Paul Kelly salutes brave Aussie fans
PAUL Kelly may have been tempting the gods when he titled his latest No.1 record Nature.
Mother Nature mercilessly tested the resilience of his fans at his Making Gravy concert in the Domain on Saturday.
The Christmas mini festival, which also starred Angus and Julia Stone, Alex Lahey, D.D. Dumbo and Angie McMahon, was smashed by thunderstorms which delayed the start and reduced the set times of the artists.
The opening night of the east coast concert series in Melbourne on Friday suffered the same fate with the Sidney Myer Music Bowl flooded.
The concerts are a salute to the ever-growing popularity of his Christmas song How To Make Gravy, recorded more than 20 years ago.
"It was a song that doesn't have a chorus, it's set in prison, so I never thought it would be a hit song or anything," Kelly has said about its success.
The lyrics narrates the tale of Joe in jail who pens a letter to a relative reflecting on missing the family Christmas celebrations.
It shares the family's recipe for gravy for the lunch roast. Fans have declared December 21, the date Joe writes the letter, as Gravy Day for several years.
Kelly decided to commemorate the day with the first Making Gravy concert on December 21 in Melbourne last year and will mark the occasion this year with the final show in Brisbane on Friday.
The Angus and Julia Stone set preceding Kelly's headlining performance was delayed by a torrential downpour.
"You absolute legends, Sydney, hanging out here in the rain," Julia said when the skies cleared and the show was back underway.
Kelly was greeted by an enormous cheer - and miraculously no more rain - when he and his band kicked into their career-spanning set which drew from Nature and his other No.1 record, last year's Life Is Fine.
"We salute you for hanging on in there. It was touch and go there for a while," Kelly said, before signalling they would have to finish the gig by 11pm.
"Or I get a million dollar fine," he told the crowd.
The concert kicked up a gear when Kelly swung into a second half of the classics which have been indelibly stamped on the Australian soundtrack including To Her Door, Dumb Things, Deeper Water and Darling It Hurts.
Vika Bull again smashed Sweet Guy, the song she has owned since recording it for his Merri Soul Sessions album.
The singalong swelled yet again for How To Make Gravy, the song which had brought generations of fans together for this special show and dedicated to the late guitarist Spencer P. Jones who played on it.