John Kelly

John Kelly portrait, wearing a casual shirt in stripes of blue, with a paisley scarf open around his neck and a chunky silver chain with a padlock on it. John is a white man with dark salt and pepper hair, swept back in a rockabilly style with a kiss curl on his forehead.
(Photo credit: Dom Moore)

“I have been singing since I was 8, brought up with Irish music loving parents, and vinyl and cassettes all over the house, music has been my life. Musically, I am self taught. I started a band in my teens (Another Dead Rabbit) writing and gigging whenever and wherever I could. I took on the guitar, bass and keyboards and I’m pleased to say I’m still dodgy on them all”.

John Kelly is a warm, funny, passionate musician with over 35 years’ live experience. He is a lover and a (non-violent) fighter for equality and human rights.

His songwriting sits alongside that of his heroes and peers; containing all the compassion & conviction of Woody Guthrie, the fiery passion of Billy Bragg and the imaginative storytelling of Ian Dury & The Blockheads.

As a live artist he has wowed crowds at gigs ranging from backroom pubs to prestigious venues to sold-out arenas and stadiums.  

John’s music is informed by his life’s journey, passions, good friendships, the connections and experiences we share, a sense of fun and belonging. His music is also influenced by his broad musical tastes encompassing Irish, folk and traditional music alongside rock and roll, ska, reggae and punk.


My Showcase video
Winds of Change teaser video

Live Dates

2022 forthcoming dates:

Saturday 6 August @ Online Heroes Fest, Ontario, Canada, 3pm (EST)

Saturday 3 September @ MoreMusic, Morecambe, Lancashire.

Friday 9 September @ London, details to be announced.

Recent live dates:
– Convergence, Antwerp Belgium, May 22
– Tredegar House Folk Festival, Wales, May 22
– Manchester Folk Festival w/ Lunatraktors + O’Hooley & Tidow
– ParalympicsGB Homecoming celebration @ Wembley Arena w/ Madness, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur and Evelyn Glennie.
– Lyric Festival @ Hammersmith, London.
– Swich On Summer Festival @ New Wolsey, Ipswich, Suffolk.

For booking enquiries please contact


I am delighted to announce that the first single from my new album, recorded at Crown Lane Studios. The single, mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, is out now.

Which Side Are You On? is available on my Bandcamp page here

You can also purchase (I appreciate your support) and stream the track from other major platforms here

My Debut album is scheduled for release in 2022, keep an eye on my socials for updates.


You can listen once again to The Folk Show With Mark Radcliff where my new single was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 6 July at 9 pm: listen here

Click here to see my live dates and information on the festival, tickets and all the other brilliant acts playing over the weekend.

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John Kelly is an Ernie Ball Endorsed Artist.