You were a restless spirit, Luke, but we had the rarest of ould times together
A renowned folk singer, Luke Kelly was at heart a frustrated rocker, writes his friend, John Sheahan
Thirty years after you died, Luke, you continue to soar on wings of song, at ease among the greats. You were gifted, not only with a rare voice — you were a natural interpreter of song. You had that intuitive way of phrasing.
You took us with you on a journey, taking risks, steering a song through its emotions, sometimes lingering on a note that split-second longer than others would dare, before releasing us from the tension and delivering us back to the story, casting a spell till the final note surrendered to silence. Your recordings have become definitive interpretations for new generations of singers who cite you as a major influence.
You were a restless spirit who loved change. A frustrated rock singer, you delighted in the role of Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar. You recorded a Ray Davies’ song, Thank You for the Days, and you were forever singing Beatles' songs in the dressing-room before a concert.