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The Band All Love Playing Live
by Claudia Cockerell | Evening Standard | June 27, 2023
Damian Lewis is accustomed to the strobe of paparazzi bulbs and crowds of fans clamouring for his attention on the red carpet. At its peak, his hit show Homeland was averaging around 7 million weekly viewers. But Lewis is the latest actor to pivot to music, and last week he played an intimate show to about 150 people at Rough Trade, the record store in East London.
The gig was the first since the release of his debut album, ‘Mission Creep’. His sound is folk-rock, with lots of guitar, hints of jazz, and a crooning voice. His influences range from Neil Young to J.J. Cale. What has it been like to go from gracing blockbuster TV shows to performing to a small crowd at an indie venue, I ask? “Fantastic,” he tells me. “The band all love playing live. But we can’t play bigger venues until we’ve proved ourselves in smaller venues”.
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Always Remember to Twiddle Your Knob
by Ethan Croft | Evening Standard Diary | June 26, 2023
Damian Lewis doesn’t know if he is still an actor after making a departure into the music industry. We caught up with the Homeland star as he performed with a band to a crowd of around 150 friends and fans at Rough Trade in Brick Lane. He was playing tracks from Mission Creep, his debut album.
Lewis’s surprise career change certainly crept up on us. When we asked if he still considers acting to be his main job, he said “I don’t know. Watch this space. We’re not very good at changing lanes in this country. We don’t like people to change lanes. It’s just about whether you’re good or not. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
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Proves a Successful Actor-Turned-Musician Gambit
by David Nobakht | Buzz Magazine | June 22, 2023
DAMIAN LEWIS Mission Creep (Decca) ★★★★
Whenever a successful actor makes an album, there will always be a high level of scrutiny and the sound of naysayers scraping their chairs at what is often perceived as being a superfluous vanity project made between trips to Hollywood – but Homeland and Wolf Hall star Damian Lewis’ Mission Creep breaks that mould. Growing up with Kerouac’s On The Road under one arm, Stones and Zeppelin albums under the other, Lewis travelled through Europe busking long before he could be seen on stage or screen.
His singing voice on Mission Creep lies somewhere between Gene Clark and Scott Walker, as the songs dip their toes into bluesy rock, folk and jazz. Fragile, folk-immersed opener ‘She Comes’ is worth the price of admission alone, as is ‘Down on the Bowery,’ and ‘Makin’ Plans’ is a song the Stones themselves might be proud to have under their belt. It’s evident that Lewis is both a passionate and accomplished songwriter, and his cover of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon is a beauty too.
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Live From the Green Couch
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 23, 2023
Actor, producer, presenter and now music star, Damian Lewis appeared on BBC The One Show on Friday, June 23, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. BST for a live performance of his song ‘My Little One’ and discussion with Alex and Gethin about his new debut album Mission Creep. Damian was on vocals with his acoustic guitar while Kitty Live was on harmonica, Dave Archer on electric guitar and Phil Donnelly on bass. Viewers were able to send in questions for Damian to answer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you missed the broadcast, you have 28 days to view it on iPlayer.
During the interview, Alex asked Damian which artists, either dead or alive, he would have as his headliners at Glastonbury Festival. He replied: “Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys- who I saw at the Emirates this week. They were amazing, they’re fantastic.”
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107.6 East Coast FM
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 23, 2023
DJ Ben Dyson will play tracks from Damian’s new album Mission Creep tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. BST on The Late Show with Ben Dyson, 107.6 East Coast FM and broadcasting from Haddington, UK. Ben said, “Came across this album today. It’s not what you’d expect, but it’s a beautiful album and I look forward to playing tracks from it.” Tune in and listen live here.
Damian’s debut album Mission Creep was released June 16, 2023 and can be ordered from several outlets here. Upcoming shows include Union Chapel on July 11 in London and Mercury Lounge NYC on July 19. Additionally, Damian just announced new September/October UK Tour dates here. Don’t miss out, get your tickets now!
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Strolling in Central London, Discussing Mission Creep
by Damian Lewis | Twitter & Instagram | June 22, 2023
Damian took a little stroll in Central London while recording a message to his audience and fans, explaining his debut album Mission Creep (released June 16) is very much a storytelling, sort of rootsy album. As for his musical and creative influences, the album has three covers: Neil Young, J.J. Cale and Jelly Roll Morton. In the beginning, Damian and his band did not set out to make an album, only get together and play some covers. But he enjoyed writing the very personal song ‘She Comes’ so much that he found himself writing 8 other songs. In terms of his music experience in comparison to acting, Damian shared that his friends think it’s nice to see him up on stage as himself than as a character. He went on to state that there is a difference when you’re performing a character because you disappear, transform into something else. Playing concerts and gigs, he’s very much himself. And we like that 🙂
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‘Down On The Bowery’ Effortlessly Shows Capability of Lewis’ Voice and His Commitment to the Craft
by Nick Reilly | Rolling Stone Magazine UK | June 22, 2023
As he releases his debut album, acting royalty Damian Lewis tells Rolling Stone UK why he’s under no illusions about proving himself as a musician. Damian Lewis has opened up on releasing his first ever solo album and why he’s ready to deal with any cynicism that his latest venture might attract.
