Old, new, borrowed and True Blue - the post-Christmas timing of Dempsey's Best Of is a little strange, but it's still a double (in) album with more meat on it than most of its current competition.

From opener It's All Good to closer You're the Cure, via the likes of Kilburn Stroll, Colony, Spraypaint Backalley, Maasai, A Rainy Night in Soho and The Rocky Road to Dublin, this journey through head and cityscapes offers as much in terms of character and sense of place on the 50th listen as the first. Time and again, Dempsey reminds that he is one of the keepers of the flame, even if that accolade doesn't sit easy with his humility.

As for the two tracks he premieres here, St Patrick's Brave Brigade and Happy Days suggest the coming decade will offer as many good stories as the past 15 years. While we wait for the book, hurry up with the next record.

Harry Guerin