Paul Kelly’s Mission To Save Christmas Music

21 December 2021 | 12:04 pm | Dan Cribb

“We hear the same carols and pop songs over and over and once you hear anything too much, it starts to wear thin."

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For a lot of people, the silly season begins when shopping centres decide to play generic and repetitive Christmas music a little too early, and the result is a lot of rolling eyes.

Longtime Christmas lover and Australian icon Paul Kelly is looking to inspire fans with his latest and first-ever festive album, Paul Kelly's Christmas Train.

“We hear the same carols and pop songs over and over and once you hear anything too much, it starts to wear thin,” Kelly says.

“I wanted to find tunes that hadn’t been done to death and also try to approach the well-known ones in our own way. We did songs like Silent Night and Little Drummer Boy and O Holy Night, but found our own way to do them and make them fresh again.

“I hope people can start making their own discoveries or even if they just seize the idea that there’s a great wealth of music out there and it’s not just the stuff you hear in supermarkets.

“If it encourages people to go and start making their own enquiries and listening around, they won’t be disappointed.”

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The aesthetic Kelly was trying to convey with the new album, which features Emma Donovan, Marlon Williams, Kasey Chambers, Kate Miller-Heide, Vika & Linda Bull and more, was also its working title: No Reindeer, No Mistletoe Toe, No Holly. He wanted to create a Christmas album that reflected the Australian Christmas experience.

“In the end, we ditched that title because we thought it might a bit too negative – too many ‘nos’ in the title,” he laughs.

Fans of Kelly got treated to a handful of songs from the new album across his annual Making Gravy shows, and his gig at Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on December 10 will appropriately be streamed today, Gravy Day, at 8:00pm AEDT.

“You could tell the crowd was emotional at Myer Music Bowl, and we felt it on stage; we all miss that connection,” Kelly says.

“Listening to music with other people around you, it’s really, really important.”

For more details on tonight’s stream, click here.