Leith’s big tribute to the Big O

Damien Leith on stage. 154814

By Casey Neill

Damien Leith is keen to try a Dandee Donut when his Roy Orbison tribute show rolls into town.
His Saturday 15 July performance at the Drum Theatre will be the 2006 Australian Idol winner’s first trip to Dandenong and he told the Journal he wanted to check out what the suburb had to offer.
The show will celebrate the music of Roy Orbison but it’s not a traditional “tribute”.
“I don’t dress up as him or imitate him,” Leith said.
“I tell a lot of stories that surround the songs, because I’ve chatted to the people associated with him, I’m able to share some stories that people haven’t heard before.
“All in all, we’re on stage for over two hours.”
He tries to cover as much as he can, but still occasionally gets a fan after the show asking “how come you didn’t play … ?”.
“With someone like Roy Orbison, because he did so many songs, everyone’s got their own connection to different songs,” he said.
“I grew up on his music and I adore his music.
“I recorded an album of his songs with his wife in Nashville.
“I write with one of his big co-writers.”
Leith said audiences were “really into the night out, everyone sings along and claps and dances sometimes, they have a laugh”.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously on stage as well,” he said.
He’s been playing with the same band for 11 years.
“There’s six musicians on stage. One is a violin player, which is really nice,” he said.
“I love the violin and I love the fiddle, especially from my Irish roots.
“It’s great to have that kind of sound moving through the Roy Orbison songs because it’s very true to me.
“We do vary it as well, we change the set list.
“We all stay fresh and it feels like it’s a new show every time.”
Visit www.drumtheatre.com.au for ticket information.