Per­son­al­i­ties in har­mony

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Comedy - Paul Mc­der­mott & Gatesy go solo June 30 As­tor Theatre, Mt Law­ley tick­etek.com.au Sara Fitz­patrick

TWO very dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties of Aussie mu­si­cal com­edy are har­mon­is­ing in a stage show of orig­i­nal songs.

Steven ‘Gatesy’ Gates, of Tri­pod – laid-back, friendly and rather unas­sum­ing – and Paul Mc­der­mott, of Doug An­thony All Stars – ec­cen­tric, enig­matic and some­what in­tim­i­dat­ing – sing of beauty, heart­break, squab­bles and non­sense. So how do they gel? Gates calls him­self “the sponge”, and Mc­der­mott, “the spillage.”

“I’ve just got to kind of mop it (Der­mott’s cre­ative juices) up and make sense of it all,” Gates said. “Paul is what I would call a true artist; he ex­presses, and even be­fore we have fin­ished a song he will come at me with a new one, whereas I would say I’m more an­a­lyt­i­cal or a syn­the­siser of ideas.

“He’s con­stantly cre­at­ing and I think I’m lazier than that.

“He’s also an ab­so­lute nut bag.”

Gates said the duo and good friends, af­ter meet­ing at the ’99 ARIA Awards, might sur­prise au­di­ence mem­bers with their reper­toire.

“There are a cou­ple of funny songs but most are just pretty songs, many about Paul’s child­hood: he’s at an age now where he’s look­ing back a lot, which is what hap­pens to mid­dle-aged peo­ple,” Gates said.

“We didn’t know what the show was at the be­gin­ning and I was very care­ful be­cause we bring ex­pec­ta­tion: you’ve got the mid­dle men from Tri­pod and Dougs and peo­ple have wanted to see us to­gether on stage and won­dered what that would be like.

“Well, we didn’t know ei­ther. We didn’t put any ex­pec­ta­tion on our­selves to do a cer­tain thing; we just saw where the art – yes, it’s **** ing art – took us.”

The show de­buted at the 2017 Bal­larat Cabaret Fes­ti­val, an ideal place for the singer­song­writ­ers to start, as peo­ple weren’t ex­pect­ing laughs.

“If we’d done a com­edy fes­ti­val, peo­ple would have been go­ing: ‘Well, hang on, what’s funny about this?” Gates said.

“That said, the gigs we’ve done since have been re­ally funny. The songs have been beau­ti­ful and it is re­ally mu­si­cal, but in be­tween Paul can’t help him­self and I can’t help my­self through Paul.”

Perth com­edy fans re­cently saw the Mel­bour­nian go solo, open­ing for Arj Barker’s Or­ganic show in May.

“There’s noth­ing quite like be­ing on stage by your­self and hav­ing com­mand of the tim­ing and en­ergy – I can see why it’s kind of like crack, as it gives you a very pow­er­ful feel­ing,” Gates said.

“For a liv­ing, I’m al­ways stand­ing on stage with two friends; that’s my bar­rier and mu­sic is an­other bar­rier.

“Even with Paul, there’s just two of us and that ‘duo en­ergy’ is fas­ci­nat­ing; you’re ba­si­cally

WHEN: WHERE: TICK­ETS: just fill­ing in the gaps when the other per­son isn’t talk­ing.”

Steven Gates and Paul Mc­der­mott.

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