10 November, 2010

How To Make Gravy Part One

How To Make Gravy by Paul Kelly

So here's the thing. This book is a mammoth 550 pages long. It's intense. I'm about half way through, but I need a break. It's due back at the library in less than a week and I can't extend it because there are already 12 holds on it. There are four main chapters, (night one, night two, night three and night four - more about that soon.) I've just finished night two so I have decided to review the first half, return it to the library, put myself back on the request list (there are three copies and it's a reduced loans period of 2 weeks) and read and review the second half when I get it back. Got it? Right, onto the review!

Paul Kelly is a brilliant Australian singer/ songwriter. In October 2004 he was invited to do some shows in the Spiegeltent. They wanted something exclusive, something he wouldn't do elsewhere. Not long after, he woke in the middle of the night with the idea to sing one hundred of his songs, in alphabetical order, over four nights. 25 songs each night, a different play list every show. He started to annotate the songs. How they came about, feelings or memories they provoked, thus How to Make Gravy was born.

The book is broken up into nights. (one, two, three and four) The twenty five songs for that night are listed. Each sub chapter starts with the songs lyrics followed by an explanation, a memory or just a stream of thought.

I am really enjoying the book. It's not your typical autobiography or memoir. For a start, it's not lineal. Because the songs are alphabetical rather than in the order they were written, it does jump around. For Paul Kelly, song writing is obviously a very personal thing, making the book intense.

I won't add this to my read list until I have actually finished it! I do feel, however, that I need to share my picks from night one and two.

Night One

Before Too Long

Dumb Things

Night Two

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

Leaps and Bounds