Film/Music: The Drummer and The Keeper

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10th October, 2019

“The Drummer and The Keeper”

Followed by a Q&A and musical performance with director

Nick Kelly

Bar. 6.30pm

Starts 7.30pm

Tickets £12/£10 Concession


Gabriel (DERMOT MURPHY) is a chaotic young rock drummer desperate to hide his recent Bipolar diagnosis from his increasingly exasperated band mates. At the therapeutic mixed ability football game he’s obliged to attend as part of his treatment Gabriel is spectacularly upended by goalkeeper Christopher (JACOB McCARTHY), an institutionalised 17-year-old with Aspergers Syndrome. Having taken violent revenge, Gabriel faces expulsion – and the prospect of being sectioned – unless he “makes friends” with Christopher. When the isolated and socially-inept young goalkeeper takes this grudging offer of friendship literally, Gabriel finds his footsteps dogged and secrets threatened by an embarrassingly eager and dangerously tactless new disciple.                                                                                                       

*           *           *

The Drummer And The Keeper was written and directed by Nick Kelly, in part inspired by his personal experience of both dysfunctional rock’n’roll behaviour and autism (he has a child with Aspergers Syndrome, and sits on the Board of autism charity ASIAM).

In addition to Dermot Murphy (Bohemian Raphsody) and Jacob McCarthy (AP Bio) in the title roles, the cast also features Charlie Kelly (The Secret ScriptureJadotville), Adrian Hudson (Striking OutRebellion), Peter Coonan (Get Up and GoLove/Hate), Olwen Fouéré (The SurvivalistTraders), Aoibhinn McGinnity (Moone BoyLove/Hate) and Annie Ryan (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

The soundtrack features many emerging and established Irish bands, including Villagers, Ham Sandwich, Wastefellow and Si Shroeder, as well as several new songs composed specifically for the movie.

Produced by Kate McColgan of Calico Films and funded by the Irish Film Board under their Catalyst Scheme, “The Drummer And The Keeper” was filmed in various locations around Dublin.

The Drummer And The Keeperpremiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July 2017, where it won Best Irish First Feature. After a successful Irish theatrical release itwas selected for the BFI London Film Festival, and won Best Featureat the Irish Film Festival Londonin November 2017. The Drummer And The Keeperwas nominated in 5 categories at the 2018 IFTA Awards, including Best Screenplayfor Nick’s script, with Jacob McCarthy winning the prestigious Rising Starfor his portrayal of Christopher. Nick was one of three screenwriters nominated in the Best Feature Scriptsection of the Irish Writer Guild’s annual ZeBBieawards 2018.

To date The Drummer And The Keeper has won 18 awards on the global festival circuit, includng the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Filmat the Cleveland International Film Festival, Best Foreign Filmat the Newport Beach Film Festivaland the Silver Award in the Score Bernhard Wicki Preis for Best Film at the Emden-Norderney International Filmfest. Nick was awarded Best Director at the Breaking Down Barriers International Film Festival Moscow.


NICK KELLY – Writer / Director 

Nick has been writing and directing short films since 2003’s “Delphine”, hailed by The Evening Heraldas “one of the best Irish movies of the past decade”. His second short “Why The Irish Dance That Way” was one of just nine films showcased by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in their 2006 Shortfest: Outstanding Films from International Festivals. His third short “Shoe” was shortlisted for nomination at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Having originally come to prominence fronting acclaimed Irish band The Fat Lady Sings, Nick is a Choice Music Prize-nominated solo artist (for his 2005 album “Running Dog”), and a Clio-winning advertising creative (for his 2003 Guinness TV spot “Tom Crean”).


Nick Kelly – Songbook Live

 “The most visual songwriter Ireland has ever produced” – Hot Press

“Ireland’s most philosophical songsmith” – Sunday Independent.

“Why isn’t Nick Kelly hailed as one of the songwriting greats?” – Hissyfit

Nick Kelly is the former frontman with The Fat Lady Sings. the fabled ‘90s Irish band responsible for such perennial radio favourites as “Arclight”,“Drunkard Logic”,“Deborah” and“Dronning Maud Land”.

He is a Choice Music Prize-nominated solo artist (for 2005’s “Running Dog”) and was previously voted the Irish Music CriticsBest Irish MaleArtist(for 1997’s “Between Trapezes”).

In recent years he has been releasing critically-acclaimed music under the alter ego Alien Envoy. 2014’s “Loads” was voted one of the Irish albums of the yearby both the Irish Independent and Hot Press Magazine, and resulted in Nick being voted Ireland’s#3 Best Songwriterin the Hot Press’s annual Readers’ Poll 2015 (just behind Damien Rice and Hozier).

Much of Nick’s recent creative life has been taken up making movies rather than music. His much-admired first feature film “The Drummer And The Keeper” has won 18 major international festival awards (he did find time to contribute a few key musical moments to the soundtrack, notably the cornerstone song “Baby”, sung by Eddi Reader.)

This intimate Songbook show is a rare opportunity to catch one of Ireland’s most revered songwriter performing beloved songs from across his stellar career


10th October, 2019
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


The Irish Cultural Centre
5 Black's Road
Hammersmith, W6 9DT United Kingdom


Irish Cultural Centre
020 85638232