Nick Kelly founded The Fat Lady Sings in Dublin in 1986. Operating from London, they quickly began to garner plaudits from critics on both sides of the Irish Sea. From the band's inception, the quality and scope of Kelly's songwriting in particular was consistently admired. Between 1986 and 1989 they released four independent singles: Fear And Favour on Good Vibrations, Be Still on Harbour Sound, and Arclight and Dronning Maud Land on the band's own Fourth Base Records.

The reaction to these four songs, and the enormous fan base that The Fat Lady Sings built up through touring, led to their signing a major record deal with East West/Atlantic Records in 1989, and to Kelly being signed as a songwriter by Island Music.

In 1991, The Fat Lady Sings released their debut album Twist on East West to widespread acclaim. Twist performed well in the British and Irish charts and also provided the band with their first American success when the single Man Scared entered the U.S. Alternative Charts.

In 1993 their second album, Johnson, was released to further praise, and the single Drunkard Logic provided The Fat Lady Sings with their highest ever U.K. Chart placing.

In the same year, the Peace Together project, an initiative towards reconciliation in Northern Ireland through music jointly instigated by former TFLS-member Robert Hamilton and Ali McMordie, released a version of Kelly's Be Still, featuring performances by stars including Peter Gabriel, Sinéad O'Connor, Feargal Sharkey and Nanci Griffith.

In January 1994, following an extensive and successful U.S. tour, Nick Kelly announced that he had decided to split The Fat Lady Sings.

In mid-1995 Kelly began playing low-key live shows in Britain, Ireland, New York and Tokyo. These acoustic sets, composed exclusively of previously unheard and unrecorded songs written by Kelly during his eighteen months of self-imposed exile from the music business, were greeted in rapturous terms by fans and critics alike.

Kevin Courtney, writing in the Irish Times, raved about Kelly's

"Luminous lyrics and bright, blazing vision",

and Hot Press writer John Walshe concluded his Christmas issue review of 1995 by eulogising Kelly's return to the live arena, describing him as

"A god, a songwriter of such passion and beauty as to transcend mortality".

In June 1996, Sinéad O'Connor invited Kelly to accompany her in a special performance of one of his new songs, Republic, at a state reception hosted by visiting Czech President Vaclav Havel for President Mary Robinson in Johnny Fox's pub in Kilternan.

In January 1997, Kelly released a debut solo album, Between Trapezes, in Ireland on his own Self Possessed label. The record was deliberately funded without recourse to conventional music business sources, the initial pressing costs being met by 260 of Kelly's fans who agreed to act as sponsors of the project. The reaction of the Irish media was unanimously and extraordinarily positive:-

  "Album of the decade, let alone the year...12/12"- Hot Press

  "A truly wonderful independent album...10/10" - In Dublin

  "Absolutely breathtaking"- Irish Independent

  "Arresting and affecting" - Irish Times

In May 1997 the album was released in the U.K., once again to exceptional critical reaction:-

  "A record that deserves to be heard...4/5" - Q

  "Uncompromised and ever-shining...precious" - NME

  "Actually makes one chap's inner uproar accessible to all" - Mojo

For further and more detailed critical reaction to "Between Trapezes", go to cuttings.

"Between Trapezes" was also voted "Debut Album Of The Year" by the readers of Hot Press Magazine in their annual poll.

1997 also saw Nick perform a series of stunning live shows in Ireland and the UK, including a special guest slot on the Brian Kennedy tour in March; a sell-out performance of his own at Dublin's prestigious Redbox in April, accompanied onstage by a full rock band and a six-piece string section; and an August appearance alongside Patti Smith, Nick Cave and David Grey at the first Liss Ard Festival in West Cork.

Early in 1998 "Between Trapezes" was released in Sweden (on the Showtime label) and in the US (on Lunch Records).

In March 1998 Nick embarked upon a very well received mini-tour of the U.S., including dates in New York, Boston, Chicago and a showcase at the prestigious South By South-West Musicfest in Austin, Texas.

In April 1998, Nick was granted the accolade of "Best Solo Male Artist" by Irish music critics at Ireland's most important music awards, The Heineken/Hot Press Awards.


