Damien Dempsey

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Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey - Hop Festival 2010 (Credit: Jill Furmanovsky/www.rockarchive.com)
Background information
Born1975 (age 36–37)
Donaghmede, Dublin, Ireland
OriginDublin, Ireland
GenresIrish, folk, traditional, Reggae
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1995–present
LabelsUFO Music, Planet, Sony BMG
Associated actsSinéad O'Connor, The Dubliners, John Reynolds
Websitewww.damiendempsey.com
 
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Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey - Hop Festival 2010 (Credit: Jill Furmanovsky/www.rockarchive.com)
Background information
Born1975 (age 36–37)
Donaghmede, Dublin, Ireland
OriginDublin, Ireland
GenresIrish, folk, traditional, Reggae
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, guitarist
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1995–present
LabelsUFO Music, Planet, Sony BMG
Associated actsSinéad O'Connor, The Dubliners, John Reynolds
Websitewww.damiendempsey.com

Damien Dempsey (born in Donaghmede, Dublin in 1975; Irish: Damien Ó Díomasaigh) is an Irish singer and songwriter who mixes traditional Irish folk with contemporary lyrics to deliver social comment on the positive and negative aspects arising from Ireland's Celtic Tiger society. He sings in English, and to a lesser extent Irish.

Contents

Early life

Born and raised in Donaghmede, a Northside suburb of Dublin, his earliest musical influences came from the post-pub musical sessions that were held in his parents house when he was a toddler. This developed into a love of artists such as Christy Moore, Luke Kelly, Shane MacGowan, Bob Marley and Elvis Presley.

Growing up on the northside of Dublin, the six foot two inch Dempsey trained and competed as an amateur boxer before committing himself to studying music.

Upon completing secondary school at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, he attended Ballyfermot College of Further Education - the "Rock School" - for 2 years before graduating in 1995. There he studied musical performance and management and his first EP, "The Contender" was released in 1995 on the school's record label.

Musical career

His first commercial single "Dublin Town" was released in 1997, and reached number 18 in the Irish music charts. The Irish music magazine "Hot Press" praised the single, remarking that it was "..an underground anthem for disaffected youth and closet balladeer alike". His first full length album, titled "They Don't Teach This Shit In School" was released in 2000 and contained a re-recorded version of this song.

Dempsey's talent was beginning to get noticed, not least by Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor who invited him out on tour with her and championed him as one to watch - “I don't think there's ever been anyone like him. I think he represents the sort of voice in Ireland that is not allowed to be heard", she said. Dempsey would later joke onstage that when he got the call from O'Connor to join the tour, he assumed it would be on the door as a bouncer.

His next release, in 2002, the "Negative Vibes EP" featured Sinéad O'Connor on the title track and led to an invitation to support Sinéad on her 2002/2003 Irish, UK, and European tour.

Damien's second full-length album, "Seize the Day", was released in May 2003 in Ireland on Clear Records via Sony and entered the charts in its first week of release at No. 5. It has since achieved double-platinum sales.

In 2004 Dempsey toured extensively headlining his own shows as well as supporting Bob Dylan during the Irish leg of his European tour and making his debut appearances at The Fleadh and Womad.

He has earned the support of his peers, particularly Morrissey, who invited Damien to support him on various UK and Irish dates as well as his autumn 2004 US tour. Morrissey went on to sign Damien to his label (Attack), and "Seize the Day" had its U.S. release in October 2004.

His third album, "Shots", simultaneously released in Ireland and the UK in March 2005 entered the Irish album charts at #19.

At Oxegen 2006, on the main stage on Saturday afternoon, the Dempsey said that Patrick Pearse would be "turning in his grave" at the state of modern Ireland.[citation needed] This sparked off controversy.[citation needed]

He supported British folk-rock band The Levellers on their UK tour in the spring of 2006 as well as playing at The Levellers' music festival Beautiful Days in August 2006.

Damien's first live album,"Live at The Olympia" was released June 2006 in Ireland and the UK. The album was recorded at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on 15 December 2005.

"Shots" was released in the U.S. on the United For Opportunity label in June 2006 and Damien undertook a coast to coast tour.

On the Fleadh 2007 tour Damien, along with Sharon Shannon's Big Band, toured Ireland and the UK with Willie Nelson.

His fourth studio album, "To Hell or Barbados" released in June 2007, entered the Irish album chart at No. 2. An extended version of the album, which included a bonus CD featuring previously unreleased and rare tracks, was released in Ireland via Sony BMG in November 2007.

Dempsey's fifth studio album, a covers album entitled The Rocky Road, was released on 6 June 2008 in Ireland via Sony BMG, with a UK release via IRL on 9 June 2008 and on August 26 via United For Opportity. The lead single "A Rainy Night In Soho", a cover of the Pogues' original, was released on 30 May 2008.

Discography

Between The Canals

The Irish crime film Between the Canals was Dempsey's debut performance as an actor. He played the fictional Dublin crime boss Paul Chambers. The film has been well received by critics. The Irish Times stated that the film "has all the raw, angry energy of the great man’s roaring songs."[1] The film is due to be released in cinemas in March 2011.[2]

Documentary

A documentary, It's All Good: The Damien Dempsey Story, by independent filmmaker Dara McCluskey, that followed Damien's career progression up to the release of "Seize the Day", was broadcast on Ireland's national television station RTÉ and shown at film festivals in Ireland and New York. It shows how far Damien Dempsey has come in becoming a Platinum selling artist ("It's All Good: The Damien Dempsey Story" 52 Minute Documentary online).

Awards and nominations

Damien Dempsey awards and nominations
Awards and nominations
AwardWinsNominations
Meteor Music Awards
611
Totals
Awards won6
Nominations11

Nominated in 4 categories in the 2004 Irish Meteor Music Awards, Damien walked away with two, the only 2004 double winner. In 2006 and 2007, Damien added to his collection of Meteor Awards when he won Best Irish Male. Nominated in 2 categories in the Irish Meteor Awards 2008 and won “Best Folk/Traditional”.

Meteor Music Awards

YearNominated workAwardResult
2004Damien DempseyBest Folk/Traditional ActWon
Best Irish Country/Roots ArtistWon
Best Irish MaleNominated
Seize the DayBest Irish AlbumNominated
2006Damien DempseyBest Irish MaleWon
ShotsBest Irish AlbumNominated
2007Damien DempseyBest Irish MaleWon
2008Damien DempseyBest Folk/Traditional ActWon
Best Irish MaleNominated
2009Damien DempseyBest Folk/Traditional ActWon
Best Irish MaleNominated

References

External links