Posts Tagged ‘Damien Dempsey’

Last night myself and hxci popped down to the They Are Us exhibition for a looksie, and to support an excellent cause. Getting there at 5.15 or so, we were well ahead of time and ended up carrying sambos up the stairs with a woman who told us “you’s will get your reward in the next life lads”.

We got a sneak peak on this trek up the stairs however, and a huge image of James Connolly which dominates the first room of a three room exhibition had us dying to see more. We resisted, and went to The Cobblestone. Oisin, a friend who completed the trio, went for a wander around the exhibition like a child who finds all the presents on Christmas Eve. He then came to the pub and told us all about it.

Enjoy the snaps, but get down to the exhibition in Smithfield. The aim is ambitious, €30,000 for the Simon Community. You can pick up one of the four prints you’ll see below here for €25, or €50 signed. It runs tomorrow, and more details are available on the site here. Lets hope they make the €30,000, and the rest.


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Your humanity and your faithful loyalty
Your compassion and your plea for change
Gives me faith in humankind
All the good ones you can find
And all the monsters and the blind……

Damien Dempsey- How Strange.

We’ve been following this one for yonks.

Our first post on the maser/Damien Dempsey collaboration was back in March (March! Jesus this blog is ancient now) which was long before people were ringing into radio stations wondering what all the graffiti meant. Each bit was a surprise in itself, as you’d stumble across them in the most unusual spots. The laneway behind Brogans pub being an example. It has done wonders for the city at the minute. I loved each and every bit of it, and if I was lucky enough to be giving a tour or guiding people around I would frequently stop at one of the pieces.

For the most part, it seemed Dubliners agreed with me. With the exception of the gobshite below, who we posted up back in May, we all seemed happy enough to stroll past and look. A gentle reminder to ‘do something to be proud of’ , to ‘dare to be different’ or to ‘love yourself today’ , as the less common stickers proclaimed.

The highlights were no doubt the bits most of us will never see, the messages inside the walls of prisons.

If one thinks the laneways of town are ‘boring’, imagine what the colour of these pieces did to such surroundings.

It’s come a long way. Now, it’s time to make a few quid for charity. All proceeds from the sale of the works will go to the Dublin Simon Community. Coming into the winter, in a year like this one, charities will find themselves stuck for money. Sadly, in time gobshites like the above mentioned one will take to more of these great pieces around the city, and they’ll be lost. A reminder of one is something I intend to pick up for the house, being lucky enough to have one to hang it up in.

Best of luck to the lads.

They are us exhibition launches
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 6:00pm
Block T, 1 – 6 Haymarket, Smithfield Sq (above Chinese market)


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It’s All Good.

Special intimate Dublin show announced!
Weds 15th September in The Workman’s Club to celebrate the opening of this great new venue. Tickets go onsale on Friday 20th August at http://www.ticketmaster.ie. Support from Eoin Glackin.

From Damen Dempsey over on ‘the Facebook’.

We only recently reviewed the Workman’s here.

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Lifted from Maser’s Facebook, where I see someone said it looks like a giant Refresher bar wrapper. Maybe it does.

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Greed is the knife and the scars run deep...

 Any regular readers will know that we’ve been following the Maser/ Damien Dempsey project very closely; And on Sunday I came across my favourite piece from the project so far. Located between the Point and the Port Tunnel,  and spanning close to fifty feet are the words “Greed is the knife and the scars run deep,” lyrics taken from one of my favourite Damo songs, Colony. Youtube it, the song sends shudders up my spine every time. The raw anger in his voice when he sings the line “But if you’ve any kind of mind, you’ll see that all of humankind are the children of this earth, and your hate for them will chew you up and spit you out” will forever be one of my favourite lyrics. Amazing. Just… Amazing.

We’ll continue to keep you posted with pictures of the pieces as we find them; Rumour has it a new one has gone up at the Bernard Shaw. Anyone who spots new ones, please give us a shout on here.

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We are big fans of Damien Dempsey on this Blog, so much so that if you go back through our history, I think theres three or four articles about the man. Last week he played a show in The Good Bits, as advertised on here, and support game from a good friend of mine, Ciarán Lenehan; If you haven’t heard of him, you will- he was picked by Dempsey himself to support after seeing him play a couple of songs in Peadar Kearneys. After his set, with Ciarán was tucking into a pint, Dempsey walked up to him and said “I don’t know what it is, but you have it…” True story.

I was given a disk of tracks by Ciarán a couple of years back and remember being blown away; I knew him in his days in Lugosi and Ellentic, and wasn’t expecting this sound from him, not by a long shot. A mix of new and old, trad and punk; think Frank Turner crossed with the man he supported at the gig below:

Anyways. Enough of me gushing praise, theres a dozen or so videos of him on the Youtube, or you can get some tracks here, or on his Myspace.

For those interested, Ciarán plays upstairs in Whelans on the 7th of April. I, for one, will be there.

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I recently posted notice of a Damien Dempsey gig in The Good Bits to promote his collaboration efforts with the fantastic Maser. I’m very fond of Damiens work, and maintain that They Don’t Teach This Shit In School and Shots are two of my favourite albums. I was excited at the prospect of seeing some of his lyrics standing out around town.

From the look of Masers facebook, this is all well and truly underway.

Here are two snaps, check out the link above for more.

