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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:35 pm    Post subject: Man With an Attitude If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

A thread dedicated to Damien Dempsey



Damien Dempsey has just released hs fourth studio album To Hell or Barbados and I am trying to digest it. So I thought whilst I did so, I would give you a retrospective of his previous work.

Damien Dempsey is one of my favourite artists ever. He comes from Donaghmede, a northside working class suburb of Dublin. He is an ex boxer. Honour and pride are his game.

His influences : Bob Marley, Phil Lynott, Christy Moore.

His fans are diehards, to the extent that sometimes he has to tell them to be quieter at gigs for he doesn’t hear himself sing.

His strengths are many. A charismatic live performer, he sings in a strong Dublin accent, but his diction is crystal clear. As far as I know he is the only singer who deals with the woes of modern Ireland. He has been labelled a Republican, because in an era of political correctness, he likes to remind the Irish people of the oppression that weighed down on them for centuries. Behind the seriousness, there also lies humour and passion. I like to think of him as an Irish Bruce Springsteen. His voice, uillean pipe-like, is immense in range. He is a master at making musical connections between roots music and Irish trad.

They Dont Teach This Shit in School



http://rapidshare.com/files/44403427/They_Dont_Teach_This_Shit_in_School.zip.html

This, his first album, was released in 2001.

I would point to the most important songs on this album.

Colony a seven minutes rant, in which Damien shows the pride he has in his nation, culture and tradition. In other cirumstances, one could tag Dempsey with narrow nationalism. Not so, he always places the position of Ireland in an international context, and the pendant pièce to Colony is no doubt It’s important, and he is not foolish enough not to mention the flaws inherent to Irish society in Dublin Town.

If he likes to make his listener think, he also wants to make him smile but with his very black sense of humour. In Bad Time Garda or I’ve no Alibi (astounding delivery of the word « shite »…)

Oh yeah, CDs, posters, T-shirts, all my ice cool merchandise
So go now, quickly as you can, to your nearest retail outlet
And don't be shy my friend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend
Spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, and remember that
I LOVE YOU


But what Damien is really all about is positivity, passion and self affirmation with It’s All Good, which was recorded for the second album and on which Sinead O’Connor sings backing vocal.

I am an angry man yeah, I vent it when I can, yeah
On the bag, not the skag
The negativity, yeah, pushed onto young paddy, yeah
Is a shame, whose to blame?
And when the baby cries, yeah, she has been criticised, yeah
Been put down, it's passed down

But it's all good, it's all good
All I say to you today
It's all good, sure it's all good
All I say to you today

And positivity, yeah, it is the way for me, yeah
It is truth, it is youth
They try to keep us down, yeah
They hide the high kings crown, yeah
From the Gaels, Kathleen wails
And to survive their sting, yeah
You have to be the king, yeah
Grasp the wealth of yourself

Love yourself today, ok, ok


If Damien Dempsey plays in your neighbourhood, go see him, you wont be disappointed.


Last edited by zelilgirlI1ncenu on Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:11 am; edited 7 times in total
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The Grand Fromage



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 185


PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:51 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

...

Last edited by The Grand Fromage on Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

I realised my original title for this thread was not exactly clear for people who dont know Damien Dempsey. Apologies. Next review coming up shortly.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Chapter 2 of Damien Dempsey’s short Saga

Damien Damien is pure voice.

Seize the Day


http://rapidshare.com/files/44539913/Seize_the_Day.zip.html

Seize the Day is possibly Damien’s best album. The jump from the first album is immense. Everything comes into place, all the small awkwardnesses of mixing styles come into a completely unique sound, mainly due to the fact that Damien never ceases to work on his voice. He continues to push the notes in an astounding way, and this time Sinead O’Connor is even more present on backing vocals. The uillean pipes also play an increasing part on this album.

The clarity and brutal honesty of Damien’s words is striking. He walks well in Dylan or Guthrie's shoes.

