Damien Leith turns to his Irish roots

Damien Leith, the formerAustralian Idol contestant, will be touring around Australia in October and November in a revival of his latest self-written one-man cabaret show, The Parting Glass.

Before Australian Idol, Damien was working at a chemist, although, he said “music was my first love.”

Ever since, he’s been working across Australia full-time as a musician.

The Parting Glass initially came out in 2015 but after popular demand it will return to a number of venues, including Mounties at Mount Pritchard.

The talented singer, songwriter and family man originally hails from Ireland.

He said the storyline of the show was inspired by his own journey to Australia when he moved here with his wife 15 years ago.

He said it’s for all the parents whose children have gone abroad.

And with a large number of migrants and Irish descendants in Australia, the performance is expected to hit home.

He said when he became a father himself, he found a new understanding of what it was like for children to grow up.

“I have three children, two boys and a little girl.

“I look at my own children and I know that in a few years’ time, they’ll be grown up and they’ll head off in their own direction.

“And that’s a big theme in our show.

“You know, I can remember when I left I thought about my parents and how they felt.

“It’s so far away.

“And that’s a theme that runs throughout the whole show.

“I still get a little bit emotional from time to time when I think of when I left Ireland.

“I did consider moving back when I first arrived.

“It took a bit of a while to settle in but I think once my eldest son arrived, everything changed.

”Then we really got settled. I really love it here, you know.

“It gave me a chance to do Irish music and to incorporate something different into my shows.

“I get to act and it’s set in a classic Irish pub.

“The idea behind the production is to transport the audience to Ireland for two hours.

“And I do a little bit of irish dancing as a novelty. It’s not strictly part of the show, it’s just something we throw in for a bit of a laugh.

“When I dance in the show, I’m so out of breath! It’s just in one song during a traditional Irish piece.

He said the story is a simple one.

“It’s about an Irish father whose son immigrated to Australia. He’s come into the pub and talks about everything.

“He’s funny, he’s emotional and he’s just a bit of everything.

“The way it works is it’s told as the father. Every time he talks he impersonates his son and puts on the son’s voice.

“It’s a person standing in front of you and just telling you his story.

“It’s funny because the show covers people at home and getting older and parents watching their children grow up and moving out.

“It seems to relate to people on a few different levels.”

As for the music – he said he’s incorporated some great hits, which come to life with a live band.

“There’s a collection of songs that I have just loved for years, songs like Danny Boy, Rocky Road to Dublin.

“The band play all the traditional instruments – the fiddle, the tin whistle, the bodhran – it is a real Irish experience.

“You’ve got the drama side of it and all the rousing Irish music.”

He said he got a great response from his parents when they saw it.

“My parents have been to the show and they love it.

“The father in the show is really nothing at all like my own father but they get just as emotional as everyone else does while they’re watching the show.”

The 41 year old said it’s something different to see in this lucky country.

“It gives people the opportunity to get a taste of Ireland at their doorstep.”

Audiences should expect to  be taken on a journey with with two endearing characters – they may laugh, they may cry and they’ll certainly be entertained.

  • Damien Leith in The Parting Glass is on Friday, November 17 at Mounties at Mount Pritchard.
  • Details, bookings: mounties.com.au.