Luka Bloom > Tour Archive > U.S. Amsterdam Tour
Luka Bloom 09 May 2003  Chicago - Park West
10 May 2003  Loveland - Rialto Theater
12 May 2003  Los Angeles - Knitting Factory Hollywood
13 May 2003  Encino - KPFK Radio Session @ The Long House
14 May 2003  San Francisco - KFOG Private Concert
15 May 2003  San Francisco - Great American Music Hall
17 May 2003  Northampton - Iron Horse Music Hall
19 May 2003  Boston - McGann's
20 May 2003  Boston - McGann's
21 May 2003  Boston - McGann's
23 May 2003  New York City - WFUV Public Radio
23 May 2003  New York City - The Village Underground
24 May 2003  New York City - The Village Underground
27 May 2003  Morristown - Bickford Theatre - Morris Museum

Amsterdam NEW RELEASE: LUKA BLOOM!
Luka Bloom's first ever live release!

Amsterdam
...Known for his explosive and heart-felt live shows,
his fire is finally captured in this amazing live recording...

www.instinctrecords.com

Irish Voice - Thursday, 17 April 2003

Live Luka in Full Bloom

Luka Bloom's career has been blooming since he declared himself an independent in the record business, releasing three albums in as many years.

"It's a result of the freedom that comes from not being on a corporate timetable, and I love it," he says during a chat with the Irish Voice over the weekend. "There were a number of things I felt I had to do, like a compilation of my early stuff that some fans were asking me to put out (the CD is called The Barry Moore Years) and a live CD, which everyone has been asking me for."

Amsterdam is his newest disc, and it is the first live CD in a career that spans two decades. It is worth the wait, chock full of concert favorites like "You", "Sunny Sailor Boy", and "The Fertile Rock". The collection is peppered with a number of spirited covers. He claims Bob Marley's "Natural Mystic" as one of his own creations.

While Amsterdam is a wonderful memento of Luka's memorable concerts, it is no substitute for catching the man in the flesh. He is clearly enthused about his upcoming tour of the States, and our conversation, as usual, covered a number of topics that fueled his passion. One of his passions is taking a stand on the war with Iraq. He recorded a peace song called "I Am Not At War With Anyone" that is available for download on www.lukabloom.com. Here's what Christy Moore's younger brother had to say during our chat.

I KNOW you have resisted the urge to put out a live album. Why now? Why Amsterdam? What made that particular gig so special?

It was a special evening. My two favorite cities to play, oddly enough, are Amsterdam and New Amsterdam, which is New York. I love the people there. The gig happened on a cold Monday in February. I was in good form, the great people who work in the venue made sure the sound was amazing, and the people came out in the mood to sing. I think in life something special happens when you least expect it, and it can happen just because you reported for duty.

How do you feel when you hear all the hits come together like that? Well, it 's live and not a greatest hits thing. With a live recording, I hate listening to it, and it's like pulling teeth trying to get me to do it. In fact, it took me a couple of months to get around to listening to the tape. I cannot be an objective person listening to it, the way a fan in the audience can. With the Amsterdam performance, I caught myself slipping into that objectivity, which was great!

I also had two groups of people that came to the gigs asking two different questions. When are you going to do a live album? When are you going to do a covers album of other people's songs? So, in this three-year period, I have been able to satisfy the fans with a lot of material that they were asking for. It's great to have that independence. I suppose the only downside of not being on a label is that you have to shell out the money yourself for the studio time. There's no one waving a big check in front of you.

I also had two groups of people that came to the gigs asking two different questions. When are you going to do a live album? When are you going to do a covers album of other people's songs? So, in this three-year period, I have been able to satisfy the fans with a lot of material that they were asking for. It's great to have that independence. I suppose the only downside of not being on a label is that you have to shell out the money yourself for the studio time. There's no one waving a big check in front of you.

Are there any plans to dip into the piggy bank to cut a new record anytime soon? No! I'm not going near a studio! I'm going to concentrate on some of these live gigs so I can start selling all these CDs that I made (laughs). Having said that, I have been writing like mad. So, don't be a bit surprised if I change course and go into the studio this year. At the moment, I don't see myself going into the studio for at least a year.

