COUNTRY singer Paul Kelly has been on the road with his band since October, and the Pettigo man is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Paul Kelly Band features a further seven musicians, and has toured around the country – and across water over the past number of months.
“We’re gigging all over, we were in Glasgow recently gigging and just at the weekend we were in Cork, Donegal Town and Castlederg,” Paul explained.
“We launched the band on October 12 in the Allingham in Bundoran – and things have been very busy.
“I’m doing a lot of guest spots during the week – concerts and charity concerts – and the weekend is all band work.”
The band includes Denise Boyle on fiddle; Pauric O’ Sullivan, bass; Micky Madine on drums; Finn Morris on keyboard; Jonathan Millagan on guitar; and Karl Kirkpatrick on rhythm guitar.
Dave Burke works as sound engineer, and Andy Cox as band manager.
“The music we do is 90% country and western, there are maybe two sets: a rock ‘n’ roll set and a Status Quo set, but mainly it’s country,” Paul went on.
And, performance aside, Paul indicates that gig-goers expect a bit more than just a show.
“A lot of the music industry at the minute is performance yes, but also knowing your punters, talking to your punters, and if you’re back at the place a second time, remembering names and people.
“90% of people tell you ‘that was great’ – if they didn’t like it, they would probably say nothing – though I did have one man who came and said to me that our tempo wasn’t right. But you will get people, no matter what you do, who don’t enjoy it – you just do your best.”
The band are due to release a new single on April 1, and a new album is in the pipeline, following Paul’s debut ‘So in Love’.
“It normally goes an album per year – and the last album I’d out was in May time, so this will likely be mid summer to late summer.
“We’re working away on songs – but yes it will be trying to get everybody involved in it. When you have 6 or 7 people thinking, it’s better than having one person.”
And, as for life on the road: Paul is enjoying every moment.
“It’s brilliant – it’s completely different to what I’ve been used to. I would have been used to setting up my own gear. Now you go down and most of the gear is set up for you, there’s a sound man on site, it’s a different scenario than I’ve been used to.”
Tomorrow night, Thursday, he performs in the Westville Hotel.
“The Westville is a good gig – this will be the first gig on a Thursday – it used to be on Monday nights.
“It’s a great venue, there’s a great dance floor – and I think it’s going to be good.
“Our set will be 85% country and a bit of a mixture.
“I’m hoping for a big local crowd – I have been draining them out this last while, but as I say I want to see all the local faces.”