Damien Dempsey announces two Vicar St this December
Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd December 2017
Tickets priced €32.50 go on sale Thursday 24th August at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.
“One of Ireland’s great singer-songwriters” The Guardian
The phenomenal force that is Damien Dempsey has announced two dates for Vicar St this December.
Following his incredible headline show at the Iveagh Gardens last month and widespread sell-out shows all over Ireland, Damien Dempsey’s importance as a singer and songwriter of great passion, conviction and beauty has never been more prominent. Dempsey achieves a feeling at his concerts that other artists can only dream of. His connection with his audience is so palpable the most cynical of souls cannot help but be moved by the experience. Damien’s annual Christmas Vicar Street shows have become the stuff of legend in live music in Ireland. The electricity in room is like nothing else you will ever experience.
Seventeen years into an astonishing career, Damien Dempsey released his seventh studio album in May 2017, his most exciting work to date, Soulsun. Soulsun sees the man affectionately known as Damo team up with a stellar cast of female guest vocalists, who are referred to as ‘the mighty Celtic Warrior High Queens’. “It’s nice to feature something softer than my gruff voice all the time,” Dempsey laughs. “They all create nice contrasts and they each bring something unique to the table."
Dido, who sold 21 million copies of her debut album, No Angel, sings on a tender love song entitled ‘Beside the Sea’, which should soundtrack any romantic expedition to the seaside this summer. Fellow Dubliner, and Liberties belle, Imelda May appears on ‘Big Big Love’; a big, wide-screen mid-tempo rock love song, which is representative of a bolder, more contemporary sound that Dempsey explores on Soulsun. ‘Pretty Bird Tree’ features Dingle singer Pauline Scanlon, who has collaborated with Damien numerous times over the years.
Soulsun was recorded in long-term producer John Reynolds’ studio in north London. Damien lived in the English capital for months, immersing himself in writing songs and soaking up inspiration from London's rich tapestry of all human life. While the writing process is a solitary pursuit, making the music was a very collaborative affair, with hammond organ, strings, and bouzouki all featuring. “It’s great to collaborate because there’s only so much you can do your own,” Dempsey adds.
Amidst all the plaudits Damo has won over the years, one of the most notable is contained in Morrissey’s Autobiography. The legendary singer describes Dempsey performing at a session in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel. "Damien captivates and enchants with all the love of one blessed and unselfish," Morrissey writes. "I see myself crying at his funeral, missing him already.”
“I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve such praise," Dempsey says. "I had absolutely no idea I was in it until the book was published, but it’s nice to be appreciated by such an incredible artist and writer who's unquestionably an absolute genius. Some critics will never like me, but when you think of something like that, it can really help if I'm getting a bad time off someone.”
Perseverance and not allowing oneself to be consumed by negativity are consistent themes of Dempsey’s songwriting. These themes are even more pertinent in 2017 as they were in 2003 on ‘Negative Vibes’. Damien Dempsey doesn’t hesitate in identifying the most satisfying aspect of his career. “Seeing what the songs mean to people is mind-blowing,” he says. “People come up to me and say, ‘You saved my fucking life.’ At the start, it was about saving my own life and healing myself. There’s music for everything; getting up and dancing having a good time, music to think deeply to…you name it, absolutely everything under the sun. There’s music for all situations, but my music is about healing and hope.”