Australian politics, society & culture

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Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly is an Australian musician. He has led various groups including The Dots, The Coloured Girls and The Messengers, and performed as a solo artist. His memoir, How to Make Gravy, was released in 2010.

@paulkelly

Articles by this author

George Rrurrambu from Warumpi Band (R) and Marcus McDonald (L), Papunya, 2003. © Steven Siewert/Fairfax Syndication
Thirty years of Australia's hidden hit parade
Desert Songs
I first heard Bob Randall’s ‘Brown Skin Baby’ by a camp fire in the late ’80s when I was touring with my band in the Northern Territory. The guitars and songs were being passed...
 
Allen Toussaint © Gilles Petard/Redferns
Allen Toussaint and New Orleans
Gumbo
My job as a singer–songwriter often involves being interviewed. One of the questions I’m asked most frequently, up there with “What comes first, the words or the music?” and “Do...
 
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin aims high in California, 2009. © Tim Mosenfelder / Corbis
The new castrati
Too much heaven on their minds
Ever since the world began, I suspect, men have been showing off to women and to other men by singing high. Sure, the manly stuff – hunting animals, smashing enemies, guarding the...
 
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Strutting & fretting
In show business, you’re generally either the main act or the warm-up. Over 35 years, I’ve been both. A good show needs different and complementary parts. And someone always has...
 
Elvis Presley in 'Jailhouse Rock', 1957. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc./Library of Congress
The art of the spoken interlude
The pretendies
The spoken interlude has a long history in popular song. And takes a fair bit of nerve to pull off. The singer must step out from behind melody’s curtain and act. Elvis’s famous...
 
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
C90
In my last year of high school the two coolest records were Hot Rats, by Frank Zappa, and Gasoline Alley, by Rod Stewart. (Yes, there once was a time when Rod Stewart was...
 
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