Welcome to the website of Captain Kennedy, a 6-piece rock band from Ireland. Check out our upcoming gigs or feel free to click on the links to our other sites.

26 November 2009

In the Studio

We are currently in the studio with Mudd Wallace recording our debut album, due out early next year. Keep an eye out on the site for further details!

13 November 2009

BBC Raw Money Gig Footage

Hey y'all. Had a great gig on Friday night for BBC Across the Line. You can view the whole gig online HERE. We played an acoustic version of "Stretch That Penny", a song from our forthcoming album. (We are on at about 1hr 15 mins in if you want to skip!)

4 November 2009

BBC Raw Money Gig Sold-Out!

Our gig for the BBC on Friday night alongside Foy Vance, Cat Malojian, Swanee River etc. is now officially sold-out. However, we have 2 free guestlist passes available. All you have to do is email with your name. We will pick a random winner tomorrow at lunchtime.

Don't worry if you aren't able to make the gig as it will be streamed live on the BBC Radio Ulster ATL site on Friday night from 8.30pm. Hope you can tune in!

28 October 2009

We're heading up to the North Coast Folk Festival for a headline gig at the Anchor Complex in Portstewart. Doors open at 10pm and it will be free admission! Hope you can make it!

19 October 2009

We are pleased to announce that we will be performing a very special acoustic song for BBC Radio Ulster's ATL programme on Friday 6th November at the Oh Yeah Centre. The gig is being announced on BBC Radio Ulster tonight (Monday) but for further details including how to purchase tickets, just go HERE.

9 October 2009

Open House Festival Review

A nice little review of our gig with Alela Diane appeared HERE's a quick extract......

"The first act are local band Captain Kennedy, whose blues-tinged folk music has made them somewhat prominent on the local folk scene. They trip casually onto the stage, each member brandishing an instrument and grinning sheepishly out into the crowd. The lead singer, Ciaran Lavery, sports a jaunty trilby, and ominously begins the set by apologising profusely. ‘Sorry, we won’t be long…’

They needn’t have; Captain Kennedy provided a rollicking start to the evening; their grimy brand of Americana – seamlessly combining indie-rock leanings with rootsy, traditional flourishes – is deceptively intelligent, and above all, immense good fun.

The band’s greatest weapon is Ciaran’s remarkable voice – Lavery is blessed with a throaty, bluesy howl, reminiscent of such folk troubadours as Marcus Mumford or The Tallest Man on Earth. The band tore through a foot-stompingly good set, each song intensifying to a strings-topped, rip-roaring crescendo. The bravado onstage sweetly clashed with the band’s between-song banter; they shyly thanked the crowd, and promised brevity (much to the crowd’s dismay)."

26 September 2009

Open House Festival

Just a little update after our first performance at this years Open House festival. We had a great time playing alongside Alela Diane and seeing the likes of William Elliott Whitmore juggling lemons in the hotel afterwards! There's a review of our performance and a few more photos over at Gigging NI courtesy of Clair McAllister Photography.

8 September 2009

Open House Festival

Tickets for our gig with the fantastic Alela Diane are selling thick and fast. They are available HERE. Alela Diane has also just been confirmed to appear on Jools Holland the week before we share the stage with her at the Open House. Nice.

31 August 2009

Last Waltz Revisited

Here's a little preview of our recent gig at the Last Waltz Revisited. Hope you enjoy! Copies of the dvd are available by contacting

30 August 2009

Recent gig

Here's a pic from a recent headline slot at the Magheralin music Festival.

14 August 2009

Last Waltz Revisited DVD Screening

As part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival we took part in "The Last Waltz Revisited".

It was a chance to re-imagine one of the greatest rock films ever. The Last Waltz‚ was a farewell concert from The Band, recorded on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. The event was a checklist of roots, rock and Americana, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Muddy Waters, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood and Dr John.

It marked the demise of the original Band line-up, an emotional goodbye after 16 years on the road. Songs like The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight‚ and It Makes No Difference‚ still resonate across popular music.

On the night, we played alongside some brilliant artists including Jackson Cage, Katie Richardson, Ten Gallon Hat, John Shelley and the Creatures and the BBCs Gerry Anderson.

Luckily, the whole event was captured on video! So this will be the first screening of the show. You can also get your hands on a copy of the dvd! The show will be held at the Oh Yeah Centre on Monday 24th August at 8pm. Admission is free.

