Posts Tagged ‘ damien dempsey ’

News in Brief: Quinn Jumps Before He’s Pushed

NIB's favourite artistes (image courtesy:

NIB’s favourite artistes (image courtesy:

In what can only be described as typical, Enda Kenny’s put his foot firmly into his mouth -this week he’s been calling Joan-people! People, he’s been calling people fat, according to Micheal Martin anyway. The Fianna Fail leader accused the Taoiseach of being fattist following questioning over the decision to suspend gastric band operations. In a bid to save money Enda suggested the waiting patients go for a jog instead and cut out the Supermacs: ‘prevention is better than cure’ to which Martin took offence. He reckons obese people are subject to ‘the last acceptable form of discrimination’, although conceded this couldn’t be applied to James Reilly.

In other political news Ruairi Quinn has been retired! Well jumped, before he was pushed, out of Leinster House. What does this mean for us?! NIB hears you all cry. Oh no sorry, you were wondering about your World Cup Office sweepstake now USA are out. Continue reading

News In Brief: Varadkar Says Cups Are Ok As Dempsey Springs To The Rescue

Don't be a mug while your driving! (image:

Don’t be a mug while your driving! (image:

Musician Damien Dempsey has cemented his place in Wexford’s own Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of fame after rescuing two ailing swimmers in the River Slaney, before drying himself off and carrying on to his scheduled gig. What a man. He didn’t even mention it afterwards. According to reports he swam him, towed the swimmers back to safety, got out, picked up his shoes and walked off into the sunset. Honest to God. Dempsey for president!

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Damien Dempsey Rocks Vicar Street

damoIt’s two days before Christmas and chants of ‘Damo, Damo’ from the expectant crowd begin to gently soar through the stuffy Vicar Street air.

Prior to the late September release of his new album, Almighty Love, it had been five years since Damien Dempsey had released any new material. In April of last year, he posted an open letter on his Facebook page explaining that this delay had partially been caused by the fact that he had been going through a period of depression and questioning his own work.

This particular bout of melancholy seems to be well and truly behind him as he strides confidently on to the stage with the ‘Damo’ chants reaching a crescendo and launches into the opening song of the night, Sing All Our Cares Away.

The rousing outro, ‘We grow strong, or we fall’ seems apt for the times that we are living through and prompts the first mass sing-a-long of the night, setting the tone for the rest of the gig.

The reggae tinged Negative Vibes is up next, with Dempsey thrusting the microphone towards the crowd to encourage them to join in at the end of the song.

His heavily accented, booming vocals are flawless throughout and the backing band, aided through most of the gig by Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals, are solid and tight. The pounding, tribal drums on Almighty Love are a particular early highlight.

Of the new songs that receive an airing, Bustin Out of Here seems to go down especially well with the crowd but the night really kicks up a notch when an extended traditional jam segues into the achingly beautiful Apple of My Eye, sending the audience wild.

As always, Colony is another highlight. The extended spoken word outro, warning any would be imperialist forces, past or present that ‘You will never kill our will to be free’, always succeeds in whipping the crowd into a delirious frenzy.

That frenzy doesn’t let up as Damo implores the crowd to ‘blow the roof off’ during It’s All Good and they duly oblige. The chant of ‘Love Yourself, Todaaay’ ring out as Dempsey and his band leave the stage in triumph.

The only complaint about the show would be that maybe one or two of these songs should have been saved for the encore which is a slightly more sombre affair.

Factories and Hold Me are lovely songs but may have been better placed in the middle of show rather than at the point where everyone is expecting one final musical orgasmic rush after all of the foreplay.

This is just a minor quibble though, and after the inevitable Fairytale of New York duet with Sinead O’Connor, Spraypaint Backalley draws the evening to a close. At a Christmas time when many are struggling to get by, its closing refrain, borrowed from Oscar Wilde, ‘We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars’ seems like an apt message to end on.

Damien Dempsey is a unique voice in contemporary Irish music who rarely fails to produce the goods when playing live. A perfect way to start the marathon eating and drinking session that is the festive season.