Luka Bloom - Tour Archive
Luka Bloom - Ireland 2001
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26 Jan 2001   RTE - The Late Late Show
9-18 Feb 2001   KEEPER OF THE FLAME TOUR
9 Feb 2001   Galway - Town Hall Theatre
10 Feb 2001   Limerick - University Concert Hall
11 Feb 2001   Cork - Cork Opera House
14 Feb 2001   Belfast - Waterfront Hall, NTL Studio
16 Feb 2001   Letterkenny - An Grianan Theatre
18 Feb 2001   Dublin - Olympia Theatre
3 Apr 2001   Dublin - The Shelter @ Vicar Street  with Christy Moore & Glen Hansard
19 Apr 2001   Dingle - Hillgrove Hotel
3 May 2001   Newbridge - Red Hot Music Club - Bealtaine Arts Festival
26 Jun 2001   Clonakilty - De Barra's Folk Club
27 Jun 2001   Listowel - St John's Arts and Heritage Centre
Jun 2001   Virginia - Ramor Theatre
6 Jul 2001   Sligo - Model Arts and Niland Gallery
7 Jul 2001   Carrigallen - Corn Mill Theatre
27 Jul 2001   Galway - An Taibhdhearc
28 Jul 2001   Galway - An Taibhdhearc
19 Sep 2001   Leixlip - The Open Zone - St. Mary's GAA Club
Sep 2001   Westport - Westport Arts Festival [23-29 Sep 2001]
27 Sep 2001   Lisdoonvarna - Royal Spa Hotel
29 Sep 2001   Galway - An Taibhdhearc
12 Oct 2001   Mullingar - The Stables
30 Oct 2001   Dublin - Doyle's
20 Nov 2001   Clonakilty - De Barra's Folk Club
21 Nov 2001   Cork - The Lobby Bar
23 Nov 2001   Omagh - An Creagán Visitor Centre
7 Dec 2001   Dublin - The Point Theatre - Artists Against Racism
8 Dec 2001   Wexford - Wexford Arts Centre
19 Dec 2001   Dublin - The Shelter @ Vicar Street  with Christy Moore
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RTE - Ireland
The Late Late Show - 26th January 2001
Luka Bloom - performed 'Wishing On A Star'

National Tour starts February 9th, Town Hall Galway, Limerick and Cork and The Olympia.
www.rte.ie/tv/latelate/thisweek26012001.html

KOTF Tour Poster Ireland 2001 KEEPER OF THE FLAME Tour
09/02/01  Galway - Town Hall Theatre
10/02/01  Limerick - University Concert Hall
11/02/01  Cork - Cork Opera House
14/02/01  Belfast - Waterfront Hall, NTL Studio
16/02/01  Letterkenny - An Grianan Theatre
18/02/01  Dublin - Olympia Theatre

LUKA BLOOM NATIONAL TOUR DATES - FEBRUARY 2001

Ireland's premiere singer/songwriter, Luka Bloom, has announced a national tour this February 2001 to co-incide with the release of his new album, Keeper Of The Flame. Luka will play live in the Town Hall, Galway on Friday 9th, UCH Limerick on Saturday 10th and the Cork Opera House on Sunday 11th, BT Studio, Belfast on Wednesday 14th, Finally Luka rounds off the tour at Dublin's Olympia on Sunday 18th February.

It was a dozen years ago that he transformed himself, on a flight from Dublin to Washington D.C., from a singer-songwriter named Barry Moore to an itinerant ex-pat troubadour named Luka Bloom. With a new name and a new, albeit temporary, home, he built a reputation and a fan base, while commuting via train between D.C. and New York City. He attracted major-label interest and signed a deal with Warner Brothers/Reprise Records that yielded three highly acclaimed albums - 'Riverside', 'Acoustic Motorbike', and 'Turf' - and carried his music around the world. When he eventually returned to Ireland, he was something of a star. He had been transformed.

Don't miss this incredible Irish talent this February 2001, tickets are available from:
Ticketmaster Ireland

Ticketmaster Ireland Email Newsletter Christmas 2000


The Irish Times - Dublin Live Music - 31 January 2001

IN BLOOM

Brian Boyd
gets under the covers with Luka Bloom and finds out about revisiting old favourites - and keeping the flame alive.

