The Scotsman - Celtic Connections - Mon 29 Jan 2007
Musicians of the world unite as Glasgow parties
DERVISH WITH LUKA BLOOM
Sligo-based Dervish have been chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision
Song Contest in May....... Alternating songs and tunes, they delivered a toe-tapping
folk set with their own distinct flavour.
The other half of this Irish double bill, singer-songwriter Luka Bloom, performed
an astonishingly wide-ranging set of songs, beginning with a political song about the
Iraq war and taking in mermaids, asylum seekers and a romantic rap number, before
finishing with the inspiration of Nelson Mandela.
Bloom has worked hard to stand clear of the shadow of his elder brother, Christy Moore,
developing his own unique, and occasionally eccentric, style.
It will be a revelation to some that it was he, and not Christy, who penned the
song City of Chicago (*) and that he is reclaiming it on his new
album (TRIBE) due out next month.
What stays most powerfully in the mind, however, is 'No Matter Where You Go,
There You Are', inspired by an Algerian friend who fled his homeland and has
forged a new life making fiddles in Galway. It's a song of rainbow-nationality,
which sounds both Irish and Arabic: a marvellous piece of songwriting.
© The Scotsman
(* The song appeared on the album INNOCENCE in 2005.)
Evening Times - 01 February 2007
Celtic Connections Reviews
Luka Bloom & Dervish, ABC
It is tough for any musician living in the shadow of a successful older sibling - and
when the shadow is cast by the legendary Irish singer/songwriter Christy Moore,
the task verges on awesome.
But "follow that" is exactly what Luka Bloom has done - and in the
course of a typically Irish nomadic lifestyle has forged his own musical identity.
His performance at the ABC included songs inspired by subjects as diverse as
Nelson Mandela, the coming of spring, the Iraq invasion, his first visit to
Australia and his home in Ireland.
Even his name marks his individuality. Born Kevin Barry Moore he left for
the US in the 80s and decided to reinvent himself.
Luka is from the song "My Name is Luka" by Suzanne Vega and his
surname is taken from Leopold Bloom, hero of James Joyce's Ulysses.
The opening number, I'm Not at War With Anyone was written in
protest at the invasion of Iraq but the biggest applause was reserved for
I'm a Bogman, reflecting his roots in the south of Ireland.
Bloom was followed on stage by Celtic Connections veterans Dervish, a
six-piece folk band from County Sligo and this year's Irish representatives
in the Eurovision Song Contest.
They upped the ante with some good old-fashioned foot-stomping, dancing
in the aisles numbers.
© Evening Times
Whitby Gazette - News - Friday, 20 April 2007
Irish star to appear at popular festival
Folk fans from far and wide are expected to flock to Whitby for the town's
annual Moor and Coast Festival next month.
The popular festival, which is in its 11th year, is being held at various
events in town over the Bank Holiday Weekend on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and
Sunday 6 May.
Artistic director Chris Roper said he is really pleased with the
organisation of this year's event and a fantastic line-up.
"We can guarantee a great event," he said.
Making a rare UK appearance at the event, which has firmly established
itself on the folk festival calendar, is Irish folk singer, songwriter and
musician Luka Bloom - brother of folk legend Christy Moore and other
supporting acts, many of whom headline other festivals.
Concerts will be held at Whitby Community College, the Friendship Rowing
Club and on board the Grand Turk ship in the harbour which will be ticket
Festival director Glen Rogers said the festival tries to give its audiences
a wide variety of music and experiences.
"We try to be a bit different from other traditional folk festivals by
including more contemporary music," he said.
"We have built up an audience base which trusts our taste in music, even
though many times they may not have seen or heard the act before.
Ticket sales are strong again this year, hopefully making this the third
year in a row for a sell-out festival."
Artists lined up to play the festival include Luka Bloom, Scottish folk band
Back of the Moon, contemporary folk duo Ember, the John Wright Band, Elbow
Jane and the Hall Brothers including many more.
Local performers this year include Roger Sutcliffe, Whitby sea shanty
singers Coblers Monday, the Widdershins Celidh Band and renowned Whitby
piano accordanist Chris Parkinson, who will be playing with the Pipers Sons.
For more information about Moor and Coast Festival visit
www.moorandcoast.co.uk or call (01947) 820408.
by Staff Copy
Krant van West-Vlaanderen - Friday, 29 June 2007
We have a lot in common.
