Luka Bloom > Tour Archive > Live in Australia
Luka Bloom - Australia 2002
16 March 2002  Adelaide - Norwood Concert Hall
19 March 2002  Perth - Concert Hall
22 March 2002  Melbourne - Concert Hall
23 March 2002  Canberra - Tilley's Devine Cafe Gallery
24 March 2002  Canberra - Tilley's Devine Cafe Gallery
26 March 2002  Sydney - Enmore Theatre
27 March 2002  Sydney - Enmore Theatre
28 March 2002  Brisbane - Tivoli Theatre
30 March 2002  Byron Bay - East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival
31 March 2002  Byron Bay - East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival

Luka Bloom Australia Much-loved and highly acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom returns to Australia. For ten years Australians have been embracing Irish Troubadour Luka Bloom - he first toured here in 1992. Adrian Bohm Presents is delighted to be touring the Irish bard for the sixth time.

With his literate, melodic original songs and sensitive interpretation of others and impassioned live performances, Bloom has earned a devoted following in Australia.

Bloom has been transforming what folk music means with his heavy rhythm guitar style and he plays 'Rudy' and 'Judy' as if they were his self-created lovers. From this energetic man in live performance you can expect only passion, fire, sweat and open-handed eagerness.

"A premier singer/songwriter returns to form... The result is an album of glorious songs lovingly smudged with one of the greatest folk music traditions on the planet... this is arguably the best and most coherent album Bloom has ever produced."
~Bruce Elder, SMH

"Now his latest finds the Irish troubador at his absolute peak... Between The Mountain And The Moon is a majestically romantic collection of ballads... Luka Bloom on this form is not to be missed."
~Mike Daly, The Age

www.abpresents.com.au

17 March 2002 - Sunday Morning at 9:30 am - Coast to Coast
www.abc.net.au/arts/coast/170302.htm

Luka Bloom performed 'Rainbow Day',
a song from his latest album 'Between the Mountain and the Moon'.
>> Coast to Coast Photo Gallery


Sunday Magazine - 17 March 2002

Luka the Irish
Australia's adopted troubadour

He might be able to reduce grown men to tears, but Luka Bloom will always be in the shadow of his older brother in Ireland. Lucky for him, then, that Australians appreciate his "stadium folk for the bedroom". Jane Cornwell reports.

Luka BloomLuka Bloom concerts do strange things to people. The warm, intimate singing style and open-hearted material of this handsome Irish troubadour has, in the course of a performance, prompted outbreaks of hugging among strangers, reduced hard men to tears and had women wondering (loudly) if he'd father their children.

At his last appearance at Sydney's State Theatre, a couple got engaged during the encore. "Some guy from the balcony shouted down, 'Hey Luka! Can you play I Need Love?' I want to propose to my girlfriend," Bloom recalls with a grin. "When I finished the song I looked up into the darkness and said, 'Okay?' All I could see was this upturned thumb."

Australia was one of the first countries to fully appreciate what the 46-year-old playfully calls his "stadium folk for the bedroom". Bloom's reworking of rapper LL Cool J's 'I Need Love' - in which a Lothario acknowledges that his promiscuous lifestyle isn't bringing him fulfilment - was already a hit when he arrived in 1992; his debut gig at Enmore Theatre in Sydney was packed as result.

"That was quite a shock", he says in his mellifluous Celtic lilt. "I was used to doing hundreds of gigs in poxy clubs before anybody knew I existed. It felt very strange to fly 1200 miles and feel completely at home, but that's what happened the first time I visited Sydney."

Bloom has been a regular visitor here ever since and is more likely to be recognised walking down a Melbourne street than he is in his hometown of Dublin. Bloom derives 95 per cent of his income from abroad. For the past decade or so he has toured almost constantly on the back of a series of albums rooted unashamedly in the Irish folk tradition - of which his latest "Between the Mountain and the Moon", is arguably his best yet.

An intense, self-contained and occasionally hilarious man, he has said that it suits him to be relatively anonymous in Ireland. A long time ago he resigned himself to the fact that he will always be better known there as the younger brother of the legendary Christy Moore. "If I had 10 No.1 albums in Germany, America and Australia, I'd still be Christy's wee brother in Ireland," he says, shrugging. "That's okay, we are very close and I love him. These days I basically think I'm a lucky bastard who has got away with murder since he was 16. I make my living from writing and singing - so all this other stuff isn't important."

