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Dublin Troubadour Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey has earned his place in the pantheon of Irish folk singers that includes greats like Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew and Christy Moore. If folk music is your thing and you haven't discovered this unique singer-songwriter yet, now is definitely the time to get your Damien Dempsey tickets.
Damien Dempsey has a very active touring schedule spending most of his time at venues in Ireland and the UK. Some shows take place at intimate venues, where audiences can get up-close to Dempsey's moving songs that get to the heart of people and places. You'll also find him at large venues such as London's O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, the Playhouse in Derry or on his home turf in Dublin's Whelan's.
As a teenager, music gave Dempsey something positive to focus on. Eventually he attended the Ballyfermot Rock School and taking part in singer-songwriter sessions at Dublin's International Bar. He also gained confidence when he won second place in a songwriting competition on the Irish nation chart 2FM.
Damien Dempsey has taken part in many charity projects. Some fans might be surprised to learn that he recorded an acoustic version of "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" for Today FM's ongoing live music slot, Even Better Than the Real Thing. His version was released on their 2003 compilation album, which benefited Ireland's National Children's Hospital, Tallaght.
Damien Dempsey has been writing songs and performing publicly since he was a teenager. The sights, sounds and people of Dublin, his home city, inspire much of his music. Dempsey comes from a working class part of the city, and many of his early songs like "It's All Good" were quite angry, showing a young man's outrage at the injustices and social problems he saw around him. His music represented those who felt sidelined and disillusioned by Ireland's economic success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These days his youthful anger is tempered by his experience of success and seeing more of the world, but his music is still influenced by his social conscience.
In 1997, Dempsey released his first single "Dublin Town." The single made a respectable showing on the Irish charts, reaching No. 18. It also received praise from leading Irish music magazine Hot Press, which called it "an underground anthem for disaffected youth and closet balladeer alike." He released his debut album, They Don't Teach This S**t in School, in 2000. His early recordings caught the attention of Sinead O'Connor, who invited him to open for her on tour. O'Conner also sang on the title track of his 2002 EP "Negative Vibes."
Dempsey released his second full-length album Seize the Day in 2003. It was his first collaboration with producer John Reynolds, and it was both a critical and commercial success. It led to four Meteor Awards nominations in 2004, and he walked away with two including Best Folk/Trad Act. His 2005 album Shots was a No. 1 hit, and his 2007 release To Hell or Barbados debuted at No. 2 in the Irish Album Charts. The Rocky Road, released in 2008, features performances of many Irish folk classics including "The Rocky Road to Dublin" and "The Foggy Dew," as well as a cover of the Pogues' "A Rainy Night in Soho." More recent releases include Almighty Love," and the best-of album It's All Good.
On stage Damien Dempsey is an imposing presence at more than 6 feet tall, with a trim former-boxer's physique. His striking presence adds to the intensity of his song lyrics and his vocal performances, so expect high emotions from his live show. Fans can expect the whole audience to sing along as Dempsey croons each song with his heart and soul. His sets combine original numbers, covers of contemporary artists and folk songs, and audiences can expect both old favourites and a few surprises.
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