With his band, Paul McDermott’s MICF show is Paul Sings. It’s an accurate title and the crowd were very appreciative of the music. Between songs there were some overlong stories on topics such as Paul making a fool of himself in showbiz. Is the joke of the show that the unsophisticated humour of these stories diverts time away from Paul’s talent for singing?
Paul McDermott has featured in various acts and is well known for writing songs for and singing on TV shows including most recently Good News Week with GUD and The Sideshow.
I first remember seeing him on the The Big Gig with The Doug Anthony Allstars. Amidst performances designed to offend, DAAS knew how to unbalance an audience with a change of pace, like the acknowledgement of weakness in the song “Bottle”, the first song of Paul Sings. While the DAAS TV spots were challenging and unexpected, and past GUD performances have included touches of comedy, Paul Sings settled in to an evening of well-performed, nice, comfortable music that I feel would have benefitted from having a more varied selection from the McDermott back catalogue.
From the absence of laughs in various parts of the stands on opening night it seems that the stories between songs didn’t appeal to everyone, although I did find some humour in a recollection on the limitations of cassette tapes. A tedious section where McDermott asked for requests, declining all suggested until someone called out the DAAS song “I Fuck Dogs” just so he could tell a story about it and not even perform the song amounted to a pretty big waste of time, the sort that is just going to irritate those there for the music. Surely there’s a better way of constructing a show than this?
Oddly enough, the highlight of the night was an encore in the foyer of the Forum theatre where the music had an extra immediacy and warmth, and the band were finally introduced.
Fans of McDermott’s current persona will probably find this show is exactly what they want. He still has a very good voice and I bought the DVD for my guest. She plans to skip over bits between songs.