This record starts with Negative Vibes, a prayer type of a song which urges you not to let yourself be brow beaten by other people’s negativity. It then sweeps through a whole spectrum of feelings, anger, the despair of drug addiction, the greed and sorrow born from the success of the new Ireland and age-old sectarianism, but also the joy of drink and its influence on great Irish writers and musicians and, his love of New York where he spent some time singing in Irish bars. The album closes on Seize the Day, and absolute feat of singing, where he belts out his optimism and lust for life.
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The Grand Fromage



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:17 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

...

Last edited by The Grand Fromage on Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Shots - 2006



http://rapidshare.com/files/44754297/Shots.zip.html

After an almost 3 years wait, Damien delivered Shots, his third studio album, in 2006. In this, Damien moves towards the mainstream with perhaps a litlle more melody and a little less anger, although the honesty and strength if his lyrics remain very pressent. This time Brian Eno guests on his album.

The likes of Christy Moore, Sinead O'Connor, Shane McGowan and Morrissey who invited Damien to tour with him that year, proclaim themselves big fans of Damien’s.

The harsh, hard-hitting social themes are still there, but toned down and cushioned by softer voices and more instrumental accompaniment with guitars, tin whistles and uileann pipes. The production is somewhat slicker, this does not always appea to the hardcore fans, but at the same time, Damien had to do something to avoid the trap of trad academia, always a lethal weapon in the case of this type of music.

Damien has the ability to make you look at life's harsh realities without sermonising or making it sound depressing, like on Sing all Your Cares Away and Not on Your Own Tonight, but on some tracks, some felt that the message was driven home too strongly like the seven minute track Colony, a reprise from his first album. And yet Colony is possibly Damien biggest anthem on stage.

Sing all Your Cares Away introduces the listener softly to the album. It's one of the strongest tracks, with a sweet melody and urges you to escape from your problems through music. The harmonies are infectious and Brian Eno provides backing vocals.

Not on Your Own Tonight is a song which Damien wrote when he was 16 or 17. It is a song of hope, despite the tough circumstances he was living through when he wrote it.

St. Patrick's Day builds up with tin whistles, uileann pipes and drums, it is the most traditionally Irish sounding track on the album and deals with the tough times the Irish always had to deal with.

Cursed with a Brain is another song about positivity, about starting to change things from within

Don't look out, look in, change yourself to begin.

Party On deals with the drugs culture in Ireland and its negative effect delivered with much sarcasm.

Colony, a song from his debut album They Don't Teach this Shit in School, is simple and raw. The almost spoken lyrics about colonialism and oppression are shouted/spat out and make the point a little too strongly for some, not for me.

Patience, just a great great son.

It's followed again by a love songHold Me. A rare occurrence in Damien’s repertoire. It is a gentle ode to love expressed with vulnerability and honesty.

The tone changes with Choctaw Nation, about the Native American Choctaw people and the troubles they faced. But also the fact that the Choctaw helped the Irish people in their hour of need

Choctaw nation I am in your debt.

and ironically were oppressed by an Irish commander

I am sorry for that evil man, I feel shame that he came from my country I am sorry for that Sheridan

A song about pride, solidarity, a sens of belonging to a tribe, a concept crucial to Damien’s writing.

The final track on the album, Spraypaint Backalley, is about having positive outlook on life despite your circumstances. There is a line from Oscar Wilde in the song which struck him when he was younger

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.

Damien is always looking, onwards and upwards and urges us to do the same. This does not necessarily mean we have to forget the past.

Shots is an album that sees him trying to have his music heard by more people while still maintaining his integrity. Whether this move was successful is dubious. The power of his words may still be a little too much for the majority to swallow.

But Damien sings on, and I hope he keeps singing for a long, long time
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

I am going to keep changing the title of this thread until I get a reaction, godammit Razz
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JCarson



Joined: 30 Jun 2007

Posts: 5
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:40 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Well you've piqued my interest. Am downloading above albums (seems rude not to). May take me a little while to digest and respond... but I will. Never heard of this guy before!
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:45 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

YAY! Listen to Seize the Day first Smile

I hav one more album to review. He also did a live album which I dont like. He wanted the live album to be as close asa possible to he atmospher of his live gigs, as a result of which youcan hardly hear him on the album for the singing audience.

