So the stage was set for an intimate, laid-back affair with the Pat Rafter of Australian music (is there a nicer musician?!), and in this vein the night kicked off with support act Olympia (Melbourne girl Olivia Bartley’s creative outlet), and her guitar or keys and vocals. Her pure, captivating voice matched with the sparse instrumentation seemed to have the attention of most that were there early enough, no mean feat for a support. Some clever use of a looping machine enabled her to sing both harmonies and melodies, and this punter felt that she’s the kind of artist that needs more than one listen to be fully appreciated, so it was an easy call to buy her EP while waiting for Paul to do his thing.
For future reference, just because the music’s not so loud that you can’t talk over the top, it doesn’t mean you should! Anyway, Paul was in great voice, bringing a gorgeous falsetto to Mockingbirds (a Grant Lee Buffalo cover), and especially pleasing the fans whenever he played anything of SFK’s. The feel-good moment of the night came after Take Us to Your Leader, when a pre-arranged wedding proposal was accommodated on stage, which was fortunately agreed to! The newly-engaged couple were then treated to INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart (featuring Olympia backing vocals) for their first song as fiancées, which went down a treat.
Queen’s I Want to Break Free, including audience participation for the synth solo, and Bowie’s Space Oddity were other high points. After thanking us for at least the third time (so nice!), an encore featuring a goose-bump-inducing Berlin Chair sent us out in to the streets of The Kingdom only a cigarette short of total satisfaction. Having been lucky enough to have seen both SFK and Paul solo this year, I can only say that I can’t wait to see them, and him, back again soon. Undoubtedly the man is one of Australia’s most talented performers.
Photos by Melissa Donato. View full gallery here