13 August 2009

BBC 2 gig photo

O'Hanlons 5 (Medium)
Originally uploaded by gallan04
Photograph from our recent appearance on BBC 2. Click on the photgraph for more!

Captain Kennedy

Captain Kennedy
Originally uploaded by damian mc cann
Recent photo from the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Click on the photo for more gig photographs.......


Hey everyone. We're now listed on Wikifudia, a great resource for Irish bands.

8 August 2009

Ards Guitar Festival

The line-up for this year's Ards Guitar Festival has been announced. Head on over to the Festival Myspace for full details. We'll be playing alongside our buddies John Shelly and the Creatures (see pic) at the Ivy Bar on Friday 2nd October.

Captain Kennedy

Captain Kennedy
Originally uploaded by damian mc cann
Recent gig photo from "Out To Lunch" at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.


Here's a nice little review from Stuart Bailie, BBC Radio and former assistant editor of NME:

"If I had to pick a new voice to trust in unreliable times it would be Ciaran Lavery. He's the compelling noise at the front of Captain Kennedy, a band from Lurgan that used to be rather good but are now dangerously close to greatness. He's got a deal of hurt and empathy in his singing. You feel like you know the source of his woe and that with a mutual twist, he can voice your own particular brand of pain.

He does this with hardly any fuss, so you find yourself listening ever harder, picking out the little gems of phrasing, the hesitations, and even the slivers of joy. And to their credit Captain Kennedy never crowd the tunes with their fiddles, their keyboards and the other voices. If you want to check out the online clips, you'll see a band on a series of tiny stages, locking into their roots-rock groove, clearly hip to the sources of Americana, but never forcing the connection.

There's a fine EP out there called 'Factory Whistle Call' that sums up the early potential. On the song 'Bring That Light' Ciaran is hailing an old girl friend who's got a baby and is seemingly at odds with the world. The song is a reassuring hug, a belief that chances will improve and that destiny is up for debate.

Ciaran and Chris played live on my Radio Ulster show a few weeks ago, and while I was expecting something sweet, they made things a little harder on themselves by playing a couple of new songs. I was properly moved.

The final request was that they should bring in a record that meant something to themselves. And so Ciaran fetched up 'It Makes No Difference' by The Band, a song that dips into the very essence of heartbreak. He spoke eloquently about the artists, and in particular the singing of Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, two lamented, lost souls who could make the walls cry. That's something to want to live up to."

7 August 2009

Youtube Videos

We have a number of Videos up on our Youtube Channel for your viewing pleasure! Just click HERE to find live videos and some other random stuff.

Open House Festival

We are delighted to announce that we will be playing two gigs at this year's prestigious Open House Festival. For further details and to purchase tickets, please visit Open House Festival.

We are supporting the fantastic Alela Diane on the 24th September and will be headlining the Ryan Adams Tribute Night on the 26th September. Both gigs will be taking place in the 2nd Marquee at Custom House Square, Belfast.

Captain Kennedy

Captain Kennedy, a 7-piece folk rock band from Northern Ireland, are earthy, their music visceral. The past couple of years have seen the band establish their position on the Irish music scene with gigs in high profile venues across the country, including a sold-out Mandela Hall, support slots for the likes of ‘The Broken Family Band’ and appearances at the Out To Lunch Arts Festival, The Botanic Arts Festival, The Bacchanal Festival, The Belfast Film Festival, The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfest, The Gasyard Feile, Vibefest 2008 and Gifted at The Empire have helped develop Captain Kennedy’s reputation as an unmissable live act.

The band have received regular airplay on local and national radio including BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Ulster and Cool FM and have become fan favourites on internet radio stations. They appeared on BBC 2’s Blas Ceoil programme in March 2009 and have also made a number of appearances on Irish TV station TG4.

With a number of high profile gigs coming up including two slots at the Open House Festival and slots at the Ards Guitar Festival and the North Coast Folk Festival, expect to see a lot more from Captain Kennedy in 2009.

The band released their second 4-track EP Factory Whistle Call through Vinnie Lovelace Records. “Factory Whistle Call”, recorded at the Start Together Studios at Belfast’s new Oh Yeah Centre, is not smooth, controlled, or delivered with the glossy perfection of much modern pop music. This is cracked, rootsy material. Their harmonies are sometimes crooked, and singer Ciaran Lavery’s voice can get gravelly to the point of death-rattle. The EP, which has already received airplay national and local radio, captures the true spirit of Captain Kennedy’s live sound.