Soft-spoken Irish musician, Damien Leith, is showing current audiences his talent extends beyond his powerful singing voice.
The Australian Idol winner stole our hearts with his melodic sounds in 2006 and has since built a reputable solo career with studio and live albums and numerous metropolitan and regional tours.
But his latest stage offering transcends what audiences have come to expect from him.
The Parting Glass: An Irish Journey is a play written by Damien about a father and son who have been reunited after the son disappeared to Australia for five years.
It it set in an Irish pub and Damien plays the part of the father, son and singer in the pub’s band.
“Rather than touring the traditional way, I thought I’d tour the album with a play,” he said.
The play features songs from Damien’s latest album, Songs from Ireland, and many more and he describes the show as funny, deep, sad and emotional.
Damien said it was a risk to tour something so different but playwriting has been a passion of his for many years and it was time to share it.
“It’s pretty nerve-racking but it’s kind of a well-oiled machine,” he said.
“There are some one-liners and it’s important to deliver them properly.
“And there’s a moment where the audience gets a bit of a surprise.
“A lot of traditional Irish songs can start off bright and breezy but they take a turn because they’re telling a story and I tried to write the play that way.”
Damien grew up in country Ireland in a culture where the pub was the common meeting and socialising destination.
He said the location provides a comfortable setting for the audience to relate to and be easily taken on a journey with him.
Damien said the Irish songs, such as danny Boy and Rocky Road to Dublin, are played by a live band using fiddles, tin whistles and the bodhran.
“Irish music has a great connection with history and everything else.” he said.
“There are moments when you just feel your leg tapping away.”
Damien will perform in Wagga at the Civic Theatre on June 5.
Tickets are available from 6926 9688.
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