By LACHLAN BRYAN
When it comes to writing about the Australian experience, few songwriters are in the league of Paul Kelly. A couple spring to mind – Don Walker, for instance, in both his solo work and with Cold Chisel, and now Courtney Barnett, who has taken the world by storm recently with her tales of Melbourne inner-suburbia.
Sydney’s Perry Keys is another who fits the bill, despite the fact he’s a little less famous than those three names. But some would go as far to say that, in terms of painting the Aussie picture, the 48 year-old Keyes is in a league of his own.
Born in Redfern, Keyes has always written about the life he knows best – a life lived amid the chaos and decay of Sydney’s inner suburbs. He had his own bands in the late 80s and early 90s, but it was his solo records of the mid 2000s that really made the critics and audiences take notice. The Last Ghost Train Home, his second solo disc, was named album of the year by Radio National in 2007.
This year, Keyes is back with new album Sunnyholt. Subject-wise, he’s moved his attention from the inner suburbs to the outer suburbs, but the storytelling remains as vivid and remarkable as ever.
Victorians can check out Perry Keyes at Elsternwick’s Flying Saucer Club on Saturday 25 July.
Tickets available at flyingsaucerclub.com.au