Dan Kelly (musician)

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Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly at Rockwood Music Hall.jpg
Dan Kelly performing in New York City in September 2011
Background information
Birth name Daniel Kelly
Born 1974 (age 43–44)
Origin Adelaide, Australia
Genres Rock, Australian rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2003–present
Labels ABC Music, In-Fidelity Recordings, Shock
Associated acts Paul Kelly
The Drones
Stardust Five
The Ukeladies
Ground Components
Augie March
Gareth Liddiard
The Devastations
Oh Mercy
Website dankelly.com.au

Daniel "Dan" Kelly (born 1974) is an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist.


Dan Kelly grew up in Queensland, the second oldest of six children.[1] He learnt the guitar at thirteen and later studied Environmental Science at University in Brisbane.[2] He formed his first band, Nord, in Brisbane before moving to Melbourne in 1996. In 2000 he started playing solo shows under the name Dank Alley,[3] not wanting to trade on his famous uncle Paul Kelly's name.[2] In May 2003 he released his first solo EP, Man O Mercy, which spawned the radio hit "Countermeal Kim".

Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males[edit]

In 2004 he formed a new band, Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males, comprising Kelly with Gareth Liddiard & Christian Strybosch (The Drones) and Tom Carlyon (The Devastations).[3] They were best known for Dan's Australian slacker-esque guitar sounds, his falsetto vocals and vivid lyrics. The Alpha Males appeared at The Falls Festival in Melbourne and Tasmania and selected Big Day Outs. In March 2004 they released their debut album, Sing the Tabloid Blues, on In-Fidelity Recordings. At the 2004 ARIA Awards Kelly was nominated for 'Best Male Artist', with the band receiving two nominations for 'Best Independent Release' and 'Breakthrough Artist'.[4] Around this time, Kelly also joined his uncle's band, Paul Kelly and the Boon Companions, performing on his 2004 album, Ways & Means.[3]

In 2005 Liddiard and Carlyon travelled to Europe with their respective other projects, with Aaron Cupples, Dan Luscombe and Lewis Boyes joining the Alpha Males. The band then released an EP, Pirate Radio, in October 2005, which saw Kelly receive his second 'Best Male Artist' ARIA Award nomination for the release.[4] The band gained significant press coverage in mid-2006 with their single "Drunk on Election Night" – a reflection on the disillusionment many experienced during the evening of the Australian federal election, 2004. The song was hand picked by Neil Young to be included in his Living With War Songs of The Times.[5]

Their second album, Drowning in the Fountain of Youth, released in August 2006, was awarded Album of the Year by Melbourne-based music magazine Inpress. Kelly received his third nomination for 'Best Male Artist' at the 2007 ARIA Awards.[4] The album was also short-listed for the 2006 J Award.[6] In early 2007, Dan Kelly announced his backing band, the Alpha Males, were to disband for an undecided amount of time to allow the individual members to focus on other projects, a pertinent example being the addition of Dan Luscombe to the line up of The Drones. Kelly again joined his uncle, performing on his 2007 album, Stolen Apples and subsequent national tour, and has often returned to his touring band since.

Dan Kelly and the Ukeladies[edit]

In 2008 he teamed up with Melbourne faux Hawaiian duo, The Ukeladies, to release "The S.U.V Song", undertaking a number of headline shows and support shows with Augie March, in October and November 2008.[7]

Dan Kelly's Dream Band[edit]

In late 2009 Kelly commenced work on a new album, Dan Kelly's Dream. The first single, "Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam", was released in April 2010. Kelly undertook a national tour with a new line up called Dan Kelly's Dream Band comprising Dave Williams & Kiernan Box (Augie March), Indra Adams (Ground Components) and Ryan Nelson (SubAudible Hum). Dallas Packard (Ground Components) and Kelly's teenage cousins Madeleine and Memphis Kelly (daughters of Paul Kelly) also featured on the album, with the girls frequently joining the touring band on stage to provide backing vocals.

Dan Kelly’s Dream made a number of best album of the year lists, notably Faster Louder, Mess and Noise and The Age. He won the 2010 Age Award for Best Male artist and was nominated for Best Male Artist at the 2010 Aria Awards. Dan Kelly’s Dream was nominated for the 2010 AMP award for best Australian album.

Leisure Panic![edit]

2015 saw the release of Leisure Panic! on ABC Music.[8] Recorded over two years in East London, Northern New South Wales, Melbourne and Sydney with members of the Dream Band and long time collaborator Aaron Cupples, the album spawned the singles "Never Stop The Rot” and ”Everything’s Amazing”. It was met with much critical acclaim culminating in its nomination for the 2015 AMP award for best Australian album.[9]

In 2016, Kelly embarked on the 'Australian Dreamers' national tour with Alex Gow (Oh Mercy), with both artists taking the stage together.[10]


Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males[edit]

Solo / Dan Kelly's Dream Band[edit]

  • Man O Mercy – In-Fidelity Recordings (IF002CD) (12 May 2003)
  • Dan Kelly's Dream – (16 July 2010)
  • Leisure Panic!ABC Music (9 October 2015)


  • "Drunk On Election Night" (2006)
  • "The S.U.V Song" (2008)
  • "Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam" (2010)
  • "Dan Kelly's Dream" (2010)
  • "Never Stop the Rot" (2015)
  • "Everything's Amazing" (2016)

Award nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Dan Kelly: A Storyteller's Life". Mess+Noise: An Australian Music Magazine. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  2. ^ a b Mathieson, Craig. "Dan Kelly: A Story Teller's Life". Mess + Noise. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Nimmervoll, Ed. "Dan Kelly". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Retrieved 30 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "ARIA Awards – History – Winners by Artist – Dan Kelly". ARIA. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  5. ^ Mathieson, Craig (11 August 2006). "Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males". The Age. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  6. ^ "The J Award – Nominated Albums – Dan Kelly & the Alpha Males/Drowning in the Fountain of Youth". triple J. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  7. ^ Channel, The Music. "Dan Kelly & The Ukeladies : Australian Tour : Music : News : Web Wombat". www.webwombat.com.au. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  8. ^ "Reviews: Dan Kelly, Heath Cullen, Paul Grabowsky, Russell Morris, Ghazalaw, Tim Deluxe". The Australian. 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  9. ^ "Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala head Australian Music Prize shortlist". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  10. ^ "themusic.com,au".

External links[edit]