The Mighty Stef tells it how it is
WITH its provocative title, Death Threats, the latest release from The Mighty Stef is a brutal and deeply personal account of the grubby underbelly of life in certain parts of Dublin.
Recounting several attacks he has suffered himself while growing up in the inner city, the cult Irish singer pulls no punches when he laments what has happened here.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Stef (or Stefan Murphy as he was born) said: "Every city has its problems, but it seems more organised and calculated and a lot worse here now, there's a constant element of fear. I don't want people, though, to take this so seriously. It's just my take on the way things are here."
Included on the EP release is the track Romantic Ireland Is Dead And Gone (it lays with 2Pac In The Grave), a bold track which lashes out at Ireland's "money-hungry scumbags" and on which Stef laments the "glory years" of his youth. The only difference is that the O'Leary he talks about is David O'Leary and his penalty success for Ireland in Italy 1990.
"That's a track which is about suddenly realising that the way things are here at the moment and how seriously people take themselves is all b****cks."
Since he began with his debut album, The Sins Of Saint Catherine, he has become something of a cult hero in Ireland's fragile music scene.
He is looked after by former Pogue's manager Frank Murray and has teamed up with a new band this year, comprising two members of the Last Tycoons.
The band just recently finished an extensive tour of the US, playing support to leading Irish American band Flogging Molly, which was a massive boost for Stef and his troops.
"Doing the tour was amazing, because unlike here the venues of 2,000-3,000 a night were full when we went on stage.
"We had worked hard and we're on form but the reaction was unbelievable."
Stef readily admits that his sardonic take on modern Dublin life is not everyone's cup of tea and is worried that people may be put off by its dark tones.
"I worry that the EP might be heard as a prophecy of doom, but anyone with half a brain must realise that if we don't slow down we're in trouble."
The Mighty Stef's Death Threats is on sale now.