...There's been a lot of experimenting and mixing-and-matching in Luka Bloom's career... - but now he says he's tired of the major label scene and would never sign for one again.

"I've been through a few record companies and I would never do it again. What really inspires me is people like Ani diFranco who can bring out her work on her own label, get it distributed and keep total control over its output. I know I'm not going to be a charts/award show type of performer, so I'd rather release my own work as I see fit. The way I look at it now, the music industry is having its ultimate wet dream - the charts are full of young boy/girl bands who are entirely malleable, do what they're told and don't have any awkward artistic temperaments. There is another way to go about making music now though, and that's what I'm interested in, whether it be through the Internet or whatever." In the process of recording a new album of original material, which he hopes to get out later this year, he's just about to start a countrywide tour, where's he going to mix his own songs with selections from Keeper Of The Flame.

www.ireland.com/dublin/entertainment/music/luka_bloom310101.htm


Sunday Business Post - Saturday, February 03, 2001

Bloom's day for eclectic acoustics

Singer-songwriter Luka Bloom is back with a new album of songs made famous by artists as disparate as U2, Abba and Joni Mitchell. He talks about the strange journey that brought him here.

Ask people what they associate with ABBA and the chances are they will mention dodgy hairstyles, glittery dresses, flares, discos or kitsch revivals. If they are males of a certain age, a wistful murmur about "the blonde one" can be expected. Few are the voices that would utter "Luka Bloom" in reply. Yet the Kildare man has just released a new album, Keeper of the Flame, which closes with his version of the Swedish band's monster hit, Dancing Queen. Bloom's songwriting ability has always been regarded as one of his main strengths, but this album features none of his compositions. All 11 songs were made famous by other people.

While some of them, like Tim Hardin's If I were a Carpenter or Joni Mitchell's Urge for Going, sit comfortably with the "earnest folkie" image that bedevils all acoustic strumming solo artists, others (Radiohead's No Surprises, The Cure's In Between Days, U2's Bad) manifestly do not. Perhaps the eclectic choice shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. After all, Bloom underlined his willingness to indulge in musical genre-bending early on in his career.

His early nineties album, The Acoustic Motorbike, included a now-famous guitar and bodhran transformation of rapper LL Cool J's I Need Love.

The man himself, sipping a mineral water in the bar of Dublin's Westbury Hotel, is keen to take up the point. "It's to do with stripping away people's preconceptions about me," he says. "I think people have a preconceived idea of a guy on his own with a guitar. They think, 'Leonard Cohen, the 60s, Neil Young, bedsits'. Ever since I did 'I Need Love', I've been trying to say that the only limitations are within your mind. I'm prepared to try anything and, maybe, sound a bit ridiculous, if it helps break down those barriers."

Bloom says that many people over the years had suggested that he do an album of other artists' songs. He felt the time was right only recently, when he retreated to the west of Ireland with hundreds of CDs as his primary source of company. There, the record began to take shape. "I decided that I would be completely open, and that the only criteria would be, one, that the songs were great and, two, that they were songs I felt I could transform and bring a very individual performance to."

There were still some unexpected twists and turns to be negotiated. "I had about 12 Van Morrison albums with me," Bloom says, smiling. "I would have adored to have had a song from Astral Weeks, but no matter which song I tried to learn, I just ended up sounding like some gobshite trying to sound like Van Morrison. It can't be forced."

There was, he insists, no forcing required for tracks that seem further from his natural style than Morrison's work is.

"It was remarkably easy to find a U2 song, and I really wanted to have a Radiohead song. I think a lot of the time when people celebrate bands like U2 and Radiohead they don't necessarily understand that these guys are tremendous songwriters. I think Bono is one of the great songwriters."

Bloom's current enthusiasm embraces more than just the music on the new album. Keeper of the Flame is his first independent release - he financed it and he owns the finished product, lock, stock and barrel.

The increased liberty borne of these arrangements comes as an antidote to the disillusioning experience with his last record, 1998's Salty Heaven. "That was the complete corporate nightmare," he recalls. "What happened was that Sony in London bought the record and then didn't release it in any of the major territories. They just let it die in Britain and it never got released in America, which effectively killed it completely. Within a matter of six weeks, the record was dead, despite me having spent three years of my life on it."

