Kevin McAlea

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Kevin McAlea
Born (1949-04-10) April 10, 1949 (age 73)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
GenresPop, rock
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Piano
  • keyboards
  • synthesizers
Years active1970–present
Formerly of

Kevin McAlea is an Irish keyboard player and songwriter, known for his work with Kate Bush, David Gilmour, and Barclay James Harvest and for writing English lyrics for the song "99 Luftballons", as the international hit "99 Red Balloons".[1] He also plays saxophone, guitar and uilleann pipes. He has built several analogue synthesiser systems and had an early interest in electronic music.

McAlea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[2] He attended St. Malachy's College there.[citation needed]

Early in his career he played in Skid Row,[3] an Irish band which had included future members of Thin Lizzy.

He performed with Kate Bush, on her only tour, 1979's "The Tour of Life", and again during her 2014 Hammersmith Apollo residency, "Before the Dawn". He played with David Gilmour on parts of his 2015/2016 world tour which included concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and Madison Square Garden. He has also worked with Bees Make Honey, Clannad, Barbara Dixon, Dr Feelgood, Enya, Roy Harper, Kirsty MacColl, Seal, Poly Styrene, and Kim Wilde.

He has a site with a library of traditional tunes and some recorded works, called Celtic Orbis,[4] He also has released music under the same name.[5]


McAlea's career includes contributions to:


  1. ^ "99 Red Balloons – interview with the writer, Kevin McAlea". Eighty-eightynine. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Kevin McAlea biography". Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ "McAlea, Kevin". Kate Bush Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Celtic Orbis". Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  5. ^ Celtic Orbis - The Dagda's Cauldron, retrieved 14 July 2022
  6. ^ the Dagda's Cauldron, 1 January 2007, retrieved 14 July 2022
  7. ^ Celtic Orbis - The Dagda's Cauldron, retrieved 14 July 2022

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