15 JANUARY 2013
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PRESENTS
STUDIO, 17 MARCH 2013
Dempsey’s musical heroes are now his admirers. And this is an Irish classic.’
Award-winning Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey will perform in the Studio at Sydney Opera House on St Patrick’s Day, Sunday 17 March as part of the Music at the House. Fans will be treated to an intimate show, with Dempsey playing songs from his 2012 release, Almighty Love, as well as his back catalogue.
From the post-pub singsongs of his childhood home to the stadiums of the world, Damien Dempsey is one of the biggest acts out of Ireland today. Extraordinarily gifted, his arrow-true voice is powerful and poignant, his live performances, passionate and profound. As Brian Eno noted when he hand-picked Dempsey to co-headline the inaugural Vivid LIVE Festival (then called Luminous) in 2009, "[Damien Dempsey’s] the best of Irish music. It's this combination of passion, political awareness and joie de vivre. He radiates life on stage."
Following in the footsteps of The Dubliners and The Pogues, and adding reggae, rock and Celtic rap, Dempsey imbues traditional Irish folk with hard-hitting social themes. Part of a rich bloodline of Irish singers from Luke Kelly to Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore to Andy Irvine; their kin outside Ireland are Springsteen and Guthrie, Dylan and Marley.
With previous albums topping the Irish charts and achieving Platinum status, Dempsey has won several prestigious Irish Meteor Awards including Best Irish Male and Best Traditional Folk Award and has been lauded by, among others, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Billboard, MOJO and The Sunday Times. In addition, he has earned the passionate support of his peers, including the likes of previous tour-mates Morrissey and Sinead O’Connor.
His sixth studio album and latest release, Almighty Love was partly written during his last visit to Australia and recorded in London with internationally renowned producer John Reynolds (U2, Bjork, Sinead O'Connor). Featuring some amazing musicians such as Sinead O'Connor, Justin Adams, Caroline Dale, Marco Pirroni, Clare Kenny and young London based poet Kate Tempest, it is an album of confidence and maturity.
Not a radical departure from previous albums, some of the anger of earlier albums has been refocused in Almighty Love, as Dempsey attempts to put into context his experience as an Irishman who has seen something of the world and learned more about himself. It is at once bigger and quieter, still rallying against injustice, yet with a more reflective and thoughtful tone.
Since the release of the album, Damien’s creativity has found other outlets also. One notable project was with Irish graffiti artist Maser, on a project entitled ‘They Are Us’. This was sparked by Dempsey’s lyrics, and involved the painting of his words on derelict buildings in Dublin. Sales of the limited edition prints raised funds for The Simon Community, which was a charity set up to help the homeless and disenfranchised in Dublin and elsewhere. Dempsey’s charitable work continued in December 2010, when he and Oscar-winning songwriter Glen Hansard recorded and performed the Irish folk classic, ‘The Auld Triangle’. Monies raised went towards the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) ‘Keep The Lights On’ Campaign.
Keep up to date with Music at the House by visiting sydneyoperahouse.com/music, joining our Facebook page or following Sydney Opera House on Twitter and Instagram.
WHO: Damien Dempsey
WHEN: 17 March 2013
WHERE: Sydney Opera House, Studio
Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7805