Thursday 22 August 2019

Brian Kennedy... The loves of my life


Elle Gordon

The Belfast-born singer-songwriter chats about his favourite people, places and things

The person

Judge Judy, she just doesn't know it yet.

The memory

I lived in Manhattan for the guts of a year when I was singing the lead in Riverdance on Broadway in 2000. I touched lucky for an incredible apartment in the West Village. Life was unforgettable from day to day. It was like living in a movie. And sweet-potato fries had just been born.

The moment of the day

Usually early evening, when I'm just about to go on stage. I feel the familiar, essential nervous butterflies that collect in my chest, and then I ride the wave of my first few notes. Always a necessary thrill.

The song

Oh god, so many…but my song Christopher Street never fails to bring me back to that time I lived and breathed NYC. Boy George recently recorded it with me and gave it a whole new temperature.

The movie

I recently flew back from China and watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on the plane. It had me in tears, which is very rare. I'd quite forgotten the beauty of the gay love story - and I hadn't had that much wine! It's just beautiful storytelling and very believable.

The hero

The person who comes to mind is Catherine Corless, whose tireless research led to the unveiling of the shocking discovery of 796 babies who had been buried in Tuam, Co Galway. She never gave up in bringing the terrible truth to light.

The book

Book club aside, I'd say All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which my mate Anne gave me. I read it while travelling across China on tour recently, and I resented having to finish it.

The outfit

Now I'm in my very recent 50s, I favour comfort above all. As I call it, I'm 'older and wider', so it's increasingly harder to get the right shirt or jacket from some of our high-street places like Zara and H&M; it's like waking up in Jedward's wardrobe sometimes. However, I'm an optimist, and I even managed to get a great white shirt in China that fitted perfectly.

The accessory

Currently my iPhone 7 Plus, which is my portable office, alarm clock, dictionary and just about everything else.

The gadget

My Mac, on which I'm answering these questions right now! Its Retina screen makes my Netflix addiction all the more understandable.

The pet hate

Tardy timekeeping. Seriously, no one is perfect, but it's not that hard to be on time, and it's a mark of respect when you are. I'm a wee bit obsessed with this one and often arrive slightly early. I know… I'm one of those guys.

The smell

I got a 50th birthday present of Coromandel by Chanel, and it was remarked upon whenever I wore it. I've run out. Hint, hint…

The friend

I'm blessed to have a very tight bunch of friends for many years. Arise Mary, Anne, Niall, Katherine. Until we get too pissed and row over nothing and block each others numbers - briefly, of course.

Then it's all back on in no time.

The beauty product

Aveeno moisturiser, loads of lemon water and the lesser-spotted good night's sleep.

The piece of advice

Live authentically, and get on with your short life.

The hotel

The Westbury. It's discreet, timeless, has a great menu and incredible staff.

The drink

A margarita: real lime, no sugar, triple sec, 100pc agave tequila and a pink salty rim on the glass.

The holiday

I was once flown by private jet to NYC to see U2 play for a few nights, and then home again before anyone noticed I was gone. Now that was really something. My lips are sealed.

The bar

Bruxelles in Dublin; outside under the canopy with a G&T and good friends.

The hobby

I don't think I have one. I do what I love for a living, which is sing, play guitar, write songs and books, and travel the world doing that. I feel very privileged to have been able to work so hard at what I do.

The part of my body

I would have to say my buns, after much squatting at BodyByrne Training. Or so I'm told. Ssssssshhhhh.

The celebrity

My mates Sharon Corr, Kathryn Thomas and Clodagh McKenna; three incredible, funny, talented, hard-working women.

The virtue

Honesty can sometimes get me into hot water, but ultimately I'm not up for a lukewarm life.

The vice

When I shared my house with comedian Katherine Lynch and opera's Niall Morris, it became a gin palace for a while. I love drinks and crack and dinner and more drinks when I'm not working.

The taste

Dingle Gin and tonic, with lots of ice, lime and lemon wedges in a big goblet. OK, now I'm officially thirsty after allthis typing.

Brian Kennedy's new album 'Christmassy' is out this month. You can catch Brian live in First Fruits Art Centre, Watergrasshill, Cork, on December 9, and St Ann's Church, Dublin on December 11

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