Date: 16 September 2012
Venue: The Canberra Theatre, Canberra
For decades, entertainer Paul McDermott has been… err.. entertaining… the Australian public. From his early days busking with fellow comedians Tim Ferguson and Richard Fidler as the Doug Anthony All Stars troupe (D.A.A.S.) to teaming up with Mikey Robins and Julie McCrossin for Good News Week (GNW), then Claire Hooper for The Sideshow, who then joined Paul for the resurrection of GNW again, Paul has won this crowd with his dirty and evil antics, but softens the blow with his angelic voice. Once GNW finished up again, Paul teamed up with GNW Producer Ted Robinson and developed Paul Sings: Songs from The Sideshow, D.A.A.S., Mosh, GUD, GNW, Galas & Beyond.
For the last few months, Paul has hit the road with the show, covering Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Newscastle and finishing up in Canberra – the area where his career started. Set up at the Canberra Theatre on a clear but crisp quiet Sunday evening, Paul and his 4 piece band performed to a full room of eager fans. Especially one very eager fan who has flown all over Australia and ‘followed’ Paul’s shows. It’s healthy to have a harmless stalker. We hope.
With a simple yet effective stage set using three banners used from The Sideshow displaying Paul’s creativity in the arts department, Paul brought his charisma with him, walking out and performing three songs straight away. In between tunes, Paul would pause and talk to the audience, discussing some history of his background and attachment with Canberra, as well as lightly touch on his D.A.A.S. days with Tim and Richard. In some instances, I was expecting one of them to surprise us and walk out on stage (like the lucky guys in Perth got with Paul and Tim being on stage. Not sure what happened in Brisbane though as Richard is based up there). Other nostalgia covered was stories about The Big Gig, and his attempt at his theatre stage show performance with The Witches Of Eastwick and his interaction with Marina Pryor and Paul Stanley from KISS. Just think of Paul’s dirty sexual mind and air humping the calf muscle of Paul Stanley and you have the picture. Paul even threw to the audience for a request – straight away someone yelled out I Fuck Dogs, which he refused to sing, but gave a funny story behind how the song now haunts him to this day.
Paul also took time to dedicate “Transcendent“, a song to his fallen friends – people who he has worked with or knew personally, such as long time work colleague “Dr” Aaron Beaucaire, who recently passed away – who handled all the special effects and pyrotechnics on The Big Gig and GNW and related spin-offs. (Beaucaire also worked on many Working Dog shows such as The Late Show, Funky Squad etc). Other songs performed were Bottle, Stripped, The Darkness, No Stone, Nothing, Simple Song, Palominos, All The Days, GT2012, Happiness and Be There.
What was meant to be a 90 minute show, stretched out to a two hour song and story-time, with the crowd enjoying every bit of the contemporary show that was thoroughly entertaining. Plus: for a souvenir, Paul made ‘bootleg’ DVDs of his performance at the Melbourne Spiegeltent for sale out front. A definitive collectors item for any Paul McDermott fan as the DVD is not available in stores. Maybe in the future on the official GNW site.
If Paul decides to hit the road again with another singing spectacular, get your tickets straight away.