The Waterboys and Damien Dempsy perform live at the Púca Big Top in Trim!
Few bands have as great a live reputation as The Waterboys. From their mid-1980s “big music” period through the influential mix of Celtic, gospel and country on their classic Fisherman’s Blues tours, to the hundreds of brilliant shows accompanying the last decade’s run of supremely in-form albums from 2011’s An Appointment With Mr Yeats to this summer’s Good Luck, Seeker The Waterboys have consistently blended tightness, inspiration and improvisation to reach heights of performance few other acts can. Led by mercurial and brilliant Scottish guitarist/vocalist Mike Scott, the 2020 version of the band features the established line-up of Memphis keyboard great “Brother” Paul Brown, drummer Eamon Ferris, keyboardist James Hallawell and funky Irish bassman Aongus Ralston.
The popular reach of Waterboys music has never been greater. Their songs have been performed by artists as varied as Prince, The Killers and U2, all of whom have performed their classic The Whole Of The Moon; and Fiona Apple who masterfully recorded the song last year; Ellie Goulding, who scored a top 3 UK hit with “How Long Will I Love You”; indie rockers The War On Drugs, Dawes and The Mystery Jets; and classic singers Rod Stewart and Tom Jones. “The Whole Of The Moon” also featured in last year’s smash Netflix film Let It Snow and top HBO series The Affair.
Damien Dempsey writes songs about social issues with a remarkable passion and openness, enabling his live audiences and fans to let go. Following a number of individuals who have been strongly influenced by his message, beautifully shot new documentary ‘Love Yourself Today’ unearths their stories of overcoming pain and finding solace in his music. The film successfully explains the Dublin singer-songwriter’s appeal by focusing on what his songs mean to fans and is in cinemas now.
“Singing and music are two of the few spiritual entities in the physical world, so we need to harness them and get people immersed in them,” Dempsey explains, “because when people lose themselves at a gig, when everyone sings together, they carry a vibration away from the gig that spreads out like a ripple into others, it’s a way of healing.”
Damien Dempsey’s importance as a singer and songwriter of great passion, conviction and beauty has never been more prominent. He is that rare gem of an artist, an ex boxer – with the soul of a poet, whose heroes and influences are as diverse as Christy Moore, Shane McGowan, Luke Kelly and Bob Marley. With themes of addiction, loss but also hope and positivity, Dempsey’s music often reflects his fans’ pain, alleviates their anguish and ultimately provides peace as they ‘sing all their cares away’. Damien Dempsey’s debut album in 2000, They Don’t Teach This Shit in School, set him apart as a unique and important voice. The follow-up, Seize the Day, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, producing many more albums, picking up awards and leading to extensive international tours.