|Paul Kelly is synonymous with the Australian music industry. His lyrics capture the vastness of the culture and landscape of Australia by chronicling life about him over a career that’s spanned over forty years.|
Johnny Porta – a self-confessed fan of Paul Kelly – has dealt with people from all walks of life whilst finding a career as a labourer, a teacher, a historian and a lawyer, but always a musician Johnny relates to Paul Kelly’s lyrical content which he writes with precision and clarity. It’s no surprise that portraying Paul Kelly live on stage became a calling card for Johnny Porta.
“I have always connected with his songs and the stories in the songs,” says Johnny. “They say that the most sincere form of flattery is imitation. I take care not to imitate Paul Kelly, but to present his music respectfully and tell the stories in and behind the songs”.
Backed by a full six-piece band made up of highly seasoned musicians, this show distils the huge volume of Kelly’s work down to the most essential and powerful essence of his appeal. It has been designed as a high energy performance relying on interaction with audiences and presents the best of Paul Kelly’s catalogue in two seventy-five sets including the hits “To Her Door”, “Before Too Long”, “From Little Things Big Things Grow”, “Dumb Things” and some surprises like “Beggar on the Street of Love” (written for Jenny Morris) and an Australian anthem in “Treaty” (written with Yothu Yindi).
Audiences are treated to hearing all the hits and recreating all the characters and the places which Paul Kelly’s audiences and fans have come to know and love. All this appeal is packed into two musical sets supported by lighting and visuals. No time for navel gazing and introspection here, but a “show” in the real sense of the word, to send audiences home singing.
When audiences hear “those songs” again and they re-create those pictures that only Paul Kelly can conjure up, all they can do is sing along loudly and proudly.