Bernard Zuel: You will be playing outdoors, in the same spot where Crowded House played the first of their farewell shows in 1996. It’s under the stars, it’s got the bridge behind it, a whole lot of atmosphere that comes with it. Is that intimidating? Or is it something you play to?
Paul Kelly: No, I don’t find that intimidating. Maybe if it’s a huge crowd that might be intimidating but the most intimidating thing in a band is when you suddenly get nervous on stage and you don’t know why. Suddenly the ‘pretendies’ comes out of nowhere: ‘I’m a fake, what am I doing here? Why have all these people come to see me?’ You never know when that’s going to happen.
But as far as playing in beautiful places, with beautiful scenery, usually I find it quite comforting. It does add an extra intangible thing that is affecting the crowd as well … a whole other thing going on as well as the concert that adds to the concert. If there is a moon rising in the sky or the sun is setting, they really affect the mood of the concert.
BZ: This time, maybe more so than for some years, you have a new batch of songs which seem perfect for an ‘everyone relaxed, hanging out drinking a few beers’ show.
PK: We have been looking forward to touring this record because it’s pretty upbeat, it’s playful, nearly all the songs are a full band, lots of harmonies, Vika and Linda [Bull] singing. The general plan for the tour is to play the new record first and then move into old songs in the second half. But it’s not like the new record is going to be a solemn affair ... ‘Oh god, he’s playing the new record, when’s the old stuff?’ I know the new record will be fun to play.