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| 11 October 2018 | Reply


Paul Kelly unveils the moving video for his new track, ‘A Bastard Like Me’, from celebrated Director Rachel Perkins (Mystery Road, Bran Nue Dae, Redfern Now, The First Australians and many more).

Kelly explains, “’A Bastard Like Me’ is the title of an autobiography by Charles Perkins, the first Aboriginal man to receive a university degree from the University of Sydney. Charles, of Arrernte, Kalkadoon and Irish heritage, was at the forefront of the struggle for justice and equality for his people for many years. He died in 2000. The song takes its title directly from the book and is based on his life.

“I’d like to thank his daughter, film-maker Rachel Perkins, for encouraging me to write the song and to the whole Perkins family for assisting with materials – archival footage, home videos and family photos – for the video. Thanks, also, to the Solid State team for an inspired edit.

“If you want to know more about Charlie I’d recommend the documentaries Fire Talker by Ivan Sen, Freedom Ride by Rachel Perkins, the biography Charles Perkins by Peter Read and, of course, his book ‘A Bastard Like Me’.”

Paul Kelly was one of the highlights of the recent Bigsound Festival and Conference held in Brisbane, his keynote address receiving widespread acclaim and his ‘secret’ live gig one of the most sought after tickets of the overall event.

‘A Bastard Like Me’ is the second song to be lifted from Kelly’s forthcoming new album, Nature, which will be released on October 12, and follows the album’s opening rock track, ‘The One I Love’.

Kelly entered the studio in Melbourne in March and May this year to record Nature with his esteemed band – Peter Luscombe on drums, Bill McDonald on bass, Ash Naylor and Dan Kelly on guitars and Cameron Bruce on keyboards. “I love playing with them,” he says. “They can morph from delicate scientists to big riff rockers and all states in-between.” It also features the vocals of Vika and Linda Bull, his daughters Madeleine & Memphis Kelly, Alice Keath and Kate Miller-Heidke.

Nature brings together poems from five literary greats – Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Phillip Larkin – alongside poems that Kelly wrote himself and later put to music, and his own original songs that came along in the usual way, as sounds sung to chords that then turned into words.

Explaining the creative process behind Nature, Kelly says, “I’ve been playing around with poems since 2012 and it’s now become another way for me to write songs. I think most writers get sick of themselves and their own habits so it’s a happy surprise, after 40 years of writing songs, to find a new way.

“What links them all is the natural world – trees, birds, animals, plants, dust, desert, water – and human nature’s small place in that world. Most of the pieces were written over the last four years in and around the recording sessions for ‘The Merri Soul Sessions’, ‘Seven Sonnets And A Song’ and ‘Life Is Fine’. I didn’t realise I had the makings of another album until I put the songs in a folder and saw the titles staring me in the face. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing until you look back.

“I think of ‘Nature’ as a companion piece to ‘Life Is Fine’, itself full of moons, rain, rocks, rivers, seas, smells and lovers.”

Kelly’s Platinum certified 2017 album Life Is Fine debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, giving Paul his first ARIA Number One album in a career spanning 40 years. At last year’s ARIA Awards, Kelly took home Best Male and Best Adult Contemporary Album, along with Best Cover Art and Engineer Of The Year. These results ensured Kelly a remarkable 14 ARIA Award wins from a career tally of 51 nominations.

Nature will be available physically in both standard and deluxe versions. The standard version is the 12-song single-disc CD and vinyl. The limited Deluxe Edition of Nature is a major bonus for the legion of Paul Kelly fans: Disc 1 is the 12-song Nature album and Disc 2 is a 27-song DVD, capturing last year’s triumphant show from the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, which was broadcast live around the country by the ABC as their major ‘Australian Music Month’ promotion. The DVD captures Paul and his long-time band in brilliant form as they feature songs from the just-released, ARIA award-winning Life Is Fine album as well as Paul Kelly classics like ‘To Her Door’, “From Little Things…’, ‘How To Make Gravy’, ‘Before Too Long’, ‘Deeper Water and many more.

Category: News

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