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I’ve been in to Saint Patrick’s Institution and Mountjoy Jail over the last few days with Maser (amazing Dublin graffitti artist) and Johnny Moy (legendary dublin DJ), we were sussing out walls that Maser can spraypaint some of my lyrics on in there, some positive lines for the inmates. I saw where Kevin Barry was hanged and got to hit the old triangle……Maser’s doing workshops and paintings in both places and is getting prisoners to help him with these pieces teaching them some of his skills as he goes along and he’ll probably get some lines off the inmates aswell to spraypaint around the place. This is all part of a project that meself and Maser and Johnny are working on called ‘They Are Us’ (details and pictures will be up on the website soon about it)

-From DamienDempsey.com

An interesting one this. We still get plenty of hits from people confused about that great Maser piece down by Busaras on The Good Bits (Damien Dempsey gives me HOPE) and if you follow the blog you’ll know I’m a massive fan of Damien, from the days of They Don’t Teach This Shit In School to his current buzz.

I take any and every chance to see Dempsey live – from a pisser of a day in Farmleigh to in his element bringing down the house at the Civic Centre in Tallaght- he has yet to dissapoint me in a live setting. His fan base, mainly young, sing every line back to him with a passion you wouldn’t dare question.

Anyway, the above mentioned project between Maser and Damien sounds fascinating to me. Damien notes on his website that this concert will hopefully “raise money for the materials maser will need for his pieces around the city” so for that alone I think it is worth attending. I still smile everytime I pass that piece on The Good Bits.

Damien actually does give me hope for this city and the youth of it.

Damien Dempsey
March 12th
The Good Bits
Tickets: 15e

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It doesn’t get much more Dublin that that, fantastic. Have a great Christmas and take care of yourselves, thanks for the support.

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from damiendempsey.com

'Damien Dempsey Gives Me Hope' Graffiti up by Busaras

Howth Junction could take you away
And in the hayfields we’d squander the day
And from the corner of Holywell road.
See the sunset over Saint Donaghs,
See the sunset over us all,
See the sunset over Saint Donaghs.

I’ve seen Damien Dempsey a number of times now, the first time at a free summer concert in Farmleigh, in 2007. Of course, being Ireland, it bucketed down the whole time. The massive crowd that assembled to see Dempsey knew each and every word, sporadically burst into ‘THE NORTHSIDE!’  in song and, once he left the stage- took off home. Seeing as Dempsey lists Morrissey amongst his celebrity fans, the adoring nature of his fans seemed more than fitting.

Fresh from touring internationally, Dempsey has taken to an off the cuff tour of Dublin, taking in mainly community centres in ordinary parts of Dublin that don’t see chart-toppers roll through too often. Amongst these shows are Blanchardstown, Ballymun, Tallaght and others. They are ’solo’ shows, although a friend or two assist along the way.  They are all a long way from supporting U2 in Croke Park to say the least.

I remember seeing Damien Dempsey open for Willie Nelson in the old Point, and cringing my way through it all. Dempsey wasn’t bad on the night, not by a long shot. I remember he was giving his normal talk before bursting into ‘Colony’, a song about global imperialist history. He began by dedicating the song to the people of Palestine, Afghanistan,Iraq and other war ravaged parts of the world, and told the audience that war is always carried out by the ruling class. It wasn’t the setting really, and the shameless Willie Nelson ‘BUY TWO T-SHIRTS AND A THIRD ONE FOR A RELATIVE’ tour machine was so loud he could hardly be heard over it.

These shows however, are completely different affairs. Opening up with Negative Vibes, the sing song nature of the night is clear straight away. He has the audience (seemingly well oiled, thanks to the bar thats part of the community venue) right in his hand, and its now obvious to me the Farmleigh experience was a pretty standard Dempsey concert. The audience are right in this. Sing All Our Cares Away continues the pattern. Dempsey can almost leave the chorus to his audience.

He tells the crowd this is his first headlining gig in Tallaght, and his only performance before was between two boybands in a youth talent show in the (clearly not actually a Square) shopping centre across the road from us. The Northside/Southside banter from the crowd brings every  comedian in the place to his vocal best, and it takes a few minutes until things get back on course.

Colony hits the place like a bag of bricks.

Katie she came from down Townsend street
Ten in a bed and no shoes on their feet
1916 came
They played The Patriot Game

Dempseys microphone cuts out, but you wouldn’t even notice. The audience know every word.

Dempseys latest effort, The Rocky Road,was an effort to take traditional classics and bring them to a new audience. As he remarked in numerous interviews at the time of the albums launch, many of these songs are punker/dirtier and more aggresive or the opposite than anything recorded today. Over the course of the night The Rocky Road To Dublin, Schooldays Over, Kelly The Boy From Killane, A Rainy Night In Soho and The Night Visiting Song get a go. The amount of young faces singing along indicates that the albums aim was a success. That, or to many young Dubs, these songs are already known word for word.

A new song,  dealing with the feelings of a young solder trapped serving in Iraq and the horrors of war is performed too, with Dempsey remarking that ‘War is the rich mans terrorism’. Dempsey can get his politics across in a way that is not annoyingly forced or pointlessly tokenistic.  The fact his musical catalogue deals mainly with working class Dublin youth means that unlike a few characters he may have shared a stage with at the o2, people are willing to listen. The song goes down a treat.

Its almost 11PM when Dempsey wraps up, joking that he’s offering people the chance to make the short-run to the bar. The lyrical development of Dempsey is obvious, in fact the first time I heard Dempsey about 3 years back I remember being quite on the fence. He’s come a long, long way.

He ends on Patience. Once more, the audience sing every word back to him. The energy in the room is fantastic. When people spill out into the carpark, or in some cases back into the bar,  the talk of the town is the strength of the performance just seen. The tour of Dublin continues over the next few days, and then- it’s back to larger venues no doubt for Damien Dempsey. There’s no paddywhackery with Dempsey, just Dublin spirit.

Sadly, Eoghan Harris is a fan too.

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