He will play in the States in the autumn, in Chicago and New York.

He is touring Ireland at the moment. I cant wait to go see him on 6th August, as I havent heard the songs of his new album played live yet.

Plus I am quite sure many peeps on this board have Irish roots.
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JCarson



Joined: 30 Jun 2007

Posts: 5
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

zelilgirlI1ncenu wrote:
YAY! Listen to Seize the Day first Smile
...

He will play in the States in the autumn, in Chicago and New York.

He is touring Ireland at the moment. I cant wait to go see him on 6th August, as I havent heard the songs of his new album played live yet.

Plus I am quite sure many peeps on this board have Irish roots.


Well I cannot claim any real Irish roots. My grandmother grew up somewhere in Ireland and liked to think something of the country had got into her DNA. I'm a quarter Scottish.. and you can probably guess what the other three-quarters is. Just finished downloading. Will listen in the car tomorrow...
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

To Hell or Barbados



http://rapidshare.com/files/44906090/To_Hell_or_Barbados.zip.html

Unfortunately, Irish trad can be somewhat of a prison for people involved in it. So in his first 3 albums Damien worked hard to show its potential and the links to other world musics. I guess the question for him was what to do next, in order to avoid the trap. I must say I delayed getting his latest album by a couple of months because I thought that what he had done before could not be topped up. But this time, Damien chose to go in another direction, linking his roots more explicitly to African, rock and dance music. The result is great and opens a new dimension for him.

To Hell or Barbados is of course a refernce to the famous sentence uttered by Crowmwell "To Hell or to Connaught" when the British took the land of the Irish. But it is also a book written by Sean O’Callaghan telling of the story of 50,000 Irish men, women and children sent to Barbados as slaves during Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland.

Somewhat understated compared to the other 3 album, the lyrics are as strong as ever, but perhaps don’t come across as angry. The title track for example, To Hell or Barbados echoes in many ways Colony from earlier album.

To Hell or Barbados is a beautiful song, sung by Damien as a lament that he said in an interview he would love Christy Moore to vover

On the tricks of great drama is to contrast humour with tragedy. Damien has one of these moment on this album when you go from Your Pretty Smile, a pretty, infectious reggae thing, straight into the guitar of doom of Serious, and a rather tragic Dublin drug-pushing conversation/tale.

“I put a lot, an awful lot, a month trying different line-ups of the songs. I wanted to have an antidote to something that happy, that poppy, like Pretty Smile. I wanted to have an antidote straight after it, so the more hardcore crowd wouldn’t think that I was selling out, ha ha. They’d probably think, ah, Damo is going soft, did ya hear that Pretty Smile? And then Serious would come in and they go, Whoa, he’s not. Ha, ha.”

Serious is a horrific dialogue rythmically illustrating manipulation and the fears of youth, split into parts by a chorus of pure vulnerability.

Damo immediately goes back into reggae mode with Teachers, his musical teachers, that is, like Woody Guthrie, Bob Marley, and Johnny Cash along with Dublin heroes like Luke Kelly and Phil Lynott.

Kilburn Stroll is a beautiful song of trust.

Kilburn and the Irish part of London is where Dempsey wrote much of this album over the last two years. Most the Irish who emigrate to London end up in Kilburn at one stage or another.

My favourite song on the album is Maasai the opening track, and possibly the least accessible. Damien’s holding of big long notes is astounding. Damien’s vocal range is astounding, he can go from way high (no falsetto) to way low in one breath. (Actually this song reminds me a lot of a great album by Grace Slick, Manhole, and I would say he would be a real match for Robert Plant)

When I diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie
I want to die
Not in a home built by the unknown
But by the hand of a Maasai !


The album pays tribute to modern multi-cultural Dublin with the closing track The City, a mix of beats and rhythms, spoken words, atmospheric singing, and strangely enough electronica.

