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More than Gossip: Bio is a deep dive into the business - and art - of being Paul Kelly

paul kelly coupePaul Kelly: The Man, The Music And The Life In Between (Hachette Australia)

By Stuart Coupe

“I hear you like music. Do you like Paul Kelly? I’ve just been reading his autobiography, "How to Make Gravy". I love his music. Always have.”

It was an innocuous and inoffensive simple conversation starter one Sunday afternoon, uttered by a friend of my wife’s. To the extent there was question in there, it was almost opaque, and more likely rhetorical. Everyone likes Paul Kelly. How could anyone not like Paul Kelly? As it was, I fumbled around for an answer, and mumbled something about not having had the chance to listen to any of his music for a while.

It wasn’t as if I didn’t like Paul Kelly’s music. I’d first heard and seen him back in the early 1980s on Countdown with his then-band, The Dots. A few years later Kelly appeared again, this time with a new band, the Coloured Girls, and a batch of songs that would become staples of commercial radio playlists: "To Her Door", "Darling It Hurts", "From St Kilda to King’s Cross" and "Before Too Long".

Reckless – The Sports (Festival/Warner) and Don’t Throw Stones – The Sports (Festival/Warner)

sports dont throw stonesreckless coverThere’s too much here to consume in one sitting or even two. Reanimator To The Stars (by Royal Appointment), Sir David Laing, has packed these deluxe editions of The Sports’ first two albums with enough bonus material to weigh down a Melbourne Cup certainty

For the uninitiated or the downright forgetful, The Sports sprang out of Melbourne’s fertile Carlton Scene in 1976 and petered out in 1981, but only after a run of four albums that spawned a slew of catchy Australian chart singles.

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