Last week saw the Band of Brothers star release ‘Mission Creep’, a record of largely roots-y Americana, backed by an accomplished band of eclectic musicians. One stand-out highlight comes in ‘Down On The Bowery’, which effortlessly shows out the capability of Lewis’ voice and his commitment to the craft.
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Boutique Festival of Americana
by Trev Eales | Louder Than War | June 22, 2023
Sometimes, walking into a festival gives a feel for what’s to come. A dusty track leads through a wild flower meadow as people of all ages haul their weekend belongings towards the festival gate. There’s a small queue for the arena but everyone’s chilled and there’s a laid back vibe.
Stetsons and cowboy boots abound as we leave The Garden of England for a world of Americana. Rows of Harley-Davidsons celebrate the iconic bike’s 120th anniversary, and the smell of barbecues fills the air. The rustic Arkansas Porch Stage echoes with acoustic sounds of the deep south as the audience sit baking in the afternoon sun.
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A Peek Into His Record Collection
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 19, 2023
Damian chatted with Cerys Matthews of The Blues Show on BBC Radio 2, which aired Monday, June 19, 2023. He shared his favorite blues tracks ahead while promoting the release of his debut album Mission Creep. The album is inspired by roots, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. You can listen to the broadcast here beginning around 15:38. The broadcast is only available for 28 days on BBC Sounds so catch it now!
Cerys asked him if he falls in love with characters he has portrayed like Nick Brody in Homeland and Dick Winters from Band of Brothers or does he completely move on. He answered that it’s about a bit of both because the ending of every job, especially long ones that he’s been lucky enough to be a part of on several occasions, that he’s created a work family with people he’s quite fond of and leaving can be bitter sweet; but as a whole, it’s quite good to move on. He doesn’t so much fall in love with characters he plays, but he defends them – that acting is sort of like advocacy and the audience is his jury, which makes you intellectually rigorous.
“I represent them like a lawyer would represent a plaintiff.”
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Tattoos and Elvis Guitar Picks
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 19, 2023
Presented by Rough Trade East, Damian performed a stripped back set plus live album signing at the Old Truman Brewery located at 150 Brick Lane in London on Monday, June 19, 2023. His performance started at 8:00 p.m. and the album signing began at 9:00 p.m. This unique event was for 300 lucky attendees celebrating the release of Damian’s debut album Mission Creep. More photos from the event in our Gallery.
We were one of those lucky 300 attendees – with boots on the ground – and we didn’t come empty handed. We gifted Damian with some Elvis Presley guitar picks for Christmas (straight from the Graceland store), but forgot to take them to London to one of his other gigs just before the holiday season. So Damian received the picks today as a Happy Album Release Day gift instead. And believe it or not, Damian used one of the Elvis picks at tonight’s gig! 🙂 Watch video about the Elvis pics below:
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Mission Creep: Down Under
by Karishma Sarkari | 9Honey Celebrity AU | June 16, 2023
Homeland star Damian Lewis celebrated a special day over the weekend – the release of his debut album, Mission Creep. On the day his new record came out, and in between filming his new vampire movie The Radleys, the 52-year-old took to the stage to perform at Black Deer Festival of Americana, held in the UK.
Lewis revealed he grew up going to a number of music festivals in “my young 20s, when I started going with pals” and enjoys now sharing the British summer tradition with his children.
“I’ve been to lots of different festivals and I love it. [I] take my kids to Latitude. There’s glamping ways of doing it and there’s real camping ways of doing it – I won’t tell you which one I prefer but I can say I’ve done both,” he laughed.
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A More-Than-Admirable Passion Project: Lush Blues Sound
by Robin Murray | Clash Magazine | June 19, 2023
The actor-turned-musician pathway is well worn by this point. Numerous stars of stage and Silver Screen have swapped their scripts for microphone stands, and it can sometimes feel like a diversion – a sort of adult gap year, in other words. Damian Lewis, however, is a little different; music was his first love, and in his youth he travelled across Europe, busking as he went. A perennial source of comfort and inspiration, in a way it’s a wonder the actor hasn’t recorded a full length project before.
‘Mission Creep’ is a mixture of fortune, and chance. Introduced to Giacomo Smith – leader of revered London jazz troupe Kansas Smitty’s House Band – Damian Lewis was able to build a band to augment his passions, allowing rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and jazz to sluice together. The songs on ‘Mission Creep’ – primarily original, with a smattering of covers – come from a personal place, offering tales of love, comfort, and loss.
While the performances aren’t about to reinvent the wheel, there’s enough here to certify ‘Mission Creep’ as a more-than-admirable passion project. The lush blues sound of ‘Zaragoza’ for instance perfectly blends his whisky-parched vocal with the excellent band surrounding him, while something like ‘Down On The Bowery’ has a trenchant sense of atmosphere.