DAVID KEENAN is an artist to watch.
With a handful of EPs under his belt, 23-year-old Keenan was granted the career-altering opportunity of supporting one of Ireland's biggest music acts, as Hozier takes to the stage this week for a five-night run at The London Palladium.
Despite his relative newness to the scene, Keenan controls the crowd with expert ease, offsetting songs with stories and banter with the audience before launching into poetic, lyrical songs complete with a voice that carries across the iconic venue.
Armed only with an acoustic guitar and powerful set of vocals with an unapologetic Irish lilt, Keenan transforms what could have, in other hands, seemed like little more than a busking set into a comedy, poetry and musical experience all in one.
His 2018 track James Dean is an excellent example of this: his anecdote of the song being inspired by a bizarre dream (after 'double dropping' two Babybel cheeses) draws laughter from the crowd before Keenan upturns expectations as the song is revealed to be an incredible feat of language to the point where the idea of James Dean wanting to work at Irish Rail makes perfect sense.
With the completion of each song the audience becomes more engaged: the laughs get louder, the applause goes on longer, and his final track cleverly gets the crowd chanting 'One more tune!'.
An obvious passion for Irish culture beautifully explored through poetry and lilting melodies, Keenan looks set to go far in Ireland and beyond.