It wasn't as if he didn't try to make it at home. During the '70s and early '80s he slogged away in Dublin bars and cafes and recorded three albums under his real name, Barry Moore. Accompanied by his acoustic guitar, his self-penned songs told stories of love, survival and real people battling the odds. Unfortunately, no one wanted to hear them.

In 1987 he got on a plane for Washington DC. When it touched down five hours later, he had become Luka Bloom. Unlike their Dublin counterparts, American audiences adored him so he based himself Stateside for a while, then spread his net to Europe and Australia. He released three critically acclaimed albums on Warner's Reprise label (most notably, 1992's "The Acoustic Motorbike", which dropped him when the last, 1994's "Turf", failed to have the desired commercial impact. On returning to Ireland he was picked up by Sony and spent a year writing songs in an isolated cottage for 1998's "Salty Heaven". But that, too, had insufficient sales and Bloom was dropped again.

He cheered himself up by recording "Keeper of the Flame", his lauded album of cover versions - ABBA, Radiohead and Hunters and Collectors among them - and releasing it on an independent label. It sold by the bucket load. "The way I look at it", he muses, "is that the music industry is having its ultimate wet dream. The charts are full of young boy and girl bands who are entirely malleable, do what they're told and don't have awkward artistic temperaments. But there's another way to make music, whether through the internet or through cottage industries where people like me function in this crazy way. That suits me fine."

For the first time in his career, the rights to his current album are entirely his. "It's all mine," he chuckles in the knowledge that "Between the Mountain and the Moon" sounds all the better for it. Critics have praised its mellow musicianship and Bloom's storytelling aesthetic. During the two years it took to record, Bloom would cycle from the Dublin home he shares with his long-time girlfriend ("She's a wonderful human being who has a terrible taste in men") to Windmill Lane Studios, a recording facility that has played host to everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Chieftains.

Since then he has built up his website, www.lukabloom.com for his international fan base, and been on tour, which brings him back to Australia. "I can't wait to get back there," he gushes. "I call Australians Paddies with suntans, cause I feel the Irish influence there runs very deep. I love the place."

Luka Bloom plays at the Melbourne Concert Hall on March 22.

Jane Cornwell
© Sunday Magazine - Sunday Herald Sun
Article from Alinta Davidson


The Advertiser - 18 March 2002

Luka Bloom
Music: Norwood Concert Hall


The Irishman and his resounding guitar, which are known to a devoted few and deserves greater recognition, treated Norwood Concert Hall to an invigorating two hours of natural charm and elevating performance.

Bloom puts not a strum wrong. His brogue soars through every facet of love, while his guitar sings a chiming, heavenly accompaniment. Jumping from inspired covers to toe-tappers and whimsical ballads, Bloom can even make lesser works live. Banter with the audience and sly commentary complete this consummate showman whose rich vocals will ring out for days to come.

*****
Live Review by Ben McEachen
www.theadvertiser.news.com.au


Time Off - Music Site - 19 March 2002

Luka Bloom

Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom is one of music's most-amiable chaps and has plenty to say during an interview for his forthcoming Australian tour. Just don't mention the weather… "Don't be annoying me! What is it, 30º down in Brisbane?", a chilly Luka Bloom asks from his Dublin home, albeit in the midst of a 35º-plus Queensland heatwave.

"Oh, that's a bit too much", he remarks, "but I'm really looking forward to [the tour]. I'm delighted I'm going back to the Tivoli and I'm delighted I'm also going to the Byron Bay Festival. This is my first ever Australian festival and I don't know how that's happened but I'm quite happy this is my first one - I believe it's a great festival." ....... "By the time Salty Heaven was done, I had no choice. I'm really glad it happened because I'm really enjoying this way of working. You'll never see me on Top Of The Pops but I have a healthy working life and I also have a life outside music. I like it."

Matt Connors
www.timeoff.com.au/archive/1064/stories/4.htm


The Age - 22 March 2002

One-man band

Luka Bloom: "I set out to challenge myself to learn songs by artists I'd never even listened to before..."

What happens when the tumult and the shouting dies down? What happens when, after nearly a decade of accolades and deeply appreciative audiences, you suddenly find you no longer have a contract with a multinational record company and your audiences are starting to thin out?

In the case of Luka Bloom, aka Barry Moore (younger brother of Irish folk singer Christy Moore), whose three albums for Reprise Records - Riverside (1990), The Acoustic Motorbike (1992) and Turf (1994) - were critically acclaimed around the world, you take stock, set up your own record label and quietly go back to doing what you always did. You see, "the Luka Bloom years" were one of those freaky things that sometimes happen in the record industry…

Luka Bloom plays at the Concert Hall tonight and the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival at Byron Bay over Easter.

