Damien Dempsey Biography
Damien’s debut album in 2000, ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ set him apart as a unique and important voice, championed from an early stage in his career by Sinéad O’Connor and others. The follow-up, ‘Seize the Day’, released in 2003, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, picking up many awards and leading to extensive international tours. Commercial and critical success continued with the release of the No. 1 album ‘Shots’ in 2005, backed by Brian Eno, and ‘To Hell or Barbados’ in 2007, which debuted at No.2 in the Irish charts. Damien’s most recent album Almighty Love was released in September 2012 to critical acclaim, and entered the Irish chart at No.3.
Damien’s fans include Brian Eno, Sinéad O’Connor, Bob Dylan and U2, (both of whom he has shared a bill with), and Morrissey, who invited him to support him on his US tour. Damien is an award-winning artist, having won several prestigious Irish Meteor Awards including Best Irish Male and Best Traditional Folk Award. His albums have topped the charts and gone Platinum, and he has been lauded by, among others, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Billboard, MOJO and The Sunday Times.
Since the release of his last 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.
In 2011, Damien also made his acting debut in the Irish feature film ‘Between The Canals’. His music is also proving very much in demand for soundtracks, with ‘Sing All Your Cares Away’ featured in the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Tyrannosaur’, while Damien contributes to two upcoming Irish films “Stalker” and “King of the Travellers”.
Since his first live outings in the mid-1990s, Damien’s gigs have seen him wow audiences across the globe, and his performances have taken on a spiritual and soulful quality. These outings have been captured on two recordings: Live at the Olympia and Live from Vicar Street. In 2012, when asked who was on his hit list of artists for the main stage of the Sydney Opera House, music director Fergus Linehan listed Damien among his targets for one of the most renowned stages in the world. He subsequently booked him for a sold out show on St Patrick’s Day 2013. Irish and UK audiences witnessed Damien’s live power in late 2012 and early 2013 year when he undertook an extensive tour. The summer will see Damien play a host of Irish, European and UK festivals, including supporting Bruce Springsteen at his Kilkenny stadium show and also Damien’s own Iveagh Gardens show in Dublin, followed by a headline tour of the United States in August / September. Late 2013 will see another UK and Irish tour before Damien heads to the US and Australia again in early 2014.