the special release A-Z Recordings 8 CD Box Set

As it is I have already booked my tickets for his return to London on February 3 next year when he plays Union Chapel - I don't mind what music he plays - as an Australian used to seeing him perform in large venues, it is an incredible privilege to see him in such intimate, beautiful 'temple like' settings - perfect for that 'religious' experience for this fan.

Thank you Trish for this guest post and also for always keeping me informed about the great things Bush Theatre is doing for W12. I promise to say hi to Brisbane from you on my travels!

If you'd like to write a little (or long!) something for Bird in the Bush please do get in touch. I will still be blogging about Bush related things this month (I have a backlog!) and would love to include more views, reviews and rants by lovely local people.

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