Discography:-

THE FAT LADY SINGS
Format Title Label Date Cat.
Single
(7")
Fear And Favour
b/w Wishing Well
Good Vibrations 11/86 FLS1
Single
(7")
Be Still
b/w King Of Freedom
Harbour Sound 3/88 HSS1
Single
(7", 12")
Arclight
b/w Behind Your Back
(+ Fear And Favour - 12" only)
Fourth Base 10/89 TFLS3
Single
(7", 12")
Dronning Maud Land
b/w A Message (+ Heavy Duty - 12" only)
Fourth Base 1/90 TFLS4
Single
(7", 12",
MC, CD)
Man Scared
b/w Be Still, Broken Into
(+ Not To Touch - 12" & CD only)
EastWest 10/90 YZ537
Single
(7", 12",
MC, CD)
Arclight
b/w Momento Mori
(+ King Of Freedom - 12" & CD only)
EastWest 4/91 YZ560
Limited
Edition
10"
Ten Inches Of Fat (1):
Arclight (acoustic),  Momento Mori (acoustic), It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go, Wishing Well
EastWest 4/91 YZ560
TE
Album
(7", MC, CD)
Twist:
Broken Into, Arclight, Who Wants You, Twist, Love Turned Upside Down, Deborah, Man Scared, Be Still, Gravy Train, Contact, Dronning Maud Land
EastWest 5/91 9031-
74237
Single
(7", 12",
MC, CD)
Twist
b/w Heavy Duty
(+ Is This All There Is? 12" & CD only)
EastWest 5/91 YZ586
Limited Edition
10" (+ box for set)
Ten Inches Of Fat (2):
Twist (acoustic), Heavy Duty (acoustic), Call Me Dirt, Toytown
EastWest 5/91 YZ586
TE
Single
(7", 12",
MC, CD)
Deborah
b/w Grand Country Wedding
(+ Gingerbread Man - 12" & CD only)
EastWest 8/91 YZ599
Limited Edition
10" (+ poster)
Ten Inches Of Fat (3):
Deborah (acoustic), Grand Country Wedding (acoustic), Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Gravy Train (alternative version)
EastWest 8/91 YZ599
TE
Single
(7", MC, CD)
Show Of Myself
b/w Everywoman (+ Border Keep - CD only)
EastWest 5/93 YZ734
Limited
Edition
CD Single
Letters, Leases Writs & Rings (1):
Show Of Myself (original demo), Broken Promised Land, Creepy Baby
EastWest 5/93 YZ734
Album
(7", MC, CD)
Johnson:
Boil, Show Of Myself, Alien, Drunkard Logic World Exploding Touch, Horse Water Wind, This Guitar, Johnny Sunrise, Stealing A Plane, Colourblind, But, Providence
EastWest 6/93 4509-
93045
Single
(7", MC, CD)
Drunkard Logic
b/w What Are You Like? (+ Twist (live) - CD only)
EastWest 7/93 YZ756
Limited
Edition
CD Single
Letters, Leases Writs & Rings (2):
Drunkard Logic (original demo), Contact (live), Arclight (live)
EastWest 7/93 YZ756
CD2
Single
(7", MC, CD)
World Exploding Touch
b/w Johnson (+ Boil  (Scafell Pike Mix) - CD only)
EastWest 10/93 YZ775
Limited
Edition
CD Single
Letters, Leases Writs & Rings (3):
World Exploding Touch (original demo), Alien (live), Be Still (live)
EastWest 10/93 YZ775
CD2

NICK KELLY

Format Title Label Date Cat.
Album track Nick Kelly: Crawl  (acoustic version) -
from album "Bís: Songs And Voices From Ireland"
Treasure
Island
1/96 T.I.D.
008 CD
Album Between Trapezes:
Faint Heart, Starving Seed, Republic, Lover's Easy To Say, Crawl, The Night Cesare Lombroso Met The Elephant Man, Steal, Tiburon Prayer, Grey And Blue, Walking Back To My Heart
Self
Possessed
1/97 SP001

COVERS/ CO-WRITES

Format Title Label Date Cat.
Single Peace Together: Be Still
- written by Nick Kelly, performed by Peter Gabriel, Sinéad O'Connor, Feargal Sharkey, Nanci Griffith and others (single version features remixes by Robin Guthrie and Sabres of Paradise)
Island 2/93 PCE
CD1
Album track Peace Together: Be Still  (as above) Island 3/93 CID
8018
Single Boo Hewerdine: World's End
(CD single features "One Sad Cowboy" - composed by Nick Kelly, Boo Hewerdine & Tony Shepherd)
Blanco Y Negro ?/95 NEG
83CDX