One man’s musical dream comes true at the Music Station in Macksville

Robby T & The Messages delivered a powerful show called Songs of Paul Kelly Words – Reflections – Stories to a sold out Music Station Macksville on Sunday afternoon.

LAST Sunday at the Music Station Macksville a very fortunate capacity audience of 60 music lovers witnessed a musician bring his dream to life.

In 1995 musician Rob Torelli began pondering on the idea of performing the music of Paul Kelly and combining the stories behind the songs with tales of his own experiences.

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It has taken some time for this Nambucca Valley musician, barber and businessman to make it happen but what he and his specially selected band members, performing as Robby T & The Messages, delivered on Sunday was worth the wait.

In a world where tribute acts are big business it is unfair to call this show a tribute act as Rob does not try to impersonate Paul Kelly but rather pay homage to his words and music in what would be better described as an Act of Respect.

That being said, vocally Mr Torelli does bear a resemblance to his musical hero and if it is hard work for him to do so, it is not ever apparent.

Joining Rob on stage were Ethan Frankel on guitar, Clint Waaka on bass guitar, Roxy on keyboards and vocals and Paul Moller on drums.

As an added extra, the great Tommy Augustine assisted as a percussionist for this gig.

Early in the show Rob and the band stepped through Kelly bangers like Leaps and Bounds, St Kilda to Kings Cross and To Her Door.

During a sometimes touching solo set, Rob Torelli pointed out how Paul Kelly’s music has served to educate many on the plight of our First Nations people.

In a fascinating deviation from the hits, the audiences learned of the vast array of collaborations in Paul Kelly’s history, and Rob and the band served up a stunning rendition of Difficult Woman, written for Renee Geyer by Paul Kelly.

It was in the last trimester of the performance when Rob and the band really hit their straps with a succession of Paul Kelly’s up tempo hits and the audience was in bliss.

It was here where Rob Torelli’s vocals were at their most ‘Kelly like’.

Adding enough dialogue between tacks to tell a story without ever being self indulgent, by the time they performed Dumb Things the crowd were putty in Rob’s hands.

For most the highlight would have to be the encore number ‘My Mothers Voice’ where Roxy joined Rob in a pitch perfect delivery of a Paul Kelly masterpiece.

What the audience got for their $20 investment on Sunday afternoon was an indelible musical memory and the passionate unanimous standing ovation at shows end indicates that Rob Torelli is truly on to something here.

“We have been just overwhelmed by the crowd’s response to the show and we will now be putting a tour on through the region.” Rob told News Of The Area.

The only person having more fun than the audience was Rob Torelli himself, a dream come true indeed.


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