Miller - Steven Mulier - from Izegem spoke to his idol Luka Bloom
Brussels/Izegem - Steven Mulier from Izegem recorded - under the alias
Miller - the single 'Lisa Lisa',
which gets frequent airplay on Radio1. Steven changed his musical course
after hearing his idol Luka Bloom years ago, during a live performance.
We brought them together in Brussels, and Miller asked the questions.
Miller: The cover of your new album
TRIBE is a photograph of
children playing on a beach. Was it taken on Bishop's Quarter Beach,
your spiritual home?
Luka Bloom: The picture was indeed taken there two years ago, on a sunny
Sunday afternoon. I photographed some children playing with their parents
in the water. I didnít intend to make a silhouette, I just made a picture facing
the sun. But at home I was rather impressed with the result. Originally I had
a very different idea for the cover of the new album, but it didnít work out.
M: Thereís a new wind blowing through your music. In your new
songs I heard electronic experiments and other influences. Is that caused by
a new producer, or some other changes in your life?
LB: It's a combination of both. I collaborated closely with some living
about 20 km from Bishop's Quarter. He does this semi-electronic music. I gave
him all control. Only afterwards I judged the recordings, after all, itís my record.
Although Iím very open to innovations, I obviously play the guitar and arrange
the other instruments, like the cello.
M: The song 'Change' is a good illustration of that ideaÖ
LB: Correct, 'Change' is different, but it sounds good. The world needs
changes. I donít want to do the same thing over and over again. After ten
albums, I donít want to repeat myself.
M: How do you bring these songs to a stage? Can we expect a band supporting you?
LB: Yesterday I introduced my band during a
concert in Amsterdam.
Paddy Apple is what I call my laptop, which I use for three songs. The rest is
just me on a stage.
M: Two years ago I was at a concert of yours in Ghent. It was different,
it felt like something went wrong. Is that a correct remark?
LB: Well noticed! Some years ago I had severe problems with my muscles,
my wrist and my voice. It was a sign that I had to change, after more than 20
years of non-stop performing full off power. For six months, I did absolutely nothing
at all: I didnít sing, play or write. After that, I had to learn all that anew, like a
child learning to walk. So now I play and sing in an easier way.
Suddenly, Luka Bloom takes over the interview.
LB: I see you brought your guitar with you, want to try a song for me?
M: I'd love to. The first time I saw you, was on Rock Torhout, on the 4th of July 1992.
That concert really touched my. You gave my a direction. At age 32 you started your
carreer. Iím that age now, and Iím a singer-songwriter at the same spot. After two
singles, White Pictures and Lisa Lisa, I'll release my debut album Flattering Eyes by
the end of this year. But to come back to your so-called band, where's Judy, your
white guitar. I haven't seen her in a while.
LB: The last months I did play her again. I even wrote some new songs
with her. And since youíre asking: you're right, I'll bring them to concerts again.
M: You keep performing without a band. Is there a reason for that?
LB: My music, my songs, my way of working are all very important to me.
I need contact with my audience. I'll never say that I wonít tour with a band. But
it's important to find the right musicians. Who knows, you could be part of itÖ (laughs)
M: Every time I hear you during concerts or interviews, you're like a mirror
to me. After years of trying to make it as a singer-songwriter, I'm going in the same
direction. But it isn't easy in Belgium.
LB: Nice to hear that. We seem to have a lot in common. It is hard to find a record label.
I went through that. Years went by without me making any progress. I recorded songs,
but nobody noticed. Until 1986. Then I wrote 'Delirious', 'Gone to Pablo' and 'Rescue Mission'.
Good songs, which led me in a new direction. I decided to try my luck in America. And it
worked. At the beginning, I had absolutely nothing, just a guitar and some clothes.
I played pubs. Ten weeks after my arrival, I had played all over New York. The name
Luka Bloom became familiar.
M: That must have been an exhilarating experience?
LB: Absolutely. I was 32 but felt like being 18. Full of fire, full of energy and power.
I had this kind of positive anger inside of me.
M: Just like me, nowÖ (laughs)
LB: (laughs as hard) You look like a fine guy, quite passionate and perhaps with the same positive
madness. Perhaps you too have songs that are about anger, of a well-determined message.
M: I write with a certain depth, not always heavy, but always with a message and a peaceful touch.
LB: Can I give you some advice? Itís hard to get noticed, to be original amongst others.
Still you need that, as an artist. The most important thing is to ask yourself the question:
Who am I? Donít mind all the rest. Go your own way, as a singer-songwriter. Itís not easy,
but it works, believe me.
M: Perhaps we can work together someday?
LB: Who knows? I'll think about it. By the way, your guitar is lovely.