Bruce Elder
www.theage.com.au


Revolver - 25 March 2002

A rovin' we will go
Goin' solo with Luka Bloom.

Luka Bloom, 46-year-old younger brother of Irish superstar, Christy Moore, chuckles at the familiarity with which he is greeted by some interviewers now. "There are about five or six people in Australia who I have these once-every-18-months chats with. I must get you guys to send me photographs."

This is actually the third interview in two years so we've got the average down to about one every eight months. But who's complaining? Not me.

Luka Bloom is as close to an adopted minstrel in the gallery as it gets without actually forcing him to take out Australian citizenship. His is a story that's always worth telling.

Luka, real name Barry Moore, changed the moniker in 1987 - the Christian name is adapted from Suzanne Vega's legendary song about child abuse, and the surname is taken from Leopold Bloom, the character in James Joyce's epic novel, 'Ulysses' - when he flew off to the US in search of something, probably not exactly fame and fortune because those twins aren't big in the Bloom way of thinking, rather just telling his folky tales to a larger audience. The Americans lapped it up and when he spread his strum to Europe and Australia, well, they both fell for him too.

So much so, his reworking of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" bounded up the charts in '92 and catalysed a tour of sold-out theatres around the country. Ever since, he's been welcomed back with open arms. Of course, not everything has gone exactly to plan. Despite three critically-acclaimed albums on Warners - the legendary "The Acoustic Motorbike", "Riverside" and "Turf" - Warners dropped him in 1994, then fellow major Sony followed suit after 1998's "Salty Heaven" failed to sell enough to impress the notoriously chart-conscious company. More fool them. Luka decided enough was enough, hopped on the Web, started up his own site and label [www.lukabloom.com], and popped out a lovely album of covers, "Keeper Of The Flame".

Praised? Of course. Better still is his first solo album for himself, "Between the Mountain and the Moon", by far his best, a beautiful, modern, special updating of the folk and story-telling tradition that loses none of his trademark emotion and lyricism. "I'm thrilled with it," he says. "Australia was the first country it was released in, and I'm so glad it was because the feedback has just been so positive. In fact, we've just released it in Ireland (remarkably, his home market is his most difficult market), and I feel very encouraged. Last year was quite remarkable for me because I set up the website, completed the record that I actually own and put in place a new structure for my working life. This year is the year I go on the road and see what happens. Everything is in place so I've just got to get out there now, do the shows, reacquaint myself with old friends and hopefully make a couple of new ones."

He's also ventured into the past in search of himself as Barry Moore.

Luka fanatics have long bemoaned the fact that the three albums he recorded under his own name have been impossible to get hold off. "In the case of two of the albums, the record companies had gone bust and in the third case, the record company were just complete assholes and wouldn't let me near the master tapes, so what I did was got my sound engineer to master a CD from really good quality, reasonably clean, straight vinyl, just to make those songs available."

"The Barry Moore Years" is available from his website and at his shows. "It's another area of creativity that has been opened up to me by not having to justify my existence to a record company." In fact, the sequence of records has all been a blooming masterplan. Luka laughs, "I have to admit now that I used "Keeper Of The Flame" as a test case to see how this new independent world worked for me. I wanted to make a record that gave me a creative kick in the arse - I needed it - but also was one into which I didn't have a huge emotional input because I would have been really devastated if I'd done "Between The Mountain And The Moon" first and it hadn't worked out. As it turned out "Keeper Of The Flame" got such a positive reaction that it gave me great momentum to do this second one."

And for once the world swung with Luka. In America a new acoustic consciousness is beginning to infiltrate an industry that has been dominated by artifice and teen dreams for too long. "In the '80s and '90s the phenomena of stadium music was all pervasive," Bloom says. "In the live arena stadium rock had an impact on the ability of more intimate venues to thrive and survive. I think that for a lot of people who love going to a live show, the experience of going to stadiums has proven to be somewhat shallow and unsatisfying. For that reason alone, people are being increasingly drawn to a more acoustic-oriented music."

"Another interesting development - and I think jazz is partly responsible for this - is a side effect of the whole hip-hop movement. A lot of hip-hop artists have collaborated with jazz musicians, so you these people who have worked with all kinds of house and hip-hop music working with high quality acoustic musicians who play jazz. In turn, that has opened jazz up to a lot of young people who previously would never have dreamt of buying a jazz record. These are some of the things that have drawn people back to acoustic sound."

