In preparing to chat with approximately delicious gay Irish crooner Brian Kennedy, this humble scribe decided to bust out his one Irish phrase – Conas atá tú? (‘how are you?’).
“Ah, good work!” Kennedy acknowledged, before responding with a lightning-fast Irish monologue that sounded very sexy, but could’ve been Klingon for all I understood. Kennedy 1, hack 0.
The charismatic singer spoke to Sydney Star Observer from his home in chilly Dublin, and said he was looking forward to his upcoming Australian jaunt.
“I love Australia, I’ve even been to your Sleaze Ball when I had a few days off on tour. Please tell all your Aussie Rules football men to feel free to come to any of my shows,” he said.
Kennedy’s own 20-year career seemed to suffer no ill effects after he came out in the mid-’90s.
“I came out to my parents in my 20s, and I never publicly denied anything — I never showed up with a pretend girlfriend or anything.
“It came to a head when some people were goading me a bit publicly, and it made it look like I was trying to hide something.”
Surely it must’ve been a brave move speaking out, considering the majority of his fans were straight women.
“And they still are. The audience is not that fickle — look at George Michael’s or Elton John’s audiences. My female fans are so cool, and the thing we have in common is that we love men.
“Unless they’re lesbians, of course.”
While he’s uncomfortable being thought of as a gay role model — “I’m a professional singer, not a professional homo” — Kennedy does regularly play at gay events.
“I was at a Pride March recently and they were playing a dance remix of one of my songs on a float. I was so proud, I couldn’t believe it,” he gushed.
And if you assumed that’s the gayest gig Kennedy’s ever played, think again: he represented Ireland in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest.
“It’s one of the few things left in the world that’s just about fun,” he said of the competition.
“It’s a wonderful way to feel part of Europe, and I love the diversity of the winners. Remember the year the big bull-dyke girl with the beautiful voice won? I love that! For everyone to co-exist on one night is just amazing.”
But with more divas than a drag dressing-room, does everyone really just ‘coexist’?
“I remember the year I did it, the girl from Iceland didn’t get through to the final. She went absolutely mental and broke one of the doors. She stormed the stage, climbed up on the set and had to be removed by security,” he laughed. “There’s a lot of drama backstage at Eurovision, let me tell you!”
info: Kennedy plays the Factory Theatre March 9. Tickets through Ticketek.