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Where Kelly’s reaction to the 150-strong touring roster of songs for the A-Z shows was to take a stripped back sound for the record, Fall also represents a reaction to the way music is consumed these days. 

“If you are going to make an album you have to make it more than just a collection of songs,” Kelly explains of what went on to become a defence in many ways of ‘the album’ as a musical statement and work. 

“People can listen to music in many formats, pick up a song here or there in a more grazing style,” he says. “If an album is a collection of songs you might as well just put them out one by one. Spring And Fall will be more rewarding if you listen to it all in order.” 

Kelly drew on the structure he had taken on when penning Gravy, incorporating many of the artistic influences and rigours from that experience into Fall’s love story. 

“In the book I had an in-built structure in the alphabet,” he recalls of the two-year-long process the book became. “Different chapters had different styles, though, I could write an essay and then another would be more personal, then another was a family memoir, or a tour diary – I could mix it up but I had a structure in place and that slid through [into the album].” 

Hearing Kelly defend albums, we half expect him to launch into some criticism of today’s iTunes-dictated music universe. To be a nostalgist who preferred things as they were, who’s mourning vinyl while admonishing the musically uneducated. He is, though, much to our surprise, nothing of the sort. 

“I like the choice – as an artist and as someone who consumes music,” he says of the greater musical freedom tech advances have brought.

“I don’t want to go back to the days when you had to buy the album to hear a song that wasn’t the single. It’s good – the more choice there is, the better. But paradoxically that means there is more and more reason to make an album now.”

To make the point almost, his forthcoming show at London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall will differ to the usual shows served up when bands and artists tour, where they’re most likely to throw in a few new ones off the latest LP and then the tried and tested crowd favourites. “We have special plans for the show,” he reveals.

“We’re going to play Spring And Fall as a piece, from the first song to the last, and then the second half of the show will be dipping into the catalogue of old songs.” 

It’s going to be a true one-off opportunity to see Kelly, dabbling in the hits, and opening the door on this new chapter. Don’t miss! 

Spring And Fall is out April 15 through Dramatico. 
Kelly plays Cadogan Hall. April 12. £25  SW1X 9DQ   
Tube | Sloane Square  
cadoganhall.com

Photos: Daniel Boud;  Tony Mott; Getty


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Interview - Paul Kelly: The legendary folk rocker opens up about new album Spring and Fall and upcoming London show
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