You did go into the studio to do an anti-war song, "I Am Not at War With Anyone". How did that come about? I know it's a bit dicey for artists coming out against the war these days.

The song came out because I had all these feelings about the war and I wanted to personalize it for myself. I think that war is the failure of humanity. I've been amazed at the reaction to the song. People have downloaded it off the site and it has turned up on the air! Some independent radio stations have been picking it up, and it is great to see.

There is a bit of tension with Irish and Irish Americans that has been widely reported in this paper. Heck, a non-political person like me even wrote about the hostility I found being American in Dublin when I was there in January. It is a bit brave to be Irish and singing about not liking this American war.

I'm sorry you found hostility here. Most of the people I know that have protested are deeply in love with America. It's almost like having a friend that you have a close relationship with and you have to take a stand on something that person is doing that you disagree with. It's not like you stop the friendship, because true friends can have that dialogue and don't always have to agree.

I suppose we as a people feel ill at ease and want to remain neutral. The hostility you may have felt is more like a disappointment and not directed solely at America. We are directing it at the U.K. and our own government, which is cleverly pussy-footing around the topic while allowing U.S. planes to refuel on our soil. As I've said, war is the failure of humanity, and the Irish do not want our soil to be the launching pad for war.

Having said that, I am not anti-American. I love America deeply, and I think it's critical that I emphasize that. I love being there, I love the fans, and I love playing there. I love the musicians that came from America.

So, there's been no backlash? No, none at all. How can anyone get angry with the song? It just says "I am not at war with anyone!" It is a simple song that comes from love.

I see where you're playing a festival in Lisdoonvarna with your brother and Suzanne Vega this summer. PLEASE bring that roster to America. (Long pause) You know, that's not a bad idea! The last time they did this festival was 20 years ago, and myself and Christy are the only people on the bill that were on the original one. It should be a blast. How is Christy getting on?

He's great! He's taking good care of himself, and really enjoying his music. He does a few gigs here and there, no pressure. He's having a great time. Are you looking forward to this trip to plug the live CD?

I am. I love playing in the Village Underground. Greenwich Village is a unique force in the world. Right around the block from the Underground is the Red Lion, where I got my start, so the neighborhood is special to me. My gig there coincides with my birthday, so it is really a present to myself!

Luka Bloom tour dates: 5/9 Park West, Chicago; 5/10 Rialto Theatre, Loveland, Colorado; 5/12 Knitting Factory L.A.; 5/13 Great American Music Hall, San Francisco; 5/19-21 McGann’s of Boston; 5/23-24 Village Underground, New York; 5/27 Bickford Theater, Morristown, New Jersey.

Mike Farragher
www.irishabroad.com/news/irishinamerica/entertainment


Irish Voice - Thursday, 15 May 2003

Win Luka Tix!

Luka Bloom will make a rare radio appearance on WFUV on May 23 at 8 a.m. The show will coincide with his gigs at the Village Underground that evening. A second show on May 24 has been added. This is a tour in support of his excellent new live CD, Amsterdam.

Would you like to see Luka Bloom when he plays in New York on May 23 and 24? The Irish Voice has a pair of tickets to each show to give away to lucky readers...... Good Luck.

www.irishabroad.com/news/irishinamerica/entertainment

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Park West - Chicago
Friday, 9 May 2003


Here And Now
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Make You Feel My Love
Diamond Mountain
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Gone To Pablo
Rescue Mission
Primavera
Raglan Road
Natural Mystic
Rainbow Day
Monsoon
Ciara
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Perfect Groove
Sunny Sailor Boy
Exploring The Blue
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time

Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
I Need Love
Fertile Rock
Gabriel
City of Chicago

Setlist: Evan Cater

Support Act: The Children's Hour

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Rialto Theater - Loveland, Colorado
Saturday, 10 May 2003

Celtic Events and Entertainment presents
Luka Bloom - Celtic guitarist; May 10, 8 pm.

