The Fat Lady Sings
I was the lead singer and songwriter with The Fat Lady Sings between 1986 and 1994.
We released a series of glowingly-reviewed singles, including Dronning Maud Land, Deborah, Drunkard Logic and Arclight (still much played on Irish radio to this day), and two acclaimed albums, Twist (1991) and Johnson (1993). We made a lot of fans & friends, enjoyed some chart success, and toured extensively in Ireland, the UK, Europe and North America.
We have occasionally reformed The Fat Lady Sings for one-off live events. In 2012, we reunited to perform at Ireland’s largest music festival, Electric Picnic. Most recently, we were invited to reprise our performances at Ireland’s fabled Féile festival in the early 1990’s at the Trip to Tipp in Semple Stadium.
In 1997 I released my first solo album Between Trapezes on my own Self Possessed label, the pressing funded by 300 sponsors whose names appear credited on the sleeve. At the subsequent Irish Music Critics Awards, I was nominated in Best Album and Best Songwriter categories and won the Best Solo Artist Award.
In 2005 I release my second solo album Running Dog, which was jointly produced by my friends Joe Chester and Sean Millar. This album was nominated for Irish Album of The Year at the inaugural Choice Music Prize.
In 2009 I embarked on a nine month-long project called Gestation, uploading a collection of acoustic demos at the outset then performing different versions of these new songs live at a series of monthly live shows in Dublin’s Whelans, in collaboration with a variety of musicians, and inviting audience and online feedback. I released the subsequent album of recordings from this concert series, Nine Lives, under the alter ego Alien Envoy.
In 2014 I released a new studio album Loads, once again using my Alien Envoy persona. I directed a video for the opening song Resolution featuring a host of well-known friends and acquaintances. An instrumental version of another song from this album Bitter Batter Bee was used over the opening scene of my debut feature film The Drummer And The Keeper.
In 2013 I played a short Irish tour with fellow-artists Joe Chester, Sean Millar and Julie Feeney under the banner of The Peripheral Visionaries, performing songs from our combined back catalogues.
In 2018 myself and Sean joined forces with Paul Byrne (In Tua Nua), Les Keye (The Wilde Oscars) and Daragh O’Toole (Dara) to form The Unelectables, a supergroup of “former future rock stars committed to making noise beautiful again”. We were voted “Best Dressed Band” by the Irish Times after our punky performance at Electric Picnic.
In 2021, a week spent with Sean house-sitting in rural Clare spawned four new songs which we later recorded and released as Dogs, in tribute to Yogi, the energetic canine who came with the property. Two of the four songs from our Tricks EP, Old Dog, Young Dog and Heartbeat, made the Irish radio charts. Dogs have toured Ireland and the UK as part of The Song Cycle (below), with more live dates and writing sessions planned.
The Song Cycle
In 2022, I decided to cycle from Ireland to Glastonbury, playing shows en route, in order to start a conversation about more sustainable ways to tour live music. I was joined on trip by my fellow Dogs-body Sean Millar, who shadowed me via public transport, joining me onstage each evening.
After a warm-up test-tour of West Cork in May, we officially launched The Song Cycle with a show on Wednesday June 17th in Dublin’s Whelans, before travelling to Rosslare by train on Saturday 18th and taking the evening ferry to Pembroke.
From Pembroke, I cycled the 50km to Carmarthen on Sunday 19th, followed by Swansea (Monday 20th, 60km), Cardiff (Tuesday 21st, 70km) and Bristol (Wednesday 22nd, 80km), playing a show each night, before rolling the final 50km stretch down to Pilton Farm where, after a much-needed evening off, we played in the Bread and Roses tent on both the Friday 24th and Saturday 25th. We received a great deal of publicity for this adventure, including a feature spread in the Sunday Times and a spot on Sky News.
I was joined for this odyssey by intrepid cameraman Céin O’Brien who filmed the agony and ecstasy of the cycle itself as well as our shows each night. I am looking at using this footage as the basis for a documentary film.
Sky News Feature on the journey to Glastonbury.
A big, bold indie-pop album bustling with invention and creativity…brilliant.THE LAST MIXED TAPE
Kelly has taken his legacy to a new level.ROOTS & BRANCHES (UK)
A poet’s soulful challenge to the senses…tidily precise and perfect.Evening Herald
Album of the decade, let alone the year.HOT PRESS MAGAZINE
It’s incredible how resonant and relevant these songs sound after all this time.HOT PRESS MAGAZINE
A god, a songwriter of such passion and beauty as to transcend mortality.HOT PRESS MAGAZINE