Declan Kelly
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Declan Kelly

Band Folk Reggae


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Declan Kelly: Tales from the Neighbourhood"

Declan Kelly


(Bondi Beach/Vitamin)

Some singing drummers such as Phil Collins should never have been allowed out from behind the kit. Bondi boy Declan Kelly, best known as drummer for Nessa Morgan, Papa Lips and the Bondi Cigars, mounts a more viable case for taking centre stage. His voice is immediately likeable and he sings with the same easy groove that infuses his playing, the songs cruising about in a loose, funky, soul-meets-reggae neighbourhood. Some 25 chums help out on Tales from the Neighbourhood, including bit parts for Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges and Afro Moses.

November 4, 2005 - Sydney Morning Herald

"Brass Monkey"


Last nights gig review:

In my neighbourhood 2day it was all about Declan Kelly. was all funked up. Lock down after hours funky bad ass jam went in2 rhythm orgazams as they danced harmonized drank and got totally funked up and left begging 4 more. only a few in the neighbourhood have seen of this man they call Declan Kelly go my children and spread this word through out the land.

thanks bro, ray and the rest of the boys . thank u Sam Stephenson and his band. lets get this thing happening again soon.

Jad. brassmonkey
- Jad. B Monkey.


Debut Album 'Tales from the Neighbourhood' released August 2005.

Track 1 - 'Neighbourhood' received avid radio play on triple j in 2005/2006.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Declan Kelly: more than your average boy next door

If only we all had a neighbour like Declan Kelly. A well-known face in his Bondi neighbourhood, Declan’s upbeat, groovebased music reflects his colourful background and diverse range of influences. Born in Sydney, Declan is the son of an Irish father and a Maori mother, who were not surprised when it became clear that music was to become his life.

From an early age Declan’s singing and performing mother, Salley, immersed him in music. When he picked up his first pair of drum sticks at age seven, his elders noticed his natural talent right away and encouraged him to pursue his passion, which saw him performing and touring Australia by the age of 16. Boasting a natural affinity with R&B, Declan has established himself as a sought-after drummer and is constantly touring and recording for some of Australia’s top acts like Papa Lips, Bondi Cigars and, most recently, Nessa Morgan.

In between these commitments Declan started writing his own collection of songs, making his first appearance as a vocalist on Andy Glitre’s Bondi Calling compilation with his track ‘Neighbourhood’. After the success of that single, the next logical step for Bondi Beach Records was to release Declan’s debut album.

Declan calls Bondi home but has also spent time living in Europe, studying west African
rhythms, under the tuition of Maestro Afro Moses, and busking in Paris, the south of
France, and Dublin. Declan’s time in Paris influenced the sound of his debut album and his deep love and respect for indigenous music and culture can be heard throughout, particularly on ‘Taniworala’ (meaning “come on over to my place/let’s celebrate”), ‘Hutte Sacree’ (sacred hut) and on the reggae track ‘Always the Way’ with its island harmonies and rhythms. Declan’s songs represent a legacy preserving these rich cultural styles and sense of a community that is bound together by music.

Tales from the Neighbourhood was recorded in Sydney’s Surry Hills at Big Jesus Burger where Declan enlisted 25 friends – top musicians he had shared many hotel rooms and hours on the road with. Listening to the songs you can tell they came together with the natural, organic spirit that you would expect when old friends meet to play music together.

Tales from the Neighbourhood is a testament to the global village Declan found in his
hometown of Bondi. Who needs to travel when you’ve got Declan in your neighbourhood?