Bap Kennedy had experienced tough times and lived through an awful era in Belfast. It was not cool to show your feelings so much then. Many people chose to be gruff and inward-facing and there was an aspect of that with Bap. This was compounded by the fact that he was involved in the music industry, where the game face and the shtick were expected. That wasn’t his way.
So he may have seemed awkward at times. Back in the ’80s he sometimes joked on stage, clowning his way though the preacher routine on ‘Pain Heartache And Redemption’. That was less common. His default was tenderness. That’s when he left the restraints of place and circumstance and instead he was lit with grace.