NewsNorthern Ireland

Lurgan singer hopes his music will help other gay men in Ireland

Northern IrelandBy Roisin Gorman
Conleth Kane
Conleth Kane

Singer Conleth Kane hopes an anthem about his broken heart will help other gay men in Northern Ireland.

The Lurgan performer penned new song The Grass is Greener after the bitter end of his bond with the man who stole his heart.

Despite the hurt he still feels, Conleth says the feedback from friends and fans has underlined that Northern Ireland has moved on from homophobia.

“I cried myself to sleep and I woke up crying,” admits the 32-year-old.

“But it was the reaction of people at home that moved me. They were so sympathetic because I’d broken up with my boyfriend and it was all very normal.

“I hope that can help other gay people.”

Conleth is so determined that The Grass is Greener will be a game-changer, he recorded it in London’s Miloco Studios and made his video with local  film maker and horror supremo George Clarke in Lurgan’s St Peter’s Chapel.

The singer, who studied musical theatre with pal Jessie J and has performed with Pamela Anderson and Gok Wan, had a hit dance anthem last summer with Giving

It Up and released his own version of Joni Mitchell’s River last year.

“When I recorded the song on my phone and put it on Facebook it got 100,000 hits. I threw money into paying for the studio – it was like therapy for me anyway.

“Miloco is where Adele records her albums. The day I was in Noel Gallagher was in before me and Florence and the Machine were coming in afterwards.”

Conleth admits he poured his heart into the track but he has no qualms about being so open about his pain.

He’d fallen hard for his former boyfriend — his first relationship in eight years — and the pair had planned to settle down together.

“I was sky high. I was madly in love, and one day I caught him lying. It sent me into a real downward spiral, to somewhere I had never been before,” he says.

“I was pursued. I’d never thought of settling down until he came along. Then one day I looked across the street and he was with another man. He made it obvious that I needed to clear off, and that was it. We never spoke again.

“For it to end so suddenly and severely made me feel like I’d been bereaved.

“But I believe my grandmothers, both of whom I was very close to, were watching over me. London is a very big place but I think they gave me the instinct to walk down that street on that day.”

He wrote the track within a few days of the break-up and hopes it will add to the pitifully small number of break up songs about gay couples.

“When a heterosexual couple break up, it’s okay for the girl to break down — but for two men, it’s different. 

“I thought if Adele can be all about love and loss and break-ups, then I can do it too.

“And the response from people has shown me that it doesn’t matter if you’re gay when your heart is broken.”

As an homage to the grandmothers who have inspired him, Conleth went back to the church in Lurgan they both loved to record the haunting video.

Local movie maestro George Clark of Yellow Fever Productions, who’s better known for low-budget bloodcurdling films like zombie horror Battle of the Bone, offered his services for the video, but Conleth was even more surprised to get access to the cherished church.

“When I heard the recording from Miloco the song sounded like it had been recorded in a church and I thought it would be a lovely tribute to my grandmothers to film in St Peter’s in Lurgan.

“I rang to ask for permission and they said it was no problem. I couldn’t believe it. We lined the inside with candles and it looks amazing.”

Conleth, who’s performing a one-man show in The Black Box in Belfast on December 18, has high hopes the single will be a career changer, even if it came at a price.

“I wouldn’t wish that pain of a break-up on my worst enemy, but I think this will take me to a new place as an artist.

“The experience hasn’t put me off men, I’ll just be more cautious in future.

“And I hope this is the last heartbreak song I ever write,” says Conleth.

The Grass is Greener is available on all digital platforms from tomorrow and the video is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=A0poxhaYB9Q&app=desktop

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