And then I dont care, the extra track, like an encore, Damien takes the listener totally by surprise with his loud rocker of a song…., built no less on a kind of a speedy version of Joy Division’ Isolation, but Jesus and Mary Chain style !

Anyway the moral of the story is I hope that you will download this stuff, let it go into your veins and remember that what doesnt kill us makes us stronger.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:07 am    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Last word before this thread dies

Damien Dempsey's dates in Europe and North America in August and September

GO SEE DAMIEN, in my life of concert going I have rarely seen a performer of that calibre.

AUGUST 2007
5 - Rathangan, Co. Kildare - Lughnasa
6 - Dublin, Farmleigh Estate, Phoenix Park -Farmleigh Affair
11 - Edmonton, Canada - Edmonton Folk Festival
12 - Edmonton, Canada - Edmonton Folk Festival
14 - Racine, WI - McCauliffe's Pub
16 - St. Paul, MN -O'Gara's Garage
17 - Hayward, WI - Park Theatre
19 - Milwaukee, WI -Milwaukee Irish Festival

25 - Tullamore, Ireland -An Rince Ceol
26 - Tullamore, Ireland - An Rince Ceol

SEPTEMBER 2007
2 - Stradbally, Co. Laois -Electric Picnic
9 - Birmingham -Academy 2 (Joint headline with Nizlopi)
15 - Chicago, IL - Celtic Festival
16 - Chicago, IL - Celtic Festival
18 - New York City - Knitting Factory CLICK HERE to buy tickets
21 - Philadelphia, PA -World Cafe Live
22 - Boston, MA -Paradise Lounge
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JCarson



Joined: 30 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Have been listening to Seize the Day over the last couple of days and songs are going round and round my head. Standouts at this point (and I'm still getting to know the album) are the first three tracks (a knockout sequence), Celtic Tiger and Apple of My Eye. I don't know much Irish music, having only ever owned one Sinead O' Connor album and the Cranberries album which was a huge hit in the early-mid 90s. I guess I'm most reminded of Sinead O'Connor in terms of the arrangements, but the voice is unlike anything else in my listening experience. I really want to find the lyrics to these songs:a singer with some things to say.

Thanks for posting these tasters. I'll be buying Seize the Day and will check out the other albums you've uploaded. To be honest I clicked on this thread almost at random. I thought it was going to be about some horrible Irish Streets-style rapper. Fortunately I have been happily surprised.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

JCarson wrote:
Have been listening to Seize the Day over the last couple of days and songs are going round and round my head. Standouts at this point (and I'm still getting to know the album) are the first three tracks (a knockout sequence), Celtic Tiger and Apple of My Eye. I don't know much Irish music, having only ever owned one Sinead O' Connor album and the Cranberries album which was a huge hit in the early-mid 90s. I guess I'm most reminded of Sinead O'Connor in terms of the arrangements, but the voice is unlike anything else in my listening experience. I really want to find the lyrics to these songs:a singer with some things to say.

Thanks for posting these tasters. I'll be buying Seize the Day and will check out the other albums you've uploaded. To be honest I clicked on this thread almost at random. I thought it was going to be about some horrible Irish Streets-style rapper. Fortunately I have been happily surprised.


You have no idea how good your words made me feel.

After, Seize the Day, go straight to Shots, then To Hell or Barbados, keep the first album til last, his path will be clearer that way.

You'll find all his lyrics there
http://www.irishmusiccentral.com/damiendempsey/lyrics.html

Also you can check out his board, and if you look at the message board, you will see how enthusiastic his fans are. And believe me, seeing him live is some spiritual experience Smile

www.damiendempsey.com

Oh and also I wanted to mention that all his albums contain a glossary of irishisms and a short summary of the historical events he happens to mention.

The cover of Shots is great to look at. It is made out of plane tickets stubs and personal memorabilia of his lesser known days. Also it has an amazing series of pictures, presumably family members, in which he is the only man to feature, the rest are all old women.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

For an idea of what his voice sounds like on stage check out this poorly filmed video of him when he supported Bob Dylan in 2004.

Seize the Day

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=KDhpGssmLv0
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