Taking care of the business side of Keeper of the Flame has informed Bloom's trenchant views about the state of the music industry. "Major labels have succeeded in creating the wet dream scenario for themselves," he says. "If you look at the top end of the charts, it is mostly occupied by people who have absolutely no talent and whose only desire in life is to be famous and wealthy. That's perfect for the record companies, because there is no artistic temperament to deal with. I sound very cynical there, but I don't actually feel cynical about it," he goes on, more mildly. "It's good, because it's creating a very clear line: there's a music business that serves those people, and then there's a sort of cottage industry of independent promoters, labels and agents to serve people like myself. The paths rarely cross, except when we're battling to get on The Late Late Show!"

He doesn't hesitate when asked about the benefits of moving deeper into the 'cottage industry'. "Being able to say 'no' without having to explain. Being able to choose when and where to tour, without having unbelievable pressure exerted upon you. The reward I get for taking these decisions is the space and time to have a life."

That's a reward that Luka Bloom could feel entitled to by now. It's been a sometimes strange journey since he was born as Barry Moore in Newbridge, Co Kildare almost 46 years ago. In this country, the label of "Christy Moore's younger brother" still sticks to him like glue. The Moores are a musical family - a sister, Eilis, is also a highly-rated singer, while one of Luka/Barry's nephews, flautist Conor Byrne, released his debut album in 1999.

For all that, one of Luka's most vivid early memories of music is drawn from outside the family home. "I won a Christmas pudding in the Palace Cinema in Newbridge when I was about eight," he laughs. "I sang 'My Singing Bird'. It was the middle of December and it was so cold in the cinema that I sang with my duffel coat on. The cinema was just around the corner from where I lived, so I went around, got asked up, stood on the stage, sang, and walked away with a Christmas pudding. And I thought, 'Wow, this is OK - you get rewarded for this!'."

He was soon playing more conventional gigs. In his mid-teens he would sometimes go to England during the summer holidays. Christy was, by this point, trying to establish himself on the British folk club circuit and would invite his brother on stage to do guest slots. Support gigs for Planxty followed, and through the 70s, still known as Barry Moore, he continued playing and recording. To this day, he has never worked other than in music.

Come the 80s, he formed a band, Red Square, which met with limited success. After it dissolved, he went back to his solo career but, frustrated at the slow pace at which things were moving for him, decided to go to America. He changed his name on the flight from Dublin to Washington DC - 'Luka' came from Suzanne Vega's song of the same name, 'Bloom' from Joyce's Leopold in Ulysses - and started anew.

"I think of it now as a mad thing to do. I just got this idea and, in the space of three months, I left home, went to America and changed my name. I wanted a name that was as ridiculous as Iggy Pop or Sting or Bono or The Edge. And it was! But the great thing it did, and does, is that it gives me anonymity and focuses things on the songs."

Those songs found a ready audience in the United States. His live following grew quickly and Riverside, his first major label album as Luka Bloom, was released in 1990. The follow-up, The Acoustic Motorbike, came two years later.

His star was still in the ascendant when he decided to return to Ireland for family reasons - he was conscious of wanting to spend time with both his ageing mother and his son. He was also wary of getting ensnared in the music business to the exclusion of all else.

"I really wanted to come back," he says. "I knew that I'd crossed a line into that crazy world that I just don't want to belong to. I believe that it's possible to have a good working life in music without sacrificing your whole life. The first part in that was coming home to my family." It turned out to be the right decision, though for sombre reasons. His mother died not long afterwards. After the unexpected, early death of her husband she had raised the children single-handedly and with fierce pride. Her loss was a hammer blow.

"They say that despite all the books about childbirth, nothing can prepare a woman for the reality of having a child," Bloom begins quietly. "Well, it's the same thing when someone dies. I really thought I'd fall apart completely because she was the centre of my world. But, at the beginning, I was surprisingly strong. Of course, what I didn't realise was that was all the stuff around the funeral."

"A month or two months later I felt completely at sea or as if somebody had cut the parachute. That went on for about two years and then, little-by-little, you sort of drift back into feeling okay about the world again."

Still on family matters, Luka parries when asked whether Christy has permanently retired from playing live. "I'd really rather you asked Christy that question. We have a personal relationship as brothers and that's all that matters to us."

He's a long time around but Bloom seems to be enjoying a new lease of life. He claims to feel more energetic and more professionally fulfilled than ever before.

