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'Welcome, strangers, to the show': Music icon coming to Rocky

World-renowned Aussie rock legend Paul Kelly has announced a Rockhampton performance as he tours his 23rd studio album.
World-renowned Aussie rock legend Paul Kelly has announced a Rockhampton performance as he tours his 23rd studio album. Lyn McCarthy

LEGENDARY singer, songwriter and storyteller Paul Kelly is coming to Rockhampton.

The Great Western Hotel broke the news this morning that the Beef Capital was among 16 destinations throughout Kelly's colossal national tour this November and December.

It comes in celebration of 62-year-old's 23rd album release, Life Is Fine, which has debuted number-one on the ARIA charts; a first for the 10-time ARIA award winner.

WATCH | Firewood and Candles off Paul Kelly's Life Is Fine album

Joining Kelly as a special guest for the Rockhampton show is emerging independent talent, Sahara Beck.

The Sunshine Coast born singer has gained notoriety on the Australian festival scene and on the international stage.

Aged in her early 20s, Beck's smoky, elastic voice commands her live audience, and is expected to complement Kelly's unmistakable style.

Great Western general manager Beau Thomas said he seized the opportunity to secure Kelly's November 9 performance when he heard whispers months ago (see concert details below).

He has since been sitting on the news of the 14-date tour, and was excited to finally get the word out to the Australian icon's Central Queensland fan base this morning.

Mr Thomas expects the 1500 available tickets to sell out soon after release to the general public on Monday, August 28.

On what to expect, he says it's simple.

"Paul Kelly," Mr Thomas said.

"And a great night, we love delivering great experiences at The Western, and will be continuing to do so in 2018.

"It's going to be a killer show, it is a Thursday night so be be prepared. Maybe prepare to get a sick day," he joked.

"We are expecting pack it out."

 

Jeremy Marou and Thomas Busby will tour with Paul Kelly.
Jeremy Marou and Thomas Busby will tour with Paul Kelly. Busby Marou

Rocky boys Busby Marou will join Kelly on legs of the Australian and New Zealand tour, including Darwin, Cairns, Townsville and the NZ performances.

If Midnight Oil's upcoming October concert is any indication, a roaring, sold-out crowd can be expected in Rockhampton.

The Rockhampton leg of their The Great Circle 2017 tour has sold out to 3000 people.

Midnight Oil will perform to a sold-out crowd at The Great Western on October.
Midnight Oil will perform to a sold-out crowd at The Great Western on October.

But more big-name acts are on the horizon for what is fast becoming Rockhampton's iconic spot for major musical acts.

Mr Thomas said a three-day New Year's event will cap off a year which has lured The Screaming Jets and Chelsea Rockwells, You Am I and Hoodoo Gurus, Lee Kernaghan and The Wolfe Brothers and local boys Busby Marou.

Though he remains tight-lipped on which artists are on the bill for the New Year's concerts across December 29-31, Mr Thomas confirmed an international act was among the four major performers locked in.

In his former role as entertainment manger, Mr Thomas learned the general public are the key to luring in major acts.

 

Paul Kelly performs at the Woodford Folk Festival.
Paul Kelly performs at the Woodford Folk Festival. Tessa Mapstone

He said showing support via pre-ticket sales was the number-one thing fans could do to keep the big names coming, and coming back for more.

"Obviously pre-purchase tickets," he said.

"This Paul Kelly performance is a tour, the risk is on us and the promoter and they want ticket sales early to ensure that Paul Kelly comes and has a great experience.

"If they sell out they'll come back again, that's what every large act is wanting, so they know the demand is there."

 

Kelly's incredible 40 year career has seen him front numerous groups, including The Dots in 1978 where he produced his first charting track "Billy Baxter" and The Coloured Girls (later changed to The Messengers) in 1985.

It is here his genius for song-writing emerged.

Frontier Touring and Triple M will present the tour, and in a media release attributed Kelly's enduring power as a songwriter to his continued drive to break old habits and refresh his creativity.

 

Paul Kelly performs with AB Original on Triple J's Like A Version.
Paul Kelly performs with AB Original on Triple J's Like A Version.

As if Kelly's contemporary relevance needed any proof, the Aussie rock legend teamed up with hip hop group A.B. Original and singer-songwriter Dan Sultan for Triple J's "Like A Version" segment last year to deliver a stunning take on his original, "Dumb Things".

Between the unmistakable chorus of the iconic song, the reworked version tackled complacency towards racism, death in custody, Australia's refugee policy and "Black Face".

WATCH | Paul Kelly joins A.B. Original and Dan Sultan for Dumb Things, Like A Version

In his latest release, Life Is Fine, Kelly's songs feature an R&B groove, such as in opener Rising Moon, and jumping rockers like Firewood and Candles, and Rock Out on the Sea.

"The humorous tunes contrast with another of Kelly's exquisite songs of regret, 'Letters in the Rain', and the rich imagery at the heart of 'Petrichor'," promoters said.

PAUL KELLY, LIFE IS FINE TOUR, ROCKHAMPTON SHOW:

  • Where: The Great Western Hotel, 39 Stanley St, Rockhampton, Queensland
  • When: Thursday, November 9 from 7pm to 11.50pm
  • Tickets: Go on sale from Monday, August 29 and start from $84.90
  • For more: visit www.greatwesternhotel.com.au or phone 07 4922 3888

Topics:  live entertainment music paul kelly sahara beck the great western whatson



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