Ireland’s greatest hits at concert at BREC

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Singer-songwriter Damien Leith will bring lashings of Irish flair to the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Saturday, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Irish patriot, poet and political prisoner John Boyle O’Reilly to Bunbury.

Headlining the annual John Boyle O’Reilly concert presented by the John Boyle O’Reilly Association and Retravision, Leith will pick from his eight album strong catalogue to present an authentic Irish concert.

“It’s great to be part of it, I did the festival two years ago and it was an incredible night,” he said.

“We had so much fun and we had a great turn out to the show so I am thrilled to be able to come back.

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“There is loads and loads of different material to choose from, but being that there are going to be a lot of Irish people there for the John Boyle O’Reilly anniversary, I will definitely do a fair bit of Irish songs which will make for a good show.”

Leith said the aim of the show was to put on a night of fun and he promised to get people dancing with an array of “rousing Irish numbers”.

“I love playing Toss the Feathers, it’s an instrumental but it’s is so much fun and you can’t possibly sit in the audience without stamping your foot or clapping along — it is just a great piece of music,” Leith said.

The audience will enjoy a healthy dose of hits from Leith’s latest album Songs From Ireland, inspired by a 50-date national tour of his self-penned one man cabaret show The Parting Glass.

The play which saw Leith wear two hats, as both an actor and singer, followed the character of an Irish father at the pub, talking to the audience about his wayward son Daniel who lives in Australia.

Filled to the brim with humour, emotion and rousing Irish songs, the show received rave reviews, prompting Leith to record the show’s collection of songs for his latest release.

Despite stepping out into the bright stage lights time after time during his extensive career, Leith said he was still so in love with performing.

“I really love it. This is a crazy business and you can only stay in it if you love it and I really do,” he said.

“There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are on stage and you are having a good show, one of those shows where the audience are getting involved and you look out into the room and you know that people are enjoying it.”

Describing Bunbury as a “gorgeous city”, Leith said he was thrilled to return for a sing-along and a good chat with the audience.

Leith will be supported by story-telling singer-songwriter Rory Faithfield.

Tickets to the Bunbury concert are available from the BREC Box Office.

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