He thinks back to his mother again: "I remember her saying, 'You'll find your voice when you're about 40'. It used to really piss me off, but she was absolutely right. I'm much more excited about my work now than I was before."

"The fire in my belly I have now, I think I desperately wanted when I was 22, but it just all came out arseways," he shrugs. "Then, I couldn't celebrate. I went around with a guitar thinking I should be doing something else. Now, I consider myself one of the few truly privileged individuals. I've given myself the right to enjoy things."

Niall Stanage
archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2001/02/03/


the event guide - 7th-20th February 2001

File Under "B"

Unusually for a long-established singer-songwriter, Luka Bloom hasn't penned a single track on his new record, 'Keeper Of The Flame'. Instead, it's an eclectic mix of songs written by artists as diverse as Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, The Cure, U2, ABBA, Radiohead and other rock luminaries. Cedric Brogan inquired as to what's behind it all.

"Well, I can only speak for myself in this. In the past three or four years, it's suddenly begun to cross my mind that I'm a singer..... a guy who writes songs, plays guitar, and sort of sings his own songs" . But recently I've begun to really explore the joy of being a singer, and the world of possibilities that opens up when you awaken to the power of your voice. I never set out to make a "covers" record, but more and more in the past five or six years I've been listening every day to Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone or Frank Sinatra, or, you know, Iarlann O'Lionard, Sinéad O'Connor, people who are incredible singers, and little by little people are saying to me "hey you've a nice voice". I don't know what it is about the nature of my work, but where some people come into music and explode, I'm more like an onion: every couple of years I peel back a little bit more. For years I really was into playing guitar and writing songs. Then I got into just writing songs. Then I got into gigs - and then I got into going to American and really doing gigs. Lately I got into the idea of making records and now I'm kind of going (whispers) 'I really want to be a singer. I really want to be a singer'..."

Interview by Cedric Brogan
www.eventguide.ie


in dublin - 8th-21st February 2001 - Vol 26 No 3

On The Platform: Luka Bloom

With his current album Keeper Of The Flame perhaps his strongest in years Luka Bloom plans to give his Irish fans a treat this month with gigs up and down the country. Content and composed as ever, he comments on the US of A, Multinationals and the true "master of the craft".

In Dublin, Feb 2001 Where do you see your biggest fanbase and how does it compare to your popularity over here?

"I was torn between releasing it, [Keeper of the Flame] before or after Christmas in Ireland. We decided to release it before, only to stop copies bleeding in from other countries - countries where I'd be better known like in Germany and Holland, who wanted it before Christmas. But the campaign here has only really started, whereas it's been doing really well in Australia. Australia is the biggest. Then Europe, Ireland and the UK would be the last of them, really. It's not that funny. I totally understand it. And to be honest I don't really mind. I love going to Europe and doing gigs. And the whole of Ireland is less than five million people, that's only five or six gigs. And I don't want to be doing anymore gigs in Ireland. I've been doing this for nearly thirty years and still a lot of people in Ireland don't know me. And I'd like to keep it that way, because I still have that feeling of being discovered by a lot of people. As with the record, which is the first record that's getting daytime airplay here."

When you went to the States, was it the age-old case of having to get out of here to make it?

"It's always been like that and it's not just an Irish phenomenon. I know bands in Australia who have a real problem getting airplay because they're Australian. It's the mentality that if that guy's from down the road he can't be that great. There are few more examples of artists in Ireland who have been successful abroad - Christy and Aslan, I can think of. But not that many. For most of them, things happened abroad before it did here. I went to America when I was 31, at a time when I felt my music was getting strong. But I was perceived here as someone who was kind of struggling. I think if people get used to you as someone who was on the edge - no matter what you do, you stay there. So I said: "It's time to go to America." Then I got this mad idea to give myself a new name. And a lot of people try to hang it on Christy, but I was in America when I made the decision. It was more about escaping my own demons than Christy's shadow. And America is a fantastic place to tap into whatever it is you want to do. And I generally had no confidence at all until I went there."

Has it changed here since?

"I think the days of not being able to express yourself here are gone now. The current generation of twenty to thirty year-olds don't have those hang-ups at all now. If anything they're becoming too arrogant."

You choose a more obscure Dylan song for the album. How much of an admirer are you of Dylan?

