As we head into the final quarter of 2019, people are quickly turning their attention to what they’ll be doing in the weeks leading up to the Christmas and New Years period. Days will be longer, diets will go out the window and a lot of people will spend the period catching some killer live music. For many people across Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, this live music will come in the form of the third instalment of Paul Kelly’s Making Gravy.
Now in its third year, the team at Paul Kelly headquarters have once more managed to pull together a stellar line up of some of Australia’s best and most reliable musicians. Opening up the day in Sydney, the harbour city crowd will be treated with an exclusive set from Thelma Plum. On the back of releasing her long awaited and brilliant debut album, Better In Blak, earlier in 2019, Plum is sure to bestow the festival with a set of wit, brilliant pop, and honest love songs. Since breaking out initially with the lovely “Father Said”, “Around Here” and “Dollar”, Plum’s sound matured on 2014 single “How Much Does Your Love Cost?”, before managing to release Better In Blak a matter of months ago. Her voice still as strong and noticeable as always, Thelma Plum will be a real treat for those in Sydney that head along early.
Most recently in the country supporting Florence + The Machine, New Zealand musician Marlon Williams will wow the country with his mix of blues driven tracks. With two albums already in the rack (2018’s Make Way For Love and 2015’s self titled), Williams knows a thing or two about song writing and is sure to win over some fans that expect to hear tracks of a similar ilk to that of Paul Kelly.
Fresh off her Eurovision heroics, Kate Miller-Heidke looks to bring her mix of operatic off-beat pop to the early evening time slot. Picture this, she slowly begins the night with the more endearing and sad tracks like “Caught In The Crowd”, “Last Day on Earth” and “Ride This Feeling”, before undoubtedly dropping the euro-beat “Zero Gravity”. With her more recent fans now firmly on side, Miller-Heidke throws it back a decade to the social media ode “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?”, bogan anthem “Southern Cross Tattoo” and her dance floor masterpiece “Can’t Shake It”. Heck, if we’re lucky she’ll even throw in the seasonally themed “I’m Growing a Beard Downstairs for Christmas”. One can dream. One way or the other, Kate Miller-Heidke is sure to be a true stand out for the night.
Tasked with playing second to last, Courtney Barnett definitely fits the bill for Making Gravy and is without a doubt a bloody fantastic songwriter and guitarist to boot. Known for her dry and observational lyrics, as showcased across both her albums, Tell Me How You Really Feel and Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Barnett will definitely set the mood for Paul Kelly as he and his band headline the night.
With more than enough hits to surely play a four-hour set (the guy has released in excess of 20 albums), even Paul Kelly would be remiss to not include his biggest hits for the thousands of fans who are hoping to kick off the silly season with Australia’s god father of music. Coinciding with the release of his most recent Greatest Hits album, PK will undoubtedly treat those in attendance to newer tracks like “Life Is Fine” and “Firewood and Candles”, while slinging the crowd classics in the form of “To Her Door”, “Leaps and Bounds”, “Deeper Water” and “From Little Things Big Things Grow”. But without a doubt, the biggest moment of the night will be reserved for everyone’s favourite recipe based song. Irrespective of the time of the year I hear it, “How To Make Gravy” is the one Christmas themed song I have time for (and maybe perhaps Tim Minchin’s “White Wine In The Sun”, but that’s for another article).
Sure to be the feel good festival evening of the summer, Making Gravy 2019 is bound to have everyone in the mood for some Christmas lunch come the 25th or more importantly, gravy day itself. Paul Kelly has managed to once more curate a festival line up highlighting the strength of domestic music, as well as a cheeky assist from our neighbours from across the ditch.
Making Gravy 2019 hits both the west and east coast on the following dates:
Saturday 7 December – Stadium Park at Optus Stadium, Perth
Thursday 12 December – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne
Saturday 14 December – The Domain, Sydney
Saturday 21 December – Riverstage, Brisbane
Tickets available at www.frontiertouring.com/makinggravy
Photo by Bruce Baker of Making Gravy 2018 in Sydney