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Damien Dempsey – creating a natural high for audiences

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

 Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard play the Festival Big Top on Thursday, July 25 as part of this year’s Galway Arts Festival. Last year, Dempsey released Almighty Love, a record that’s arguably his strongest so far and earned the Dubliner a Choice Prize nomination.

The last time Dempsey spoke to the Groove Tube, he was about to take some time off from music to travel. Was he inspired by the change of scenery?

“I kind of left it alone,” he says. “I tried a bit of writing when I was away, but it wasn’t coming together – nothing decent coming. It was probably a bit of writer’s block.

“About two years ago now, when I got back from my travels I just started writing songs that meant something to me again. I was trying to go a different angle and write something a bit lighter, a bit more ‘festival’. Just to pick people up, because everyone seemed a bit down with the recession and that.”

Damien was initially unhappy with the direction of the new album, but eventually found the tone he was looking for. The breakthrough came with Chris and Stevie, a song he wrote about losing people to suicide.

“The lyrics and the verse would have come in a day,” says Damien. “I had a different chorus, but it wasn’t strong enough I didn’t think. I had to try and write a more simple chorus, that people could relate to. It was a bit too wordy, the chorus I had.”

The one Dempsey went for sees him sing ‘I’m missing you tonight’. It’s a tune his fans took to with gusto, and quickly became a live favourite.

“Everybody misses somebody at the moment, I’m sure,” he says. “It goes down really well. People seem to enjoy the story and they get emotional. It touches people, I suppose. It shuts them up too, if they’re getting too rowdy. The melody you can sing acapella, so I can stop playing the guitar so that stops people talking if they’re having a chat.”

At the Arts Festival show, Damien will be sharing the bill with Glen Hansard, who will be joined by The Frames and a brass section. Hansard has had quite a few years – he’s won an Oscar, the musical of Once scooped eight Tony awards and, most recently, he played alongside Rufus Wainwright at Joni Mitchell’s birthday tribute in Toronto’s famous Massey Hall.

How does Damien feel about his fellow Dubliner’s success?

“I’ve always been a fan of Glen,” he says. “He’s never lost the passion that he had when I first saw him 20 years ago; he still has that passion that gives me the shivers whenever he sings. As soon as I saw him I was hooked, I was in love with his singing. I still am; he hasn’t lost that edge.

“It’s great. I’ve seen how hard he’s worked, all over the world. For many years he went out there and lost money, and came back with bills from America and Europe. But he kept going, kept grafting out there. And it’s finally after paying off; it’s just brilliant to see.”

Damien Dempsey has become one of Ireland’s most popular and enduring live performers. People come to see him in their droves, but he had his own struggles in getting to that point.

“I was 10 years before I made a shilling,” he says. “Then it started to turn. After about 12 years, I started to make something, but before that I made nothing. It was a hard old slog for them years; I was penniless a lot of the time. People saying to me, ‘give up the ghost, you gave it a try’.

“Outside of Ireland, it’s still very tough – in the States. But it’s going well in Australia, and some of the cities around the UK.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Ceramic artist who found her creative home in Galway

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Tatiana Dobos...creative space in Galway.

A ceramic artist who made her home in Galway a decade ago is one of twelve creative pioneers to feature in a new series of abstract short films available for viewing on the TG4 Player.

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach is a season of twelve commissioned abstract short films featuring artists and creatives – among them Moldovan born Galway-based ceramic artist Tatiana Dobos.

Tatiana was born in 1982 in Bujor, and studied all kinds of ‘numbers’ till she was 27, when she discovered clay accidentally while doing sculpture in an art studio.

She describes it as being like arriving home for the first time. She had to quit my job, erase everything she studied and start her forever journey with clay which, since then, is a constant learning and discovering process.

She came to Ireland in 2010, and Galway felt like home from the first walk on its streets.

“Ten years later I can say that Galway is the true and only home to me,” she says.

“My studio is located in Knocknacarra, very close to the sea where I cycle almost every day for refreshing swims, and also close to Barna Woods, a place for reflection and reconnection. It feels really inspiring to be so close to Connemara and Burren, places that invite to rediscovering oneself,” she adds.

From her little studio, Tatiana creates ceramic artworks inspired by human emotions.

She seeks to materialize in her works the mechanisms of the inner battles, at the same time exploring the anatomy of the aftermath.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land, Sea and Mind at heart of Kinvara show

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Some of the works from a new exhibition by Patrick Kenneally, set for the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara

An exhibition of new work by artist Patrick Kenneally opens at the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara, on Saturday week and runs until Sunday, August 8, from 10am to 4pm daily.

Of Land, Sea and Mind is a new series of oil paintings by the artist which is inspired by the mind’s adaptation and reaction to the restrictions placed on the mind and body by lockdowns over the past year.

“As an artist, being in and with the landscape is a vital stimulation for the creative process. You listen to the silence and vastness of the Burren. You take in the salty air of the Atlantic breeze,” he explained.

“The mind, without the direct stimulation of the environment you are so used to being in, will stitch you a new patchwork of colours, compositions and perspectives based on memory, thoughts and feelings. These “mindscapes” allow me to revisit the places that are restricted to me,” he added.

The paintings are a reflection of the self in isolation; a boat on the horizon, a windswept tree in the Burren, a single cloud in the sky, a rolling wave. The self is not present in the landscape but is present with the landscape.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway-made box office hit returns home to Film Fleadh

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Galway hit…a scene from Two by Two Overboard!

A Galway-made animation movie which outshone the big-budget studios at the box office is making a homecoming of sorts this weekend – in the open air.

Two by Two Overboard!, produced in Galway by Moetion Films, was the number one film at the UK box office in November 2020.

The film has also proved a big hit at home with top three spots in all Irish cinema during Christmas 2020.

This weekend, Galway audiences will be treated to a special showing during the Galway Film Fleadh on Saturday at noon, in the specially constructed open-air cinema located in Father Burke Park.

Distributed by eOne Entertainment, the film opened in multiple locations across the UK in late October 2020 – but now as restrictions ease, it is set for release in France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Estonia and elsehwere.

Made in 3D animation, the film tells the story of young Nestrian Finny and his best mate Leah, a Grymp, who accidently fall off Noah’s ark and are swept out to sea.

Adrift on a flood, the two misfit castaways struggle to reunite an unorthodox family, out-run a volcano, and negotiate a peace deal on a creaking Ark.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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