I often see Paul Capsis at the local supermarket. He obviously lives in my area, given the number of times I’ve seen him at Coles. In contrast to his performance on stage, he often seems like a shy man when I’ve seen him buying milk. But on stage, he’s loud, outrageous, and fills the space. He is such a great stage performer, as I’ve seen tonight at Slide Nightclub for the launch of his latest CD.
He sang half a dozen songs tonight, across a broad spectrum of musical genres that included jazz classics like “Feeling Good” and “Cry Me A River” through to a Janis Joplin number, and even, “I Would Die For You” by Garbage. “It takes a lot of talent to be able to scream in tune”, I commented to my friend who came along with me tonight. It was a reference to his performance of a number by Joplin, who Capsis described as one of his favourite performers. Seconds earlier he was singing in a very deep masculine tone. Seconds later he was in falsetto. And then before you knew it, his voice was rich and thick doing something different again,
In between songs he likes a laugh. He made a reference tonight to being how surprised to see people out on a wet night in Sydney. “It rains and we don’t know what to do”, he joked, knowing the whole audience understood completely. Minutes earlier, I’d had a bloke from Melbourne ask me “don’t you have cloak rooms in Sydney?” Although I’d wanted say, “honey, we don’t need ’em”, I’d directed him upstairs. I hope he understood Paul’s reference. Maybe. Maybe not.
On stage, Capsis really comes to life. It’s such a contrast to the man I see at the local supermarket. Either way, he seems like a lovely gentle soul.