Luka Bloom is an Irish performer whose trademark is his thunderous and exhilarating acoustic guitar playing, his fine voice and his warm and passionate delivery of songs that reflect the dreams and experiences of the Irish people.

www.ci.loveland.co.us/rialto/rialto.htm


Luka Bloom
With Special Guest Katie Herzig

Luka Bloom will return to Colorado May 10 with a new live album. He has resisted for years requests from his worldwide fan base to release a live album. "I've been slow to come round to this idea, partly because I'm not generally a fan of live albums," explained Luka, "All the clapping, whistling etc. can seem intrusive to the music, and lets face it, you're not there!" But if you were there - or any other Luka concert you would understand his fans plea. A Luka Bloom concert is an amazing experience that you want to bottle and take home.

Like most artists, Luka’s music is often influenced and reflected by his surroundings. According to critic Christina Roden, "His many long stays in the U.S. have given his songwriting a cosmopolitan, urban soft-rock, neo-folk blend. Even so, his point of view as a lyricist remains specifically Irish even as the concerns he addresses speak from a wider experience."

www.celticevents.com


The Fort Collins Coloradoan - Thursday, May 08, 2003

Ireland's Luka Bloom returns to U.S. for tour

At his home in the countryside of Ireland, guitarist Luka Bloom packed Tuesday to take on another tour of the U.S. The closest city to his home is Dublin. "But where I live is very different from Dublin. I'm sitting here looking at a couple of wild rabbits out the window. Where I live is closer to Loveland than Dublin."

...From his vocal experimenting and guitar strumming, one senses a world traveler drawing from many influences............ "The important change in the way my music life has evolved is that now I can eat from it," he said. "It was pretty miserable for a good number of years. Unlike with many of these young artist that have success with their first album and gradually disappear. Only when I went to America in 1987, things started to change and I began to perform all over America, Australia and Europe.".......

Bloom returns with his first live album, "Amsterdam".

The Irish-born musician never thought of doing a live album, but after listening to recordings of a concert, he knew the time was right..

On stage: Luka Bloom performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Rialto Theater, 228 E. 4th St. in Loveland. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. It's an all-ages show. All seats are reserved. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. Information: 962-2120.

Anna Maria Basquez
vh80003.vh8.infi.net/entertainment

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Digital City: Los Angeles

Luka Bloom:
Irish storyteller shares classic folk tunes at Knitting Factory
.

Irish folk musician embraces world. - Luka Bloom is raw. Not that his music isn't exquisite, mind you - Bloom is as accomplished a folk artist as you'll find anywhere on the planet. No, Luka Bloom is raw in the sense that he is drawn to the earliest essence of the folk movement. He sounds a lot more like Arlo Guthrie than Paul Simon. In fact, Luka Bloom might be the only person besides Billy Bragg who embodies this early folk methodology so exquisitely. Nothing is 'produced,' songs are only sung as a way to tell stories. The Irish folk singer (and younger brother of famed Irish musician Christy Moore) has moved around a bit, with residencies in Washington D.C. and New York, before returning to his native Dublin a few years back. Bloom's fascination with America and travels around the globe give him a broad perspective, allowing him to embrace and interpret many styles and points of view. He can easily tackle Irish traditional music one moment, then turn on a dime and reinvent a bizarre assortment of rock and pop covers the next. (His reworking of ABBA's "Dancing Queen" is priceless.) More than anything, Luka Bloom is 100% real, and his concerts are both poignant and uplifting.... - P. Porter

www.digitalcity.com/losangeles

Knitting Factory Hollywood - Los Angeles
Monday, 12 May 2003


Here and Now
Make You Feel My Love
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Primavera
Diamond Mountain
Holy Ground
Ciara
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Raglan Road
Natural Mystic
Monsoon
Gone To Pablo
Rescue Mission
Rainbow Day
Perfect Groove
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Sunny Sailor Boy
Exploring The Blue
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour

Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
I Need Love

The Fertile Rock
Gabriel

Setlist: Lee Ann Smelser

Support Act: Vienna Teng

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KPFK - Pacifica Radio - Southern California
FolkScene Schedule of Special Features for September 2003

Saturday, 13 September 2003
Howard Larman: Interview with Luka Bloom
Songs
(Live)
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Here And Now
Make You Feel My Love
Primavera
Diamond Mountain
Gone To Pablo
Sunny Sailor Boy
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are


The Special Feature Luka Bloom recorded for FolkScene
at The Long House, Encino, CA, May 13, 2003
www.folkscene.com/playlists/

FolkScene is a program of traditional and contemporary music featuring live
music, interviews, remote recordings, and the finest in recorded music.
Hosts & Producer: Roz & Howard Larman
www.folkscene.com -- www.kpfk.org
KFOG Radio, San Francisco, California
Wednesday, 14 May 2003

Join KFOG for a Private Concert with Luka Bloom in the KFOG PlaySpace,
Wednesday, May 14, at 1:00 pm.

KFOG Private Concert with Luka Bloom
KFOG Photo Gallery

The respected Irish folk singer is known for his highly engaging stage presence
and richly layered acoustic songs, making him a big draw here on San Francisco
stages,and a favorite on KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise....

www.kfog.com/PrivateConcerts/LukaBloom/default.asp


KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise
Sunday, June 1st, 9:00 am

Luka Bloom, a KFOG Private Concert
recorded in the PlaySpace on May 14th.

Here And Now
Make You Feel My Love
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Primavera
Exploring The Blue
Monsoon
Perfect Groove
Sunny Sailor Boy

www.kfog.com & 104.5/97.7 fm

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San Francisco Chronicle - Sunday, May 11, 2003

An Irish bard's song
Musician Luka Bloom gaining wider audience


First, his name. Luka Bloom knows it sounds pretentious, but there's a good explanation: It was 1987, and Bloom - a singer-songwriter-guitarist born and raised in Ireland - was getting ready to move to the United States. A new start deserved a new identity, he thought, so he traded his birth name (Barry Moore) for one that combined a Suzanne Vega song ("My Name Is Luka") with the central character from James Joyce's Ulysses (Leopold Bloom).

"I felt a need to give myself a psychological kick in the ass, so I would have the feeling of not being this formerly struggling guy," says Bloom, who performs Thursday at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. "This was a couple of years after Sting left the Police.... I remember people wondering how he would do, starting this whole other career. I remember thinking, 'That's what I need to do.' It was about rejuvenation, and wanting an anonymous, seriously pretentious identity for my music that had little or nothing to do with my personality but that would just focus people's attention on my work."

POWERFUL STORIES
Bloom succeeded. In the United States, where he lived until 1991, Bloom recorded "Riverside" and drew a wider audience of American fans who embraced songs with powerful stories such as "The Man Is Alive", about a father who lives on in his son. It's not easy to classify Bloom's music. Folk? Rootsy? Pop-like? Folk comes the closest, but even that doesn't adequately represent someone who will cross genres and who recorded rapper LL Cool J's "I Need Love" in 1992. Bloom, who usually performs onstage alone, thinks of himself as a "troubadour", comparing himself to artists like Richard Thompson.

"It's an area that used to bother me," Bloom says. "Particularly when I went to America in 1987, I always had the feeling that being described as a folksinger meant that your music was going to be put into this little category in the back of the store, where four people would get to hear you. I think the labeling of artists is a device that's used by record companies and stores so that they can figure out where to slot your stuff.

"I don't have any problem philosophically with being regarded as a folksinger," he adds. "I would regard everyone from Lou Reed to Eminem as being folk artists, in a certain sense. Whereas folk music for a lot of young people is something that comes out of a museum, for me, folk music only has any value when it's relevant to today. At that level, I'm happy to be regarded as a folksinger."

Bloom, who turns 48 later this month, has been performing since he was 14, when he supported his eldest brother, Christy Moore, on a folk tour of Ireland.