I would love to have one myselfÖ
M: That's what I think about your white guitar. Perhaps we can
trade when weíre together on stage?
LB: We said a lot of things to think about, letís stay in touch.
The farewell was heartfelt. Miller gave a copy of his new single, a letter and an
invitation for future collaboration. Luka checked if his email address was there
as well. Perhaps weíll hear about them in the future?
www.lukabloom.com | www.millermusicsite.com
Krant van West-Vlaanderen
Article from Karl Catteeuw
The Irish World - 22 August 2007
The folk-rock troubadour Luka Bloom tells SHELLEY MARSDEN about his adventures
in electronica, and why it's important to hold on to a childlike innocenceÖ
Christy Moore's little brother, Luka Bloom has been on the folk-rock scene for as long as I
can remember. And he has never settled into an easy complacency, testing himself and the
expectations of fans with each new release. Think about it - anyone who changes his name
from Barry Moore to Luka Bloom (a tribute both to the Suzanne Vega song about child abuse
and to the main character of James Joyce's Ulysses) isn't going to be an uncomplicated kind
Luka became a big name here in the 90s, but his profile then faded a little as he focused
his greatest efforts on touring America, Australia, and the rest of Europe. It is only really
with his latest album Tribe, which enjoys its official UK launch at London's Pigalle Club on
September 3rd that Luka has decided to concentrate on an audience closer to home.
A beautiful, reflective collection of songs, Bloom's inspiration for the record, particularly
the title track, come from the Dalai Lama quote, "I hope that you at this moment will think
of yourself as a human being rather than as an American, Asian, European, African, or member
of any particular country. These loyalties are secondary. If you and I find common ground
as human beings, we will communicate on a basic level."
When I call him up in his Clare [Kildare] home, it is clear Luka has clean forgotten about our interview.
"Oh Jesus, yes!" he twigs. "I was just out in my music room there writing a big hit
single, and I took a pause, heard the phone ringing and came diving out!" I am instantaneously
greeted with the warmth and humour that characterises our chat, and I suspect Luka's dealings
with people in general. He has a very winning blend of infectious enthusiasm and auto-critique.
"I'm perpetually writing hits that nobody ever listens to", he says, laughing.
"That's alright though, as long as they're making me happy."
And they evidently are. The reason he's feeling particularly good about himself right now is Tribe,
"a mad kind of record that I never expected to make." It steps away from the general
concept of a Luka Bloom album - the frenetic, strumming guitar style, and is a big nod to his
lesser-known love of electronica. "Iíve always had a sneaking regard for people who work
in that area of music, who create something that can never really be replicated live,"
he explains. "Quirky people, like Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno. I've never ever touched on till
now, but I've always loved it."
It was two years ago, when somebody happened to play Luka an album called Tide Lines,
that he was introduced to the music of Simon O'Reilly, who was also living Co Clare.
"Heís in this world of his own, a guy who creates this hugely eccentric music."
Luka loved what he did, met the man, and hey presto, the idea of an album came together.
"We decided we didnít want to make a rock album, a folk album, or an album full of drum or
guitar solos", says Luka. "We wanted it to be moody, and mellow. Simon would create
the music, and I would do all the singing and write the lyrics. And that's how it went."
To read the full interview, with Luka Bllom, get your copy of the Irish World.
Kildare Today - Entertainment - 6 September 2007
Different Luka Bloom with 'Tribe'
This month sees the release of a very new and very different piece of work
from acclaimed Kildare singer songwriter Luka Bloom.
'Tribe' is the result of a year long collaboration with Simon O'Reilly, a Co. Clare
based contemporary music writer. Simon produced and co-wrote Tribe.
In Autumn 2005, Luka was sent a copy of 'Tidelines', an album of original
instrumental music composed and recorded by O'Reilly. Luka was immediately
taken with the recording and the soundscapes that O'Reilly was creating.
The two met at O'Reilly's studio in Clare and discussed the possibility of
Over the coming months Simon created music and sounds and posted
them to Luka. Listening to Simon's compositions, Luka would create lyrics
and vocal melodies based on the music and send them back to Simon.
Neither musician sat or performed together during this period.
After about six months, they felt there was enough material to make
a record and David Odlum was invited to mix the record and record the
vocals at his Black Box Studios in France.
The result is 'Tribe', a very unique project in which Luka Bloom is simply
the singer. Simon O'Reilly produces, co-writes and plays various instruments.
Guest performers include Eimear O'Grady on cello, legendary pedal steel
guitar player BJ Cole with Luka's son Robbie on backing vocals on the
title track and lead single Tribe.
