Stardust Five performed on 22/04/06 at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney. It’s the new side project fronted by Paul Kelly, with Pete and Dan Luscombe, Bill McDonald and Dan Kelly, all along for the ride.

This line-up was the band behind possibly my favourite Paul Kelly album – Ways & Means. But this album is very different. It’s a monkier for their sonic experiments and soundtrack ideas. Really, these guys should be old enough to know better! Paul Kelly is right up there with Elvis Costello when it comes to a thirts for creating, and for something new.

So is it any good? Well, it’s not bad. Some of the songs on the self titled Stardust Five album sound great, but very few actual songs. It’s not something I imagine I will return to often. Live, the show was another beast. The complexity of the songs, the performances, all came through. I’ll admit, I wavered there for a bit, but watching the Luscombes go at it was pretty amazing. They also performed some material intended for the new Paul Kelly album, and a Dan Kelly sung version of the Magnetic Fields I Don’t Want To Get Over You – one of my favourite Magnetic Fields songs.

If you haven’t heard Ways & Means, then rush out and get it. It’s a double record, and it’s floating around for cheap at the moment. It’s like the best Mermaid Avenue album. Soulful and playful, a bunch of musicians on fire singing what Kelly described as “Love Gone Right” songs. I can’t wait to hear this band tackle a new bunch of ‘proper’ Paul Kelly songs.

SITE: Stardust Five – official site
SITE: Dumb Things – Official Website of Paul Kelly

MP3: Stardust Five – Things We Said In the Dark
– From the album Stardust Five (Capitol, 2006)
MP3: Paul Kelly – You Broke A Beautiful Thing
– From the double album Ways & Means (Capitol, 2003)

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