Bloom's career is still building. He's not someone whose name is widely recognizable, nor is he someone who plays stadium concerts, but he has a loyal following around the world. Such is his reputation that in 1993, when Reed was looking for singers to help celebrate the birthday of the Bottom Line club in New York, he invited Bloom (along with David Byrne and Rosanne Cash). Bloom likes the fact that he can still be "discovered" by fans - and that he still has a passion for songwriting and performing.

VERY GRATEFUL
"I'm very grateful," Bloom says. "One of the advantages of what one could mildly call a 'slow-building career' is that you never lose a sense of gratitude that something finally clicked. I don't appear on MTV. I don't appear on Billboard charts. In that sense, in the music world I'm slightly beneath the radar, but I'm one of these people who's managed to carve out a working life.

"There are many singers nowadays who have big hits with their first albums in their early 20s, and where do they go?" he adds. "It must be an awful shock to them four or five years later, when they're still only in their late 20s, to find themselves struggling with smaller numbers coming to their shows or buying their records. It's been the exact opposite for me. As I've gotten older, the wider my audience has become. I just find it wonderful."

Bloom produces his own records. He has been with major labels, but he prefers the control he has with a small operation where he decides what songs to play and how to play them. Last month, Bloom released his first live album in America, "Amsterdam", which captures him in an acoustic setting at a Netherlands theater. The album features earlier Bloom favorites, such as "Delirious" ("I wanna fly on a high trapeze.... Hope there is a dove waiting to fly with me") and "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself". It's the sort of acoustic experience for which Bloom is famous.

"The weird thing is that people have been asking me for years to do a live album, and, whether it was false modesty or stupidity, I just didn't get it," he says.

Three months ago, Bloom moved from his home in Dublin to the Irish countryside, where he lives, as he puts it, "in a field". After spending much of his adult life in Dublin, he loves being in nature, where he can look outside his window and see grazing cows. Ireland's pristine beauty is one reason he moved back there 12 years ago. In the early 1980s, Bloom performed at Irish anti-nuclear festivals to keep his country free of nuclear plants.

"That was a really exciting time in Ireland," he says. "That was a time of great awakening - and one of the few times in recent Irish history when we fought a major cause in our society and actually won it. We succeeded in keeping Ireland nuclear-free. It's one of the few countries in the Western world that can say that."

REPRESENTING HOPE
Speaking by telephone from his home before beginning a U.S. tour that will take him to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities, Bloom says that the United States will always represent hope to him. He grew up listening to James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young ("I love their guitar playing") and other artists who, if not born in the United States, nurtured their careers here.

"In America," he says, "I had an instant feeling of enthusiasm and optimism and hope and all those things. There's a positivity about America that's infectious. I instantly felt that."

The singer performs at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco. Tickets: $20 advance, $22 at the door, $38. 95 with dinner. Call (415) 478-2277 or go to musichallsf.com. For more about Luka Bloom, go to lukabloom.com.

Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writer
www.sfgate.com

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Iron Horse Music Hall - Northampton
Saturday, 17 May 2003


I Am Not At War With Anyone
Who Knows
Here And Now
Sunny Sailor Boy
Fertile Rock
Primavera
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Raglan Road
Diamond Mountain
Dreams In America
Perfect Groove
Exploring The Blue
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
Holy Ground
Natural Mystic
Gone To Pablo
Ciara
Delirious
Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
Rainbow Day
I'm a Bogman
Healing Time

Setlist: Vicky Romani

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McGanns McGann's - Boston
Monday, 19 May 2003


I Am Not At War With Anyone
True Blue
Monsoon
Make You Feel My Love
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Who Knows?
Primavera
Ciara
If I Were A Carpenter
I'm A Bogman
Blackberry Time
Holy Ground
Perfect Groove
Raglan Road
Sunny Sailor Boy
Dreams In America
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
As I Waved Goodbye
Gabriel

Setlist: Paula Diemer

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WUMB - Folk Radio in Boston
Tuesday, 20 May 2003

