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Dumb Things – A Tribute to Paul Kelly


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It has been said that Paul Kelly is Australia’s answer to Bob Dylan; some have also suggested Dylan is the US’s answer to Kelly. One thing is certain, the Adelaide-born singer-songwriter is one of Australia’s most iconic and celebrated.

This tribute show showcased some fine young South Australian musicians and songwriters, including Dom Symes, Delia Obst, Jimmy Meegan and Banjo Jackson.  Amazingly, they pulled it together in a matter of weeks, with the pay-off truly worthy of the great man they were honouring.

In the beautiful open-garden surroundings of the Howl the Moon Fringe venue in Stepney, a large and diverse crowd camped out on deck chairs, blankets and whatever else they could find on a lush lawn flanked by fairy-lit gum trees. The intimate setting and beautiful starry night enhanced a wonderful performance which illustrated the incredible storytelling of Kelly’s music.

Rotating vocalists and even instruments regularly for each song, the performers delivered an eclectic look at the rich history of his discography, including classics such as “Leaps and Bounds”, “Before Too Long”, “How to Make Gravy”, “From St Kilda to Kings Cross”, “Careless”, “Deeper Water”, “From Little Things Big Things Grow” and, of course, “Dumb Things”. They also delved into some of the lesser-known songs.

All in all, this was a beautiful night and by the time of the inevitable encore of “Dumb Things”, there was a crowd of people on their feet, dancing up a storm under the serene moonlight.

The performers promised this tribute show could be an annual event. I am sure all in attendance hope it happens again before too long.

Dumb Things – A Tribute to Paul Kelly was a one-off show at Howl the Moon on Saturday night.

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