Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paul Dempsey's Shotgun Karaoke

During the last Something For Kate tour, Paul Dempsey uploaded a song that he performed in the backstage area, or the bathroom, or somewhere pre-gig as a vocal warm up each night of the tour. These covers, and clips became a feature of his Facebook page, and he ended up taking requests....and turning these covers into a tour and a 10 track release.

Carl and I went along last Friday to here the sold-out and last show of this tour, at the Hi Fi Bar, after many after work, pre-gig drinks. We caught the last few songs of Olympia as support, although she didn't really hold our attention.

Paul Dempsey opened with an Archers Of Loaf cover, Web In Front, before treating us to one of his tracks from his solo album, in Fast Friends. Mixing his selection of covers with SFK songs as well as his solo songs, plus a song that was still a work in progress without a title, the 90 minute set was a treat for fans.

Having so many cover tracks to chose from, from the cluster he did backstage on tour, but also the range he has collected over the years as B-sides and final album bonus tracks, and has sprinkled into set-lists, the songs on the night were always going to surprise, charm, disappoint, and delight.

He created mass sing-a-longs with Queen's I Want To Break Free, and INXS' Never Tear Us Apart. He had the room mesmerised with Mockingbirds, a Grant Lee Buffalo song. His version of Concrete Blonde's Caroline stayed with me for days.

Hearing Ramona Was A Waitress, and the odd explanation about the song, plus other solo album gems like Have You Fallen Out Of Love? and Take Us To Your Leader was pretty special, given these tracks don't get much of a live run.

PD's encore consisted of The Boss' Atlantic City (rather than Born To Run - which would have been my request!), then the song he described as needing no introduction, Berlin Chair. Theme From Nice Guy was in there. Then he introduced his final song as one he hadn't done on the tour because it was so hard on his voice, but given that it was the final night, he left us with the ripping vocals of Sheryl Crow's If It Makes You Happy.

Such an strange choice, and we were left wondering about the setlist choices, and ruing the many songs we wish he had of played on the night. Too many to chose from!

(photo credit)

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