Damien Leith is set to perform in Tassie again after touring here last year as part of a 45 day tour of his play ‘The Parting Glass’ which left him ‘over the moon’. Such was the response and success of the play Damien tells me it may ‘pop out’ again sometime in the future.

This time it’s a flying visit to perform one of his exclusive run of 6 shows celebrating the anniversary of Roy Orbison’s 80th birthday. Tasmania has the honour of having Damien perform the show on Roy’s actual birthday. With such a fly in fly out visit Damien says he would be lucky to take in a ‘sneaky’ game of golf!

Roy Orbison, a gentle man was something of an enigma to other male artists of his era. Instead of the very masculine songs other male artists were creating, his songs were romantic ballads. Roy, not on purpose, reflected a mysterious persona with his dark glasses (he began wearing his sunglasses after mislaying his own prescription glasses on a plane trip) and his dark clothes which were simply worn because Roy lacked a stylist and just ‘did the best he could!’

Damien has worked with Roy’s co-writer Joe Melson and says he has learnt from Joe, including, the prime importance of the lyric, and not losing that emphasis amidst all the other factors involved in the construction of a song.

From a very young age Damien has been an admirer of Roy’s music and recounts his focus on attempting to hit those high notes like Roy.

This year also sees the tenth anniversary of Damien’s win on Australian Idol, Damien hints that there may be some special plans a foot to celebrate this event later in the year and that Launceston, who unfortunately miss out on the Roy Orbison show this time around, will be included in the Australian Idol celebrations.

There’s also on a new album of romantic ballads and if that is not keeping this renaissance man busy enough he’s also set to complete some personal goals, non-music related including doing the Inca trek and a half marathon!

You can see Damien Leith perform ‘Roy: A Tribute to Roy Orbison’ at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Saturday 30 April.
Paula Xiberras