"When I heard he was playing in Vicar Street, I was just: 'Oh, my God!' And I got lucky with a ticket [laughs]. And it was an experience of a lifetime. But I was never a huge Dylan fan - I loved his songs, but I could never stand his voice until that last album "Time Out Of Mind". It opened up the door for me because there's something very fragile, vulnerable and sensitive about it. It wasn't as cynical as some of his earlier stuff. And to get to hear him in this intimate venue. It floored me because I suddenly realised that this guy is the master of the craft. He is the man who invented what I do. Okay, he may in the beginning have owed something to Woody Guthrie. But Woody was different, his songs were more about being a member of a struggling community. Dylan was the first to become a superstar writing those personal songs. And to see him alive and fresh, rockin' and exciting. It was one of the most important gigs of my life."

How much of a risk is involved in releasing an album with covers?

"It's a big risk. Particularly if you're going to pick songs that everyone knows. It's one thing getting guys to write songs for you. But when you deliberately pick songs like these - then you'd better be doing a halfdecent job." [laughs]

How did you feel when Sony dropped you?

"Gutted! Absolutely gutted! But if that hadn't have happened, I might still be running around hoping a deal will come along. And that experience with Sony completely finished me with those deals. It was like a rock bottom. And I will never, ever sign to a multi-national again. But it's clarified everything for me and given me the courage to go on my own. And it's great. See, at the end of the day, I have a simple philosophy. I'm very fortunate to be able to sing my songs as my livelihood. And it's about the only job I've ever had and it's how I survive. And I know how lucky I am and I don't take it for granted. Everybody has knocks. People who have shitty jobs get knocked. I have a fantastic job, I got knocked. So, bitterness is not an option."

Luka Bloom plays the Olympia on Sunday, February 18th.
Tickets from the usual outlets.


Irish Music Magazine - Vol 6 No 8 - April 2001

Luka Bloom Lights up Limerick
Keeper Of The Flame Tour
U.C.H. Limerick Saturday February 10th 2001


Back on the old stomping ground or at least that was what it appeared to be on Saturday February 10th when Luka Bloom's Keeper of the Flame tour hit Limerick's University Concert Hall. Opening the show ex-Deiseal whistler Cormac Breatnach and guitarist Martin Dunlea treated the audience to some well thought out, articulate traditional music and new tunes in the traditional mould. Cufflink had them swapping themes and variations while the Meristem classic Ogham Ripples breathed anew in this duet formation. A pleasure to hear Cormac Breatnach's mellow whistle playing again and working to their strengths the duo crossed the boundaries of Irish, Jazz and World-music inclined textures easily and without a join in sight. The Breatnach/Dunlea paring is one I hope to see in action again soon.

In another lifetime, Luka Bloom was once a student at this seat of learning, but that was then when Limerick University was just Limerick N.I.H.E. Then Luka Bloom was just Barry Moore from Newbridge Co. Kildare and the genesis of an intriguing success story began here in the old H.E. and The Hurler's and other places now consigned to local folk memory like Joe Malone's in Denmark Street. Many nights I went to see Barry Moore play in the Belltable (then a new venue) and The Olde Tom with Manus Lunny (a 1981 show with this pair ranks in my 'Gigs from Heaven' scenario) and was slain by the power, emotion, honesty, and beauty pouring from this man's hands and mouth.

That was then and now is now and here I sit in this huge auditorium and watch a solitary figure walk out on stage and pick up a guitar, he looks the same, sounds the same in theory as he breaks into "Exploring the Blue" and "Gone to Pablo" but in practise he is a different person. This is a more relaxed and subdued Luka Bloom since I last saw him in a packed Arthur's Warehouse some 10 years ago, later I caught him between "Riverside" and "The Acoustic Motorbike". So how much has changed? His stage presence and presentation is equal amounts bluster and sensitivity drawing the audience into his lair while putting the message across that he is an acoustic performer par excellence.

Now more lyrical strains rule with Mike Scott's "Sunny Sailor Boy", the bluesy "Don't be so hard on yourself", the contagious pop of "Ciara" and a gorgeous finale of "Black is the Colour". He prefaced "The Fertile Rock" with mentions of students heading to Scotland for arms race demonstrations showed the protest mettle is still in good shape, even bringing back poignant memories of College days in "Treaty Stone" and "Fire and Rain" were both unplanned and unrehearsed yet especially welcome. He promoted the new album "Keeper Of The Flame" reeling off a bunch of covers from artists as diverse as Nina Simone, Tim Hardin (a lovely "If I Were A Carpenter"), The Cure's "In Between Days", U2's "Bad", and of course ABBA's "Dancing Queen". Part of the art of covering is seizing the original lyric, putting a personalized stamp on it and making it sufficiently unique to render comparison redundant. From this evidence a plentiful shoal of back catalogues await the Luka Bloom touch.