Other stand out tracks include the Ian Brown tinged Change and the
electro sonic Sound.
Luka tours Europe throughout Autumn and into the Winter. Writing and
recording on a new solo album will begin in early 2008.
'Tribe' releases in Ireland on Friday September 7th, 2007 on Big Sky
Records through RMGChart.
The Irish News - Scene & Heard - 14 September 2007
MR MUSIC MAKER
By AP Maginness
He is renowned for his unique folk-rock guitar playing but now Luka Bloom
has released a collaborative album that turns its back on his trademark
style and what is more he recorded it with musicians that he has never met.
Scene discovers how this feat was made possible...
Although he may often be seen as living in the shadow of his older and more
well known brother Christy Moore, Luka Bloom is an accomplished folk/rock
singer/songwriter in his own right.
Since 1978, when he released his first album under his original name Barry
Moore, Bloom has been producing guitar driven albums that have won him
audiences throughout the world.
Since that time he has produced more than a dozen albums under what has
become his stage name and he has become renowned for a guitar sound that is
unique to himself, although the resemblances in vocal style to his brother
have always been unmistakeable.
Despite a bout of tendinitis in 2004, which stopped him from playing for a
period, he has always had a healthy output of work and last week he released
his second album in as many years.
Entitled Tribe it is a collaboration between Bloom and Co Clare-based
musician Simon O'Reilly.
However it is not your usual 'get in the studio and play' type of
collaboration, rather it is a very modern and hi-tech but detached version
of musicians getting together to play.
"It was a strange collaboration because we don't live together - we don't
even live in the same county. We are both busy men so we basically spent a
lot of time creating tracks and he would put them into the post for me and I
would spend my days walking around the house listening to the music and
writing songs," Bloom explains.
In fact the two men have never met and Bloom doesn't intend to ever play
"This album Tribe is an album that I never expected to make and I only
decided to do it because I heard this other guy's music. Simon O'Reilly is a
Dubliner who has been living in Co Clare for many years now and he has been
working on his own creating this wonderful electronic music and mixing his
musicianship with acoustic stuff and electronic stuff. He has been
developing his work for a number of years and he eventually made an
album entitled Tidelines. I just said to myself that I really want to work
with this guy.
"I have always been a fan of that ambient type of music that has nothing to
do with what I do. I love Ry Cooder, I love Brian Eno and I love that Cafe
Del Mar stuff, even though it is a little pretentious. The trouble with that
type of music is that although I like it I find there is never any good
songs, it is just good in the background. I thought that if I ever came
across someone who could create that type of music then I would like
to have a go at doing some songs with them."
The album is a multi-textured and layered affair that reminds you of
something like Tubular Bells - only with Bloom's vocals and lyrics laid over
However, those who are expecting his typically energetic guitar playing may
be disappointed, something which Bloom admits himself.
"It is a complete departure from what I have done before and there will be
some people who will not really like this album at all. There are other
people who will listen to this having never liked anything that I have done
and will love this album."
The album also features at least 10 other musicians as well as Bloom and
O'Reilly, which makes the idea that none of them ever played with Bloom
seem even more unusual.
"I still haven't met most of the other people who played on the record. We
had a guy called BJ Cole, a legendary steel guitar player who did his thing
in London and then sent it via email. It all kind of came together and we
really only had one in-depth conversation that lasted about two hours. I
basically told him what I didn't want, I didn't want guitar solos I didn't
want drums, I don't want a rock'n'roll album I don't want a folk album I
just want atmosphere, layers and textures. I said to him you create a nice
mood and I will create the sounds.
"It is a very odd thing though to have made an album with someone and to
have never sat in a room with them ever. I couldn't be bothered ever getting
into a room with him, this is done, this album is released and that is it. I
released it in Australia earlier and it went really well but there is a
hardcore out there who like my guitar sound and they didn't really get it
because this is not like that. I mean I only play guitar on two tracks. This
is the first album where I am basically a singer and write the lyrics."
Even though Bloom has no intentions of touring his latest album and has no
immediate plans for a tour in Ireland he is gearing up for a tour of Germany
and after that will be starting into recording a new album which will see
him go back to his usual style.
"Even though this album is just out I have a big urge in me at the moment to
do another one and that is why touring wouldn't be possible. I am writing
like crazy at the moment, I have 20-odd songs and I have a new album in my
head that I want to do and I need to make an album that is closer to what it
is that I do live so then I can start the whole touring thing again at some
Tribe by Luka Bloom produced by Simon O'Reilly is in shops now.