When you think of legendary voices or names in music there are none more prominent than Elvis Presley. Given Elvis’ prominence you would think modern musicians would shy away from performing a tribute show filled with his music, Damien Leith though bucks that thinking with his upcoming Elvis The Gospel Collection show.
Originally the Gospel Collection showcase was only ever meant to happen once, in Melbourne last year, but following a resoundingly positive response Leith knew he had to bring it back.
“To be totally honest I thought we were going to struggle on the first show, because it was such a random isolated show. The show completely sold out though, we got a standing ovation and had people crying in the audience so I was really surprised by how much the music moved and meant to people.”
Although the show is coming back Leith has ensured that it maintains a level of exclusivity by only performing a very limited run of seven shows throughout the country. By doing this the show not only remains special and exciting for audiences but also for Leith himself.
“It’s an exciting show to put on. I do a lot of different shows ranging from solo and acoustic right up to this show featuring 12 other musicians which is a great feeling.”
When asked why he was inspired to tackle Elvis’ gospel collection Leith told City Hub, “His voice in the gospel collection was just richer. I love his rock and pop stuff as well, they’re a lot of fun, but the gospel collection was what made me really admire him.”
One song in particular captured a young Leith’s attention and inspired him to pursue music himself.
"The first song I heard Elvis singing was Crying In The Chapel and I immediately thought 'wow' because it felt like he was singing in the room. His voice sounded rich, smooth and very soulful in the gospel collection so it was a beautiful style of music to learn and hone my own style after.”
Whilst this show is a tribute to Elvis’ career Leith is quick to assure City Hub that it’s very much a Damien Leith show not an Elvis impersonation act, “these are my interpretations of Elvis’ gospel songs so you don’t have to [exclusively] be an Elvis fan to enjoy these shows.”
Following these shows Leith’s “main priority” will be finishing the recording process for his next album, which he is aiming to release by September this year.
“These new songs are very much my own style, have some sort of connection with my life and are really resonating with me,” Leith concluded.
Jul 6. The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville. $72-$77+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.factorytheatre.com.au