Behind the Scene: Damian Kilroy from Loud Minority

Damian Kilroy didn’t waste much time getting into the music scene in Saigon; sick of the DJ nights that dominated, he jumped into promoting live bands within only a few months of arriving in the city.

Originally from Manchester, a city known for its seminal live music scene, he first got into music by playing as a teenager in what he describes as a “terrible band”. After an unsuccessful run at making his own music, it wasn’t long before he set aside the guitar and went behind the scenes. From his early days of managing smaller UK bands and promoting small live shows in Manchester, Damian moved to Croatia, where he became an integral part of the growing music scene by promoting shows and bringing in international acts.

Upon arriving in Saigon, Damian drew on his experiences, including the frustrating lessons learned from promoting events in Croatia, to co-found Loud Minority.

By collaborating heavily with fellow live music promoter Rod Quinton and Saigon Soundsystem, Damian began putting on some of Saigon’s best received live shows, including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and his personal favourite, The Cribs.

Today, Damian is more active than ever, building the live music culture in Vietnam by booking both international and local acts. He cites the lack of kids starting bands and making their own, original music as the reason for the meagre original music scene here; however, always the optimist, he expects change in the near future: “We just need one good, original Vietnamese band to make it big, and then kids will start to think they can do it too. That’ll be how Vietnam steps into the international music world.”