Paul Kelly announces Life Is Fine Tour 2017

Frontier Touring are thrilled to announce that one of Australia’s most loved and respected artists Paul Kelly will embark on a three-date national tour this November and December. Touring in celebration of his album Life Is Fine (out now through Universal), which just debuted at the top of the ARIA Album Chart and rocketed to #1 on the NZ Heatseeker Chart, Kelly will play theatres in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Kelly will be joined at all New Zealand shows by special guests The Eastern and Busby Marou.

For tour dates click here.

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly

Kelly’s recently released 23rd studio album Life Is Fine (out now through Universal) showcases this stellar songwriter in firm command of his craft. The 10-time ARIA award winner has achieved his first ever #1 album in his almost 40-year career as a recording artist. The deliberately ambiguous album title – on one hand affirmative, and the other a nod towards interpretations of ‘fine’- is in Paul Kelly’s own words, about ‘never knowing what’s around the corner’. The title track’s lyrics are from a poem by American writer Langston Hughes.

One of his strongest and most evocative albums, Kelly takes backing vocals on tracks ‘My Man’s Got A Cold’ (lead by Vika Bull) and ‘Don’t Explain’ (lead by Linda Bull). “I wonder why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, to have another voice on my records besides mine,” Kelly comments, “A lot of my favourite bands have that.”

One of the reasons behind Kelly’s enduring power as a songwriter is his continual drive to break old habits and refresh his creativity. In Life Is Fine there are songs with an R&B groove like the sizzling opener, ‘Rising Moon’, jumping rockers like ‘Firewood and Candles’ and ‘Rock Out on the Sea’ and fun songs like Leah: The Sequel’. The humorous tunes contrast with another of Kelly’s exquisite songs of regret, ‘Letters in the Rain’, and the rich imagery at the heart of ‘Petrichor’.

‘There’s a frequent wit to these songs, and an even greater sense of humanity, as Kelly captures the details of human nature with a master’s touch, not to mention a fluid and effective melodic sense.’ – AllMusic

★★★★ ‘Some of his best songs in years’ – The Guardian

There is no question Paul Kelly has had, and continues to have an impressive music career. He has fronted numerous groups, including The Dots in 1978 where he produced his first charting track ‘Billy Baxter’ and The Coloured Girls (later changed to The Messengers) in 1985, where Kelly’s genius for songwriting emerged.

Kelly captures the vastness of Australian culture and landscape with his trademark bluegrass mixed with folk-rock. Through his storytelling, Kelly and The Messengers went on to release some of the most patriotically recognised songs like ’Leaps and Bounds’, ‘Before Too Long’ and ‘Darling It Hurts’.

Lead single for the band’s second album Under The Sun, ‘To Her Door’ demonstrated Kelly’s finest quality as a songwriter; unforced empathy. ‘Dumb Things’ followed and remains one of Kelly’s most iconic rock songs to date. In 2016, he joined Australian hip hop group A.B Original and singer-songwriter Dan Sultan to give a modern spin on the track for triple j’s Like A Version – raising seriously contentious issues facing Indigenous Australians.

Never shying from his country’s history, Kelly hones the skills of fine balladeer, narrating the story of the Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari as part of the Indigenous Australian struggle for land rights and reconciliation in ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’. He also collaborated with members of Indigenous band Yothu Yindi to write ‘Treaty’ which was voted into APRA’s Top 30 Songs of All Time in 2001.

Kelly’s solo career has seen him compose music for film and TV, write alongside some of Australia’s most respected artists (Mark Seymour, Neil Finn), and in 1997 following the release of his compilation album Songs from the South which peaked at #2 in Australia and is certified quadruple platinum, Kelly was inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame.

Throughout his musical career, Kelly has produced esoteric expeditions which include adapting classic poems to music (Conversations With Ghosts), recording an album of songs for funerals (Death’s Dateless Night with Charlie Owen), a soul album (The Merri Soul Sessions) and using Shakespeare’s sonnets as lyrics (Seven Sonnets & a Song).

In 2010 Kelly released his ‘mongrel memoir’ How To Make Gravy (titled replicated from his 1996 song ‘How To Make Gravy’ which received an APRA nomination for Song of the Year in 1998) which set a new benchmark for Australian rock autobiographies. Ian Darling’s 2012 documentary Paul Kelly: Stories of Me is an intimate portrait of Kelly that follows his 40-year career and won Best Documentary at the Film Critics Circle Award in the same year.

Joining Kelly during all New Zealand shows are Lyttelton based group The Eastern. A string band that roars like a punk band, swings like a gospel band and drinks like a country band, they have developed a reputation as New Zealand’s hardest working troubadours. With four albums and over 1000 shows under their belts, they have won many a heart along the way. Their 2012 album Hope and Wire reached Gold status in New Zealand, with the song ‘State Houses By The River’ a finalist in the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Awards.

Also supporting Kelly as special guests on his New Zealand shows are Australian duo Busby Marou. Recognised for their delightful harmonies blending with melodic, acoustic tunes and heartfelt lyrics, the band won the APRA Award for Blues & Roots Work of the Year for 2012 hit ‘Biding My Time’. Recent release and ARIA number one Postcards From The Shell House champion Busby’s breezy croon and Marou’s earthy guitars in tracks ‘Best Part Of Me’, ‘Paint This Land’ and ‘Getaway Car’.

Don’t miss your chance to see one of Australia’s foremost singer-songwriters Paul Kelly in concert this November and December. Fans are encouraged to act quickly in securing their tickets; all shows are on sale Monday 28 August.

Presented by Frontier Touring & Sunday Star Times

With very special guests:
The Eastern & Busby Marou

Frontier Members pre-sale via
Wednesday 23 August (2pm NZST)
to Thursday 24 August (2pm NZST) 

(or ends earlier if pre-sale allocation exhausted)

General public on sale from 12noon local time, Monday 28 August

Wed 29 Nov | Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, NZ (All Ages) | Ph: 0800 842 538
With special guests The Eastern & Busby Marou

Thu 30 Nov | Wellington Opera House, Wellington, NZ (All Ages) | Ph: 0800 111 999
With special guests The Eastern & Busby Marou

Fri 1 Dec | Civic Theatre, Auckland, NZ (All Ages) | Ph: 0800 111 999
With special guests The Eastern & Busby Marou

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