Another of my articles for the Scotsman’s Under the Radar blog.
Since we last visited west coast singer/songwriter Peter Kelly, his Beerjacket bandwagon has been steadily gaining converts on both sides of the Atlantic.
After achieving critical acclaim with his album Animosity, Kelly admits his biggest challenge has been writing material which betters his previous oevre.
“I had horrendous writer’s block and have only just stopped banging my head off the wall. No matter how many times you experience writer’s block, you always think that, this time, you are absolutely finished and will never write another song,” Kelly tells us.
At one stage, there were no live shows for several months and only one song – ‘Island’ – written in the second half of 2009. Kelly even scrapped all his new work in frustration. “However, I then discovered most of what I’d written was great and it was me that wasn’t up to standard,” he says.
Thankfully, Beerjacket is now back doing what he does best.
“Things are now going really well and I’m excited by what I’m producing. I’m starting to piece together the jigsaw of my next record,” he adds.
As a solo artist, Kelly creates introspective songs full of emotion and wonder – this is the essence of his singular vision. But he is still asked about plans to add new members to Beerjacket.
His response? “People never ask bands the opposite – do you plan on losing anyone? Likewise, people never ask a policeman, ‘why are you not a chef’?”
Kelly’s perfectionism may well be the root of his periods of creative insecurity, but it’s reassuring to know that compromise is not on the agenda. When his new work begins to emerge, the benefits of his single-minded approach should be clear for all to hear.
Beerjacket’s next live show – his first in seven months – takes place at Oran Mor, Glasgow on 18 June.