If YOU’RE good enough to sing alongside Van Morrison, than you’ve more than earned your fair share of kudos and respect.
Brian Kennedy, however, has also had to endure his fair share of criticism over the years – most of it undue – but there’s no criticising of his singing voice, one of Ireland’s finest. Indeed, as a former judge on The Voice of Ireland, he was undoubtedly the most qualified.
This month, Kennedy returns to Britain to promote his latest album, A Love Letter To Joni, which features a series of covers of some of Joni Mitchell classics.
His tour begins tonight at The London Irish Centre; The Lantern at Colston Hall, Bristol (May 2); The Chorlton Irish Club, Manchester (3); The Cluny 2, Newcastle (5); The Green Hotel, Kinross (6); The Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen (8) and Oran Mor, Glasgow (9)
We spent ten minutes with the Belfast boy…
What are you up to right now?
I'm just about to start my little UK tour promoting my new tribute album to Joni Mitchell called, A Love Letter to Joni. Very excited to be back in the UK.
Who are your heroes?
I don't really have heroes as such but I'm heavily influenced and admire people like Joni, Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder Oprah, Ellen & Judge Judy.
What's been the best decade of your life so far and why?
My 40s are currently quite a challenge on every level. My 30's were mostly great. The 50 is the new 40. I'm an eternal optimist.
What record sends a shiver down your spine?
A Case Of You by Joni, or The Man With the Child in his Eyes by Kate Bush. Teardrop by Massive Attack. Don't Give Up by Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush.
What is your favourite place in Ireland?
Dublin is hard to beat. Killaloe has many happy memories. Donegal is incredible. The Arran Islands are stunning. What a hard question.
What makes you angry?
Homophobia. Racism and unnecessary amounts of sugar in everything!
What book influenced you most?
Whatever one I happen to be reading at the time. I'm forever changing my mind about things as I understand more. Anything by Colm Toibin.
What was the worst moment of your life?
There have been many. It's part of life's journey. Unrequited love is a painful episode. I'd never want to feel that again.
Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?
Sadly I rarely get excited by new artists but Gavin James is an incredible singer songwriter from Dublin and if there's any justice he should be global in my opinion.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Mortgage free please!
Can you recommend an interesting website?
What is the best lesson life has taught you?
Get on with your short life!
What is your favourite film and why?
The Wizard of OZ. I adore going from black and white to colour. And Judy Garlands performance and singing is heartbreaking.
What do you believe in?
We reap what we sow & Champagne for everyone!
What trait do others criticise you for?
Apparently showing up on time and not understanding why everyone else in the world doesn't do the same!
Where do you live and what are the best and worst things about that place?
Dublin. It's very cosmopolitan which is great. It's very expensive which is not so great.
On what occasion is it OK to lie?
Whenever the truth is inappropriate. Eternally Chubby Friend: " have I lost weight?
Me: YES. = lie.
What do you consider the greatest work of art?
What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Guilt is a completely selfish useless emotion but...vintage rose champagne always hits the spot! In case you're buying?
Who is/was the love of your life?
He knows who he is...thus far. It's not over yet!