Review Revue: Paul Kelly and the Messengers – Under the Sun

Paul Kelly and the Messengers - Under the Sun

Where would we be without Wikipedia? And by we I mean both the human race and people who write blog posts as quickly as possible about esoteric subjects. If I were trying to write this series without Wikipedia, most of my information would come from the comments written by the DJs themselves, some highly questionable blogs and other internet sources, and maybe the band’s own facebook page, if they’re still active. But we live in 2016 and we have Wikipedia, and there is what amounts to a highly detailed short book written by several collaborators over several years on just about any topic, including Mr. Paul Kelly, a quite distinguished musician from Australia. (BTW you should go kick Wikipedia a few bucks before the end of the year. Their little pitch is at the top of every page right now. Try this one.) In fact, you could almost say there’s too much information to digest on some Wikipedia pages, and it might be that sometimes I end up getting most of my information from the DJ comments. But they were a very smart bunch!
One thing about Paul Kelly is that he belongs to that highly selective club of people with incredibly questionable band names inspired by (or connected with) classic rock songs. Unlike some NW bands that I could name (but won’t), Mr. Kelly at least understood that maybe his original, Lou Reed-inspired name wouldn’t fly in the States, so he released albums here as the Messengers. Eventually he shifted to the Messengers across all markets, which might have been more for the sake of convenience than any revelation that his chosen name was exploitative and wrong. (I mean, imagine the hassle of getting t-shirts printed with different band names for an international tour!) But these days he just goes as “Paul Kelly,” and I’ll just give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s learned the errors of his old, mid-to-late-’80s ways. (He seems to have shaved and ditched the sunglasses, too.)<

“Side 1, jazzy pop w/harmonica, keyboards. Track 1 sounds the best. Track 4 folk w/violins. Sounds too much like the Moody Blues. Last track is good!”

“Much like a country type pop rock. First track tells it all. I like it. Lyrics are good in most the songs. Harmonica voicing w/jazzy tunes.” [I think these first two were written by the same person, but they’re on different labels and signed individually.]

“Definitely more straight up rock, especially compared to most of the Australia artists we have been seeing…”

“Why doesn’t he shave and take off the sunglasses. It gives him away. Really.”

“In Australia, they’re called ‘Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls.'”

“A wonderful live performer, grade footballer and altogether fine songwriter. The arrangements can be a bit AORish but it’s the thought that counts (with me, anyway, who loves P Kelly dearly!)”

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