AUSTRALIA’S favourite singer, 2006 Australian Idol Damien Leith, has never been to Gympie but seeing the dolphins at Tin Can Bay is on his family’s to do list.
Leith will be in Gympie next Saturday as a part of his Keys and Strings tour promoting his latest album Remember June.
Gympie is lucky to be hosting Leith has he is only performing a handful of shows in Queensland.
The concert, to be held at the Gympie RSL, will see Leith performing traditional Irish classics and contemporary hits as well as stand out tracks from Remember June.
Accompanied by the violin, guitar and piano Keys and Strings will showcase Leith’s striking vocals and audiences will discover why he is one of Australia’s favourite live performers.
True to his Celtic roots, the shows will see Damien perform a collection of Irish songs, many of which influenced the critically acclaimed Remember June, taking audiences on a journey from his musical past to present.
From the folk tunes of the Dubliners and Christy Moore, to the smash hits of U2, the legendary tunes of Van Morisson and Damien Rice to the operatic sounds of John McCormack, audiences will be treated to a musical fusion showcasing Leith’s development as a performer since he first landed on the Australian music scene in 2006 when won the fourth season of Idol.
Of his upcoming shows, Leith said his Irish background was incredibly important.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take this show to the stage,” he said.
When The Gympie Times contacted Leith earlier in the year he was busy getting ready preparing for his tour. He said he had some excellent little things in store for Gympie audiences during the acoustic show.
Leith’s show will create a new atmosphere that he hopes will impress.
“I haven’t been to (Gympie) before but I get to at long last do a tour in north Queensland.
“I have family up that way on my wife’s side.”
Leith will only be able to spend a night in Gympie, due to his tour schedule, which was disappointing as he won’t be able to see much of the town or visit Tin Can Bay to feed the dolphins.
“I want to swim with dolphins or at least hang out with them.”
His curiosity about the salt water mammal was sparked when he patted a dolphin at Sea World while on the television show Sunrise.
He said a dolphin came up and he just reached over and patted it, something he hopes will bring him good luck on this tour.
Leith said Remember June was released just before Christmas last year and now he was promoting it and getting the word out.
“It’s an entirely original album for me. And inspired by my next novel which (was) released in April.”
The album, he said, was loosely based on the novel and a bit of a story rans through the album’s lyrics.
“It’s getting a great response critically so far, so I am thrilled.”
Leith said he had accomplished what he always dreamed since getting into music – releasing an original album and seeing it become successful.
He’s been chasing that dream since he was 16 and it had been a long journey.
He admitted it could be a little bit scary sometimes, putting himself out on a limb with an original sound, as he was well known for covers.
“Doing my own stuff is an entirely new direction. (But) so far seems to be the right a decision.”
Remember June has a very Irish influence. The novel is set in Ireland, although Leith said the album had a contemporary feel.
He said a lot of Irish songs had influenced the album and those were the same songs that people always requested him to play.
Those influences included Christy Moore, who Leith said was “really famous in Ireland” and U2, which was “definitely one of my favourite bands of all time”.
He said some people had compared his album to a “U2 stadium sound”, but he didn’t think the whole album had that ‘sound’.
“It’s pretty cool and nice being compared to U2, but I still think it sounds a little further away than that. It’s a nice comparison, though tough to live up to.
“I’m just really looking forward to being there (in Gympie) and hope Gympie audiences bring their singing voices.”
Leith said during the concert he was running a competition to find the best singers in Australia, kind of like Australian Idol, but it was something he was doing to get his fans involved in the show.
Since Remember June debuted in Australia audiences and critics alike have been mesmerised by Damien’s pop-rock tracks and new found sound, comparative to the likes of U2, Keane, Roy Orbison and Coldplay.
“Leith has finally found his own voice embracing his Celtic roots and revelling in those rich Roy Orbison tones in the voice that captured the hearts of his fans” – Daily Telegraph
Catch Damien Leith on May 8 at the Gympie RSL, tickets are available from the venue call 5482 1018 or visit www.gympiersl.com.au for more information.