What is baffling is that when he masqueraded as Barry Moore no matter the quality, strength or consistency of his material or the wonders of albums like "Treaty Stone", or "No Heroes" and his venture into band territory with Red Square, the general populous failed to be excited. Now Luka Bloom is a star and is enjoying genuine success long denied. The quality of his material remains the same, the original power, emotion, honesty, and beauty are all still there alive and well. Luka loved it, the Limerick crowd loved him so much that they gave him a standing ovation, bought CDs and more importantly Barry Moore loved it and the ecstatic reaction tonight vindicated his belief in his chosen work.

Live Review by John O'Regan
mag.irish-music.net/BckIssue/0104Apr/0104Apr.htm


Zeitgeist Music Magazine, Cork - 29 January 2001

Luka Bloom - Irish spring tour 2001

Luka Bloom plays Cork Opera House on Sunday 11th February as part of his national tour, which co-incides with the release of his new album Keeper of the Flame. It was a dozen years ago that he transformed himself, on a flight from Dublin to Washington D.C., from a singer/songwriter named Barry Moore to an itinerant ex-pat troubadour named Luka Bloom. With a new name and a new, albeit temporary home, he built a reputation and a fan base, while commuting via train between D.C. and New York City...

Luka Bloom plays Cork Opera House on Sunday 11th February, 2001 @ 8pm.
Tickets/ c.c. bookings 021 4265022

zeitgeist.aardvark.ie/tour_info/20010129_001.phtml


Monday, 6 August 2001 - 22:02-23:00 - RTE Radio 1

In Concert: Luka Bloom
Highlights from a concert recorded last February at the Cork Opera House
.
The performance includes
Exploring The Blue - Gone To Pablo - Rescue Mission - Sunny Sailor Boy - Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Make You Feel My Love - Wishing On A Star - Keeper Of The Flame - I'm A Bogman - Water Ballerina
If I Were A Carpenter - The Fertile Rock - Ciara - You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time


Tyrone Courier - 24 January 2001

Luka to 'wow' Waterfront audience

Luka Bloom plays Belfast Waterfront Hall's NTL Studio on Wednesday 14th February.
This performance marks his return to the venue where he wowed folk fans alongside Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon and Mary Black at the memorable Celtic Flame concert in 1999.
Luka Bloom - Christy Moore's younger brother - is now recognised as one of Ireland's finest singer-songwriters. He has written several Christy songs, including the classic Moving Hearts, and has recorded several inspired solo albums. After many years of writing and performing his own songs in Ireland, he finally received the recognition he deserved through extensive touring of the U.S.A., sharing the stage with the likes of The Pogues, Hothouse Flowers, Lenny Kravitz, Bryan Adams and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

www.ulsternet-ni.co.uk/courwk04/cpages/CENT.htm


St. Patrick's Carnival Fundraising Auction
Devenish Complex 10 February 2001
Luka Bloom
One of Ireland's and USA's best loved singer songwriter
www.feilebelfast.com/Auction/Auction.htm

Luka Bloom Concert Tickets and Back Stage Passes
These tickets will permit two people to attend the fabulous Luka Bloom live in concert
allowing them back stage after the show to meet Luka in person,
at the Waterfront Hall on February 14th (Valentines Day).


An Grianan Theatre Proudly Presents Luka Bloom
Friday 16th February at 8pm - Tickets: £15.50

Luka started out as Barry Moore of Newbridge, County Kildare. In the seventies, together with guitarist and schoolmate Pat Kilbride, he played in the band 'Aes Triplex' which supported Planxty on their debut. In 1976 he began playing the clubs in and around Dublin and one of his first songs, "Wave up to the Shore" was recorded by his brother Christy Moore.

