Paul Kelly performing on stage with a guitar

Paul Kelly Remembers The Worst Gig Of His Career

by Cameron Adams

Australian music icon Paul Kelly has recalled the era when audiences booed him off stage.

A young Paul found himself opening for Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil at the start of his career in the early 80s.

While Paul is now one of the country’s most respected artists, back then it was a very different story.

Paul recalls trying to play to impatient audiences waiting for their pub rock heroes to take the stage.

“The two hardest bands to support back in the 80s were Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil,” Paul told new podcast These Days, which tells the history of Australian rock.

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“At Midnight Oil you’d hear the chant ‘Oils! Oils! Oils!’”

However he tells the podcast there was one Cold Chisel show where the crowd employed a more menacing technique that meant he wanted to get off stage as soon as possible.

Have a listen:

In the episode Peter Garrett also reacts to Paul’s memory, recalling the “manic levels” of support for his band and the “hormonal energy” of their audience.

Hear his response:

For more interviews about the greatest moments in Australian music, listen to These Days on LiSTNR and all your favourite podcast platforms.