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'Never buy a round in Norway - a beer is €12'



Nicky Kelly

Nicky Kelly

Nicky Kelly

Nick Kelly was the singer-songwriter and frontman for The Fat Lady Sings, the rock band from Dublin which was set up in 1986.

Kelly's new film, The Drummer and The Keeper, hit cinemas on September 8. The film, which was written and directed by Kelly, tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a young bipolar rock drummer and a 17-year-old goalie who has Asperger's.

What's the most important lesson about money which your career has taught you?

That it's important to put a value on your work - especially in music, where it can be incredibly easy to play for nothing. Often, as a creative person, what you do doesn't seem like work - so it's very hard to charge for your time sometimes. Film is funny: it's expensive to make a film and there's always an internal battle going on between getting the work done - and getting it done right. Sometimes it can be tempting not to get paid for the day just so that you can get something in a film right. But it's important to put a value on your work, even if you don't end up charging. Otherwise, your own self-worth can take a battering. It's important too that other people appreciate your work.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

It's a three-way tie between Norway, Iceland (before the crash), and Corsica. I was on holidays in Corsica recently and I was astonished how expensive things were. Even in a modest restaurant, you'll pay either €22 or €24 for a main course. I went to a concert and paid €25 for a CD at the gig - in Ireland, you'll get one for €10 or €12. As for Norway, you'd never buy a round there - a beer can be €10 or €12.

What's your favourite song about money?

I've two: Bills by Lunch Money Lewis and It's Money that I Love by Brandy Newman.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old Irish halfpenny with the pig and piglets, the florin with the salmon on it, and the half crown with the horse. In the early years of the Irish State, visual culture was very under-recognised - so whoever designed these coins probably didn't get much praise.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

Probably my computer, which I spent about €3,000 on.

What was your worst job?

I once canned fruit for a week in Germany - I still remember getting stung by wasps.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I occasionally buy loads of small things like earphones for my computer - and I always end up losing them and having to replace them again.

What was your best financial killing?

I always feel like I'm being paid for the wrong thing. I invested a huge amount of money in a record I made called Running Dog - and it just about broke even. Then someone from an American soap heard an afterthought song which I almost didn't put on the record. That was then used on a daytime soap -and I got €3,000 for something which took four minutes.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

I'd pay my mortgage. I'd look at my children's futures and put money away for that. And I'd use the rest to finance the luxury of only making art for a living.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes. I watch a lot of movies on Apple TV.

Would you buy property now?

I'm lucky enough to own a house and I'm grateful for that. With the rental market the way it is, I think people feel the need to buy. But I'm terrified of property as an investment. Things that hold you back are to be avoided.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

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The New Yorker magazine - which I get delivered on subscription - good food, and hot water as I take a bath every day.

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