- 26 Feb 21
Musical fireworks are assured, at The Slane Sessions with THUMPER and Damien Dempsey – in association with Slane Irish Whiskey.
Slane Irish Whiskey is kicking off this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with a highly anticipated gig, broadcast from Slane Distillery, Co. Meath – featuring performances from THUMPER and special guest Damien Dempsey.
In a very special night of music on 13 March, ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, The Slane Sessions online gig – to be broadcast on the Hot Press YouTube channel – will see the craft, graft and innovation of Irish music broadcast to the world from one of Ireland’s most distinguished distilleries…
Ahead of the performance, we sat down with Oisín Leahy Furlong of high-flying Dublin sextet THUMPER.
Since being tipped as one of the Hot Press 'Hot For 2019' Irish Acts, THUMPER have been blazing a trail through Ireland, across Europe and into the US. At the forefront of the Irish post-punk scene that is also being pioneered by outfits like Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital, they stepped up to the plate in style with a raucous Eurosonic show and a month-long tour of the UK and Europe in early 2020.
Their touring plans may have been put on hold due to the ongoing pandemic – a sell-out UK tour scheduled for early 2021 had to be delayed – but THUMPER have continued to establish themselves as one of the most thrilling bands in the country with the release of two blistering new singles, including their latest meisterwerk, the acclaimed ‘Topher Grace’.
So what can fans expect as THUMPER plug into the hallowed spirit of Slane for their rip-roaring set?
"We’re going to be collaborating with Damo on a couple of tunes," Oisín tells us, with a grin. "He’s going to jump up for one of ours, and we’re going to do a spin on one of his tunes. It's going to be special!"
Performing with Damien Dempsey – a dream collaboration for countless Irish artists – is another major landmark during what's been a remarkable few years for THUMPER.
"For us, what's so appealing about Damo is that he’s very much a songwriter, and that’s the focal point of him," Oisín reflects. "But when you’re talking about him, it’s impossible to separate that from his live performances – because it’s all one big, organic operation. That’s something that we’d relate to a lot, because as much as the songwriting is important to us, it all takes on a life of its own when it gets on stage."
As Oisín notes, Dempsey is a particular inspiration for artists trying "to dig into any sort of an Irish vernacular" or explore what Leahy Furlong calls "that sense of Irishness in music, without it being totally overt at the same time."
"It's going to be interesting to see what we can draw from each other," he adds. "We're all really looking forward to it."
Although THUMPER can't wait to play live in a room with their fans again, they've come to the conclusion that the unique experience of online gigs can be hugely rewarding "in a totally new way."
"There is something really nice about knowing that you’re there with a crew, and your band, and you’re putting in the graft," Oisín notes. "And somewhere, out in the ether, anywhere in the world, people are plugged-in to it. It's an amazing thought."
HOW TO WATCH THE WORLD PREMIERE:
The world premiere will take place on the Hot Press YouTube channel – youtube.com/hotpressmagazine – kicking off at 8pm GMT / 3pm EST / 12pm PST on Saturday, 13 March.
The filming of THE SLANE SESSIONS complies with all Irish Government restrictions regarding Covid-19.
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