Perfect for a keeper of the flame and a storyteller whose acoustic motorbike is all revved up and ready to strum.

Catch the acoustic magic of Luka Bloom on March 23 & 24 at Tilleys and March 26 at the Enmore.

Mike Gee

Article from Michael Power

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Concert Hall - Melbourne
Friday, 22 March 2002


Monsoon
You
Exploring The Blue
Gone To Pablo
I Need Love
Sunny Sailor Boy
Raglan Road
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Natural Mystic
Holy Ground
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Here And Now
Make You Feel My Love
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro
Rainbow Day
In Between Days
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Perfect Groove

Diamond Mountain
Throw Your Arms Around Me

Dancing Queen
Gabriel

Setlist: Janelle Koenig

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Tilley's Devine Cafe Gallery - Canberra
Sunday, 24 March 2002


Sunny Sailor Boy
Monsoon
Exploring The Blue
Gone To Pablo
You
Ciara
Rainbow Day
Blackberry Time
Natural Mystic
Make You Feel My Love
I'm a Bogman
Keeper of the Flame
Raglan Road
He'll Have To Go [Jim Reeves]
I Need Love
Bad
Water Ballerina
Dancing Queen

Diamond Mountain
The Fertile Rock
Throw Your Arms Around Me

True Blue
Gabriel

Setlist: Michael Power

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Enmore Theatre - Sydney
Tuesday, 26 March 2002


Sunny Sailor Boy
Gone To Pablo
You
I Need Love
Exploring The Blue
Diamond Mountain
Natural Mystic
Make You Feel My Love
Throw Your Arms Around Me
Bad
If I Were A Carpenter
Dancing Queen
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Ciara
Water Ballerina
Monsoon
Here And Now
Perfect Groove
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
I'm A Bogman
Rainbow Day
Raglan Road
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
True Blue
Gabriel

Setlist: Kieran Fitzpatrick

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Enmore Theatre - Sydney
Wednesday, 27 March 2002


Exploring The Blue
Gone To Pablo
Rescue Mission
Sunny Sailor Boy
Monsoon
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Here And Now
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Ciara
Blackberry Time
Natural Mystic
Keeper Of The Flame
Make You Feel My Love
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
I'm A Bogman
Bad
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro
Perfect Groove
In Between Days
I Need Love
Dancing Queen
Diamond Mountain
Throw Your Arms Around Me
Delirious
Raglan Road
Gabriel

Setlist: Michael Power

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Irish Echo - 11-24 April 2002

A sort of homecoming for Bloom

The Enmore Theatre in Sydney has a special place in Luka Bloom's heart. It was on that stage, he told the sell-out audience at his second Sydney Concert last week, where he performed for the first time in the southern hemisphere 10 years ago.

"So it always feels like coming home," he said.

Home these days, for the artist formerly known as Barry Moore, is Ireland - the place he left 20 years ago frustrated and poor. Having reinvented himself as Luka Bloom in the ex-pat bars of New York, the Kildareman developed a unique sound and style which has led to a loyal international following, nowhere stronger than in Australia.

At the Enmore last week, Bloom gave a low-key but attentive audience, a masterful smorgasbord of his impressive catalogue of songs. Also, as he is wont, the fortysomething singer songwriter included a few well-chosen covers - Mark Seymour's Aussie ballad classic Throw Your Arms Around Me, Abba's Dancing Queen and U2's Bad among others.

For one of his three encores he delivered a reverential treatment of the beautiful Raglan Road.

Of his own songs, devotees were treated to a virtual "best of" with Bloom masterpieces I Need Love (by LL Cool J), You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time, Exploring The Blue, I'm A Bogman and the superb Delirious from his debut album, Riverside.

The set was delivered with wit and style. Bloom's stage craft and banter rounds out his show into a thoroughly enjoyable night out.

He apologised to "Irish people in the audience" for the poster outside the theatre which declared him to be "Irelandís Foremost Songwriter". "Can you imagine", he asked, "Bono, Sinead and Van driving through Sydney and seeing that?"

Despite the modesty, Bloom is a polished performer with the talent, the intelligence and the material to deliver a great show.

BC
www.irishecho.com.au

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Thanks to Alinta Davidson, Janelle Koenig, Kieran Fitzpatrick & Michael Power
for setlists, flyer and articles of the Australian tour!

© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page