LIVE AT NOON:
Luka Bloom returns to Live at Noon today. This phenomenal singer, songwriter,
and guitarist from Ireland has been a huge favorite on the international folk scene
for years. He's adventurous in his music and a marvelous performer.
Listen in as Luka talks with Marilyn Rea Beyer and performs live on the air.

wumb.org


McGann's - Boston
Tuesday, 20 May 2003


Diamond Mountain
Blackberry Time
Monsoon
If I Were A Carpenter
Gone to Pablo
Rescue Mission
Sanas
Make You Feel My Love
The Water Is Wide
Primavera
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Who Knows?
Ciara
Here and Now
I'm A Bogman
Raglan Road
Sunny Sailor Boy
Water Ballerina
The Acoustic Motorbike
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
I Need Love
The Man Is Alive
The Hill of Allen / The Man Is Alive

Setlist: Paula Diemer


McGann's - Boston
Wednesday, 21 May 2003


If I Were A Carpenter
Gone to Pablo
Dreams In America
Diamond Mountain
Monsoon
Sunny Sailor Boy
Keeper Of The Flame
Holy Ground
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Primavera
The Water Is Wide
Summer Friends
Here and Now
Natural Mystic
Ciara
I'm A Bogman
I Need Love
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
The Fertile Rock
Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
Dancing Queen
As I Waved Goodbye
Bad

Setlist: Paula Diemer

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WFUV 90.7 FM
City Folk

Public Radio from Fordham University,
New York City

Friday, 23 May 2003
Claudia Marshall welcomes Luka Bloom to Studio A.
Interview with Luka Bloom
Songs:

Sunny Sailor Boy (Amsterdam)
Make You Feel My Love (Live)
Here And Now (Live)
Monsoon (Live)
Delirious (Amsterdam)

www.lukabloom.com/audio_video.asp
Real One Player
WFUV Audio Archives:
City Folk Sunday Breakfast

Sunday, 29 June 2003
with host John Platt from 8-11 am
Music of Mississippi John Hurt and guest Luka Bloom.
Interview with Luka Bloom
Songs:

Exploring The Blue (Live)
Sunny Sailor Boy (Amsterdam)
Gone To Pablo (Live)
Natural Mystic (Keeper Of The Flame)
I Need Love (The Acoustic Motorbike)
Primavera (Live)

Check out the WFUV Photo Gallery and the
WFUV Audio Archives: City Folk Sunday Breakfast
www.wfuv.org - Windows Media Player
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The Village Underground, New York

An Evening with LUKA BLOOM
...A master interpreter, Bloom has continued to balance original songs with reinventions of tunes by a diverse range of songwriters. His reworking of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" transformed the song from its hip-hop origins to a brogue-inflected folk tune...... Moving to the United States, Bloom temporarily settled in the Washington, D.C., area. His first performance at a Georgetown pub led to a six-month residency, where he honed his new act. Bloom's reputation as a skilled guitarist and uplifting performer continued to grow. Accepting a second residency at the Red Lion in New York's Greenwich Village, he began to shuttle between the two clubs. By the end of the year, he had elected to make New York him home. The decision proved fortuitous when his show at the Red Lion was caught by a talent scout from Reprise, who signed him to the label... - Craig Harris

Performing at The Village Underground
May 23, 2003 8:30 PM, $25
May 24, 2003 7:30 PM, $25
www.thevillageunderground.com

The Village Underground - New York
Friday, 23 May 2003


Here and Now
Make You Feel My Love
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Primavera
The Water Is Wide
Diamond Mountain
Blackberry Time
Ciara
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Raglan Road
Holy Ground
Natural Mystic
Dreams in America
Gone to Pablo
Monsoon
Rainbow Day
Sunny Sailor Boy
Perfect Groove
I Need Love
Delirious

I Am Not At War With Anyone (with the new lyric)
Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
I'm a Bogman

Exploring the Blue
I'll Walk Beside You (a cappella)

Setlist: Denise Smith

Support Act: Amy Cooper

Irish Voice - Live Review - 05 Jun 2003

Bloom's Day

"I'm playing the Village Underground on my birthday, 'cos it’s a present to myself." That's how Luka Bloom described his Amsterdam tour stop in the Big Apple recently, and he provided his fans with a gift that kept on giving during an unforgettable two-hour set.

