I don't see much live music these days, but I couldn't resist seeing Paul Dempsey (from Something for Kate) on the weekend.
Old friends can attest to my absolute obsession with the man between the ages of 14 and 20. As an existentially challenged teen I was totally lured in by his abstract lyrics, enigmatic personality and furrowed brow.
But after they put out Echolalia, things seemed to go downhill. I just found their new stuff too poppy, and would yearn for the days of their more raw, angsty music. I kept clinging on, hoping for a revival. At shows they played from their back catalogue, and that kept me smiling, but deep down, I was losing hope.
So when I heard Dempsey was doing a solo project last year, I got a little excited, but not too excited, as I'd been let down in the past.
I've yet to buy his solo record (Everything is True), but I've heard it a few times and caught the singles on the radio. It feels refreshing, I think because it's Dempsey writing for Dempsey = no compromises. It's still not what I dream of, but it's good to see him stretching his wings solo.
The show on Saturday was great fun - the new stuff is great live, and his touring band is tight. It also helped Dempsey was in a good mood, and really appreciative of the audience. I have to say, despite all my doubts, he's still got it... the furrowed brow, the cryptic lyrics and the wry smile. Deep down, I'm still a tragic devotee.
photo via song doctor