Damien Dempsey @ The Hi Fi (with Mama Kin, Richard Frankland and The Charcoal Club) – 14 Nov ’13

Opening day of the Australian World Music Expo and certainly no shortage of awesome music of a slightly less than mainstream persuasion adding to the endless choices of what to see live, including an incredible line-up at the Hi Fi…

Watching Mama Kin on stage was an absolute joy from the get go. A family affair, with those related by blood and connected in music showcasing material across albums, genre and mood. The energy of Give Me a Reason delighted before the authentic Disney romance crushing Rescue brought reality crashing back to the ground. A real mood shift was in order with the stirring Red Wood River, complete with a starring ukulele performance before bringing back the joy including a very impressive reception from the crowd on being invited to join in singing along to Apple Tree. There was no denying the chirpy sounding end with Whistle and a Light, despite masking the tale of a feisty contest.

Mama Kin @ The Hi Fi

Mama Kin @ The Hi Fi

Proving to be a jack of all trades, Richard Frankland provided for the burnt out blacks and singed whites with The Charcoal Club, proving why singer/songwriter can be added to his list of talents. A masterful mix of spoken word and music combined to an engaging delivery of storytelling, particularly in sharing the honesty of oppression and struggle. Also joining The Charcoal Club this evening was the Fighting Gunditjmara, an Indigenous dance group receiving a huge welcome from those present for Who Made Me Who I Am? and Cry Freedom, with Damien Dempsey also joining all on stage.

Richard Frankland and The Charcoal Club, __, Damien Dempsey @ The Hi Fi

Richard Frankland and The Charcoal Club, Fighting Gunditjmara & Damien Dempsey @ The Hi Fi

Anyone could have been forgiven for mistaking a few groups of grown men for squealing fan boys practically leaping around like leprechauns as Damien Dempsey introduced Negative Vibes as the first song for the evening, complete with boisterous and out of key singing along. Tales of ancient tribes inspiring the brilliant Maasai were shared amongst being versed in the therapeutic benefits on singing in Sing All Our Cares Away, while moments of silences were few and far between aptly filled with repeated cheers of “Da-mo” throughout the night.

Damien Dempsey @ The Hi Fi

Damien Dempsey @ The Hi Fi

Motivational life coaching delivery was soon replaced by a celebration of all things irrefutably Irish, equipped with flute and tin whistle ensuring that a happier tune or two was shared to prevent any residual hanging. After a little dancing session including Party On, the night wrapped up with It’s All Good before an encore of The Chieftains’ ‘School Days Over’ joined by Dan Sultan, with the band then returning to the stage obliging to cries for more.

Damien Dempsey and Dan Sultan @ The Hi Fi

Damien Dempsey and Dan Sultan @ The Hi Fi

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