Luka sang backing vocals on Christy's album: "The Iron Behind the Velvet" (1978), and also wrote songs performed by Christy, 'Moving Hearts' and others. Songs such as: "In the City of Chicago" and "Remember the Brave Ones". After touring the UK and Germany in 1977-1978 as a member of Inchiquin, he then made three solo albums (now much sought after by fans) "Treaty Stone", "In Groningen", and "No Heroes". In the mid eighties he played with 'Red Square', a Dublin post-punk/pop band and sang on Christy's "Unfinished Revolution" album (1987).

The famous name change to Luka Bloom occurred this time on flight to the USA. 'Luka' comes from Suzanne Vega's song of the same name; 'Bloom' is from Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce's novel 'Ulysses'.

www.angrianan.com


LUKA BLOOM
Olympia - Sunday 18th February

With the release of his new album, Keeper Of The Flame. It's hard to comprehend that it's a dozen years ago that he transformed himself, on a flight from Dublin to Washington D.C., from a singer-songwriter named Barry Moore to an itinerant ex-pat troubadour named Luka Bloom. With a new name and a new, albeit temporary, home, he built a reputation and a fan base, while commuting via train between D.C. and New York City. He attracted major-label interest and signed a deal with Warner Bros/Reprise Records that yielded three highly acclaimed albums - 'Riverside', 'The Acoustic Motorbike' and 'Turf' - and carried his music around the world. When he eventually returned to Ireland, he was something of a star. He had been transformed.

Luka Bloom's 'Keeper Of The Flame' (in which, for the first time in his career, Luka solely performs the songs of other artists) is about transformation, not simply interpretation. And that's what his career has always been about.

His audiences learned that Luka was also able to transform the cover material he occasionally performed. He chose his covers sparingly but wisely, performing and anthemic, clamoured-for version of The Waterboys 'This is the Sea' and a delicate rendition of Sam Phillip's little known gem 'River of Love'. Then there was his startling re-working of L.L. Cool J's rap classic 'I Need Love' in which sexy, streetwise come-ons set to break beats were turned into romantic bedroom balladry for acoustic guitar, bodhran and fiddle. His iconoclastic take on 'I Need Love' helped to make 'The Acoustic Motorbike' one of his most perennially popular releases.

the event guide - 7th - 20th February 2001


Luka Bloom @ Olympia Theatre, Dublin
Sunday, 18 February 2001
Sunny Sailor Boy
Exploring The Blue
Gone To Pablo
Rescue Mission
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Love Is A Monsoon
Natural Mystic
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Sanas
The Shape Of Love To Come
Water Ballerina
Make You Feel My Love
Wishing On A Star
I'm A Bogman
Keeper Of The Flame
If I Were A Carpenter
No Surprises
In Between Days
The Fertile Rock
Holy Ground
Ciara

Bad
Dancing Queen

Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour

Support:
Cormac Breatnach & Martin Dunlea
KOTF Tour Poster

Luka Bloom

Luka Bloom


The Shelter @ Vicar Street, Dublin - 3 April 2001

CHRISTY MOORE - Live at the Shelter
with Luka Bloom and Glen Hansard

"I was halfway through the third song when I realised there's no point in wearing glasses when I've my eyes closed" joked Christy Moore, at the start of his performance in The Shelter in Vicar Street recently. Christy, along with Glen Hansard, and Luka Bloom were all taking part in a Charity Gig and what a night it was. Christy, who hadn't performed in public for a while, looked relaxed and contented as he took to the stage...

After Christy we were treated to some "flutes and fiddles everywhere" from Conor Byrne and Friends and Luka Bloom wrapped up the night with a terrific solo set which include 'Sunny Sailor Boy', a version of 'Black Is The Colour' - "you were singing Christy's version and I was playing my version" he joked. His set also included a selection of well known cover-versions including 'If I Were A Carpenter', 'Dancing Queen' and the highlight was undoubtedly 'I Need Love'.

Live Review by Mick Lynch
www.cluas.com/music/gigs/christy2.htm


Leinster Leader - 19 April 2001

Luka Bloom is back for Bealtaine Festival gig

The headline Bealtaine concert at the Red House on Thursday 3 May is sure to be a sell out success.
Luka Bloom, aka Barry Moore, returns to his home town for one night only to perform live in an intimate setting and will be supported by the recently established Kildare singer/songwriter group...

