I've known Patrick Kelleher since he was about nine. His older brother was one of my best mates in school and when I went over to his place Paddy would hang off us, misguidedly thinking it would make him cool by association. Since he released his debut album You Look Cold last year I've been hanging off him, resigned to never being cool by any means, but perhaps hoping that a modicum of his talent might rub off on me. I had bought his album because that's what you do - you buy the albums that your friends make. Then it kicked me in the bollocks by being really fucking good, probably the best album I bought last year. It appears an awful lot of people think so too.
I had little idea of what kind of music he makes, and to be honest, I still don't really know. I suppose it fits vaguely into that lazy category of 'indie/alternative', but this is no skinny-boys-playing-their-guitars-atonally drudgery. Nor is it the work of yet another earnest guy with an acoustic guitar keening about his soul. It feels more like a celebration of all kinds of good stuff, including folk, electronica and doo-wop. It's not cynical, designed to get played on daytime radio, seduce Hollywood starlets and soundtrack The Hills. It's not going to sell out stadiums or get him on the cover of Q magazine (though he'd make a smashing cover girl).
It's music for the sheer joy of it, at a time when reality TV seems determined to take us further and further from that notion.
Patrick and his band will be playing at two Haiti benefit gigs in Whelan's, on February 3rd and 17th. Do yourself and favour and get to one of the shows. And if you don't trust me on this, check out the ire that his omission from the Choice Music shortlist provoked over on Jim Carroll's blog.
Also, watch this video. I don't exactly put them up very often.
Patrick Kelleher - Coat To Wear from Gerard Duffy on Vimeo.
Musical Rooms feature.