"I need you to turn down the air conditioning," he ordered from the stage as he tuned his guitar. "I want to get hot and sweaty with my friends in New York." With that, he tore into "Here and Now", and it seemed like a battle call to arms that led to a seemingly endless parade of hits. He has a gift of interpretation; Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love", Bob Marley's "Natural Mystic", and traditional tunes like "The Water is Wide" and a stirring "Raglan Road" were some of the evening's highlights.

The crowd greeted Luka with thunderous applause when he broke out the LL Cool J tune that put Bloom on the map, "I Need Love". The man is certainly no slouch in the original compositions department. When you're the younger brother of Christy Moore, it's inevitable that some phenomenal songs will spring from your head.

Bloom played "Diamond Mountain" with a supple heartache, and tore into the frantic "Delirious" with a boyish enthusiasm. "I know you're complaining about the rain," he said with mock sympathy. "You'll be glad for this cool rain during the hot city summer. Here's a tune that is an ode to love and heavy rain." He launched into the playful "Love Is A Monsoon", and proceeded to bring down the house.

Bloom told "Off the Record" last month that he had no intention of entering a studio anytime soon, though he did reveal that he was "writing like mad". He took the opportunity to introduce a handful of new compositions, and they include "Mohammed", a story of a Middle Eastern man who is seduced by the sounds of an Irish fiddle and moves to Galway. It is a gentle commentary, according to the singer, of how modern day Ireland does not welcome immigrants into their borders after other countries have been so welcoming of the Irish people into theirs.

"Primavera" is a saucy ditty inspired by the singer's recent obsession with Portuguese music. The entire crowd broke into a singalong during the antiwar tune, "I Am Not At War With Anyone". Playing his new live CD, Amsterdam, is a no substitute to seeing the man play live, though it is an excellent representation of his flammable concert power. To order, log onto www.lukabloom.com.

www.irishabroad.com/news/irishinamerica/entertainment
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The Village Underground - New York
Saturday, 24 May 2003


Exploring the Blue
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
Monsoon
If I Were A Carpenter
Rainbow Day
Sunny Sailor Boy
In Between Days
Holy Ground
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Natural Mystic
Ciara
Make You Feel My Love
The Water Is Wide
Primavera
Here And Now
I'm A Bogman
The Acoustic Motorbike
Perfect Groove
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time

Bad
I Need Love

As I Waved Goodbye

Setlist: Tony Calcia

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WNTI 91.1 FM - Hackettstown, NJ
Listener supported Freeform Radio from Centenary College [www.wnti.org]
Sunday, 25 May - 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Ralph's "Rough Draft Radio Program" feat. Irish musician Luka Bloom.

Bickford Theatre - Morris Museum - Morristown
Tuesday, 27 May 2003


Here And Now
Make You Feel My Love
The Water Is Wide
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Primavera
Diamond Mountain
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Blackberry Time
Ciara
No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
Raglan Road
Natural Mystic
If I Were A Carpenter
Monsoon
Rainbow Day
Sunny Sailor Boy
Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends (Kris Kristofferson)
Perfect Groove
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time

Don't Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You
Exploring The Blue
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour

Setlist: Karen Johnson

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12 June 2003 - Luka Bloom

...Throughout, my new label in the US, Instinct Records, were incredibly enthusiastic and helpful,
and I thank them for that. Thank you Niall, and Paddy Doherty for making this such a good tour.
Thank you Paul for making me sound good, a unique challenge! And to the new and older friends
who made us welcome in the US, thanks to ye all too,.........
... this visit to the US was special because of the circumstances surrounding it, and I want to
acknowledge that, and to say thanks to all who encouraged me to do the tour.
See ye soon!
Special thanks to Alice, Cindy, Deborah, Denise, Evan, Jeannie, Karen,
Lee Ann, Paula, Tony & Vicky for their contributions!

© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page