The concert will feature songs from his 'Keeper of the Flame' album in which Luka performs the hits of other artists. He chose his covers wisely and has transformed tracks from artists across the music spectrum from rapper LL Cool J to REM to Elvis. "I decided to use this project to celebrate the work of artists I love," he explained. "Some of this was about interpreting songs I already knew and felt comfortable with. Some of it was about challenging myself to perform songs that supposedly came from outside my area, from artists like The Cure, U2, Radiohead and Abba."

Sylvia Pownall
www.unison.ie/leinster_leader


Newbridge - Festival Programme 2001
Headline Bealtaine Concert
Luka Bloom

Supported by Kildare Singer/Songwriters
Thursday 3 May 2001
Red House - adm £12
Luka Bloom - Keeper of the Flame
makes a very welcome return to Bealtaine.

He will be supported by new singer/songwriters.
www.newbridge-online.com/Default/bealtaine/default.htm


> Luka Blooms at Red Hot Music Club
Live-Review of a concert in February 2000 by the Kildare Nationalist

Poster Ireland 2001 June/July 2001
GIG GUIDE Tigh De Barra

LUKA BLOOM
He returns to De Barra's on
Tuesday, 26th June, for one night only.

A regular performer and favourite of De Barra's, is currently
working on a new CD, and is promoting his recently released
CD Keeper Of The Flame.
No finer artist will perform at De Barra's this summer.

www.debarra.ie
L i v e R e v i e w
De Barra's Folk Club, Clonakilty
Tuesday, 26 June 2001

Clonakilty is a charming small market town. Brightly coloured shops abound with hand-painted individual wooden signs. Such a refreshing feature compared to the mass brand imagery of City centre shops back home with their plastic, chrome and computer- aided design. My favourite shopfront was Edward Twoomy at 16 Pearse Street, home of the famous Clonakilty black pudding and the delicious white variety also. A butcher selling the vital ingredients for the full Irish breakfast. More about food later.

De Barra's Further up the street at 55 was De Barra's, the venue later in the evening for the Luka gig. Not to be out done for visual appeal, De Barra's had a tremendous floral display along with a sign informing that Luka Bloom was on tonight and 'sold out'. Having e-mailed them and asked for a ticket to be saved for me I saw no problem ahead. In I went to pick up the ticket. The friendly and energetic Diarmuid behind the bar told me had no e-mail from me and no more tickets, but, thanks be to God, because I'd come so far he promised me ticket number 31 could be mine and I should come back at 9 pm and ask for Kevin who will have the vital ticket by then. Diarmuid was a star, he gave me a tour of the venue and told me who had been there recently. Ralph Mctell, Noel Redding, Dreamcraft, Two Time Polka. He was so enthusiastic about the venue and was expecting a great night ahead...and so was I!

Much relieved I went away, found a small hotel for the night and, back to food, discovered Fionnuala's a sort of Irish Italian restaurant. The food was grand, the Amarone wine much to my liking and the waitress with the fine asymmetric short haircut very easy on the weary travellers eye. The only downside was the smoky clouds coming from some young people at the next table. Puffing away and spoiling my enjoyment. See 'no smoking' later.

Just time for a swift pint in De Barra's cosy front bar before asking for Kevin and my ticket. Kevin arrived but had lost the key to a box with the ticket in it. But, being Ireland this was 'no problem at all' and entrance to the small stage area was gained in good time to get a seat right by the stage.

LB Poster The stage area was soon packed and a warm-up act began. A charming young lady singer with a guitar player for company played 3 or 4 songs including 'Black is the Colour'. A great voice, she was much appreciated by the now packed audience. There were stools and benches to sit on, it was very intimate and friendly. The lady next to me and her friend got chatting about Luka, how amazed they were I'd come so far to see him. She was local and had bought her house from another of the Moore brothers who was sat just behind us. She introduced me to him. He had more the look and build of Christy than Luka but had the family sense of humour. He told me Luka had been up in Dublin the last three weeks recording the new album. It had gone well and January next year was the likely release date.

So on came Luka to an enthusiastic welcome from around 120 listeners. The stage was just big enough to fit in Luka's foot pedals for guitars and of course, himself. What followed was 2 hours of Luka at his brilliant best. All the old songs with spirited audience participation and a few less familiar ones for good measure. "Golden Feather" was in there but it was "Bogman" that went down a storm. I was far too busy enjoying the event to remember all he sang but seem to recall "Exploring the Blue", "Diamond Mountain", "Sunny Sailor Boy