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Friday People: We have a chat with singer Kieran Goss

We ask personalities about the special relationships in their lives

By Kerry McKittrick

The 52-year-old singer-songwriter is originally from Mayobridge, Co Down, and lives in Sligo with his wife, Anne Kinsella. Later this month he will be reunited on stage with fellow musician Frances Black for the first time in 20 years, for two shows at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

My wife Anne

We met 21 years ago in Dublin, where we were both living at the time. She was singing in an all-female band called The Fallen Angels. I went to see them play and fell for her then and there. We met up a few months later and we've been together ever since.

Anne is a singer-songwriter too, but long ago we made the decision to do this together so we have been travelling and performing together for 17 years. Last year, we played more than 200 shows in six different countries, but only five of them in Ireland. We love it, though, and I think Anne loves travelling more than I do.

Our neighbours in Sligo think this a holiday home instead of our main home, as we disappear off for weeks on end!

My best friends

I meet an awful lot of people through my work, but I have a small group of people that I trust implicitly. Most of them are from when I was at college.

James Napier is one. He's a barrister in Belfast and we shared a house when we were both at Queen's University. He went off to do law and I went off into the music world, but even though we lead very different lives it's exactly the same when we meet up, even if we haven't seen each other for a year. You know that if it hits the fan, then that's who you would call. I can say that about several friends I met at Queen's - David Carson and Noel Devlin are a couple of others.

David Hull has been my agent for so long that even though we work together we've become good friends, too.

My parents, William and Josie

My father has just turned 90, but my mum passed away a couple of years ago. My father was the classic businessman and did lots of things, including running the franchise for Renault cars in Newry, which my brothers run now.

I think it's the job of parents to talk to you about making the right decisions in life, which both of mine did, but they also said "Do what makes you happy". By the time we were having that conversation I had qualified and worked as a solicitor so they knew I had something to fall back on if the music didn't work out. I'm sure they had worries and fears about it, but the main thing they wanted was for me to be happy while, at the same time, preparing me for the realities of working for a living.

I'm the 10th out of 15 children. That would be unusual today, but it wasn't at the time - I have a friend who was one of 21! My siblings are now scattered all over the world, but it means I have some nice places to go on holiday.

My mentor, Christy Moore

In the very early days I was lucky that Christy invited me to be the support act for his tours, not just in England and Ireland but in various other places. What I learned from Christy you can't get in a book. You were watching a guy who really knew the difference between standing on a stage singing a few songs, and performing. He taught me that there isn't such a thing as a bad audience - your job is to go out there and win them over. You learn from different people at different times, but Christy was one of the most important people for me in learning my profession.

My celebrity crush, Meryl Streep

I've always found her gorgeous, but a crush isn't always just about looks. Her talent and intellect are fantastic, too. I would also go for the French actress Juliette Binoche, because she is gorgeous too.

Who I go to for advice

In this business if you surround yourself with great people that has huge value, and for me someone of great value is my agent David Hull.

He is never afraid to say "No", which can be a difficult thing to do in this business. He also always has the answer in mind before he rings you with a problem. I wish more people in this industry would do that.

Fantasy dinner party

I would put Seamus Heaney in there because of that wonderful mixture he had of intellect and humanity. I only met him about three or four times and each time I was impressed by his artist's soul, and the fact he was very down to earth too.

Next, I would ask Muhammed Ali. I loved his talent and his bravado. I'm not a boxing fan, but I have to admire that he elevated it to an art form.

I would add Paul McCartney, too, because of the sheer genius of the melodies he came up with at a young age - they changed the face of music.

Finally, I'd like to see what happens to the conversation if I put Juliette Binoche in amongst all those great men at the dinner table.

  • The Frances Black and Kieran Goss Reunion takes place at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, on January 29 and 30. For details, visit www.goh.co.uk

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