See him live
By Christine Moffat
Paul McDermott has built a successful TV career since Doug Anthony All Stars from occasionally singing a song, and fully exploiting his lovably evil personality. Lots of people do this, but no one does it quite like ‘our Paul’. When he is sharing funny anecdotes he gives you permission to have a guilt-free laugh at life’s darker points. He brought this quality in spades last night: nothing was out of bounds, and every story he told was funny and very wrong. As a comedian McDermott is a darker, edgier performer here than his television persona: perhaps a live show can give him licence to be ruder, even more irreverent and therefore even funnier.
Paul McDermott the singer is a something different and more emotionally involving. His voice is a surprising blend of sweetness and maturity, and he sings with commitment – nothing is a throwaway line. The songs that he performed ranged from touching ballads to high-energy soul numbers (all but one from his ‘back catalogue’), and also his own compositions. The “band of real musicians” as it says in the show’s blurb, (led by the great Stu Hunter) is fantastic and musically re-made the songs into something fresh and new.
The crowd was a bit tame at first, perhaps quietened by the shade of his daunting TV personality. He quickly built rapport, ironically by turning his acerbic wit on the audience, and soon had everyone stomping loudly in appreciation. It goes without saying that he is a funny man, but what you may not realise is that he is also an incredibly generous performer. When the show ran over time, he and the band led the crowd out of the band room, and performed a couple more songs on the stairs in the foyer!
Paul McDermott has a wickedly funny mind, a haunting voice, and an obvious love of performing and entertaining a crowd. What more could you ask for on a night out?
Venue: The Forum – Downstairs
Dates: 10 – 14 April, 16 – 20 April
Times: Tues – Sat 9.45pm/Sun 8.45pm
Price: $34 (U18 must be accompanied by an adult)
Ticketmaster 1300 660 013
At the door