Paul Sings wasn’t strictly a comedy show. Or a concert. It may have been considered a cabaret. But what we did see was Paul McDermott, the former Doug Anthony All Star, GNW Host and star of The Sideshow singing songs from the different guises he’s adopted over the course of his career.

McDermott was joined by a four piece band with musicians on the guitar, bass, keys and drums playing what was essentially, some mid-tempo pop rock music. The group had played the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festivals and were now playing their final show in Sydney. McDermott was in a jovial mood as front man and star, spinning madness into his songs and anecdotes (some of which verged on angry old man rants).

Some of the jokes hit the mark more than others. But there were also moments where it felt like the show was a grand-old exercise in name-dropping. There was an anecdote about Paul Stanley here, a tale about Flacco (AKA Paul Livingston) there. There was a “story” about GNW producer, Ted Robinson and McDermott also took the mickey out of Marina Prior.

The show and its format didn’t always work. Having a full-band set-up meant the audience mind-set had shifted so that if the jokes and asides were too long, it felt like those times when boring banter is stretched out at a concert. Plus, the songs themselves weren’t particularly funny (unlike say, David O’Doherty, Tim Minchin and Tripod who have all managed to successfully marry the concepts of music and comedy together so well).

Paul Sings was ultimately a light comedy show. It had a quite silly feel but it’s also possible that most people left the venue feeling that Paul McDermott is funniest when he has another person with a mic as a comedic foil. The show was rather hit-and-miss but you couldn’t go past how fun it was to have the encore in The Enmore’s foyer. And next stop, the local watering hole.


Originally published on 5 May 2013 at the following website:

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