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Live Review: Paul Dempsey, Olympia

30 August 2016 | 3:11 pm | Tom Gaffney

"The majority of those in attendance were closer to taking their long service leave than they were to sitting their final university exams."

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Paul Dempsey's a classic 'retainer' - he retains fans, talent and, for the last 20 years of his career, he's never seemed to run dry of stories to tell or songs to sing. Adelaide patrons who were lucky enough to snag a ticket to the sold out show at The Gov knew they'd be in for a musical treat. 

The room was packed from the start of Olympia's set. Olympia was, no doubt, an appropriate support choice for this tour given their shared demographics as well as the fact that she's been a member of Dempsey's backing band for the last couple of years. It's safe to say that the majority of those who love Dempsey would also - whether beforehand or during her set - fall in love with Olympia's unique style of alternative, hook-driven indie-pop. Olympia won people over and absolutely killed it on her lead singles.

Paul Dempsey, as usual, was a complete delight to watch as he filled his set with subtle jokes, classic songs from his solo albums and even a couple of covers, from Television and Pixies. He oozes talent and Dempsey didn't miss a vocal note or guitar strum. Dempsey was extremely accommodating to his demographic of beloved punters who, as a collective, encouraged the assumption that the majority of those in attendance were closer to taking their long service leave than they were to sitting their final university exams. Dempsey and his band disappeared into the band room following their performance of the wonderful, singalong tune Theme From Nice Guy.

The quintet then wound back on to the stage, taking up their respective positions after no more than a brief cheer and 45 seconds of muttered conversation between groups of friends and partners. "Could we call that an appropriate time for us to hide away before the encore? I know we didn't fulfil the appropriate duration set by the Australian Music Performance Association, but I know we all have places to be tomorrow morning," he joked, before they uniformly began playing Take Us To Your Leader.

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The encore was stunning, following on with Nobody's Trying To Tell Me Something and finishing off with Bird In A Basement before thanking his supportive fans and disappearing for the final time. His set was two hours long - two solid hours of Dempsey singing, his band playing and the crowd shrewdly singing and dancing in their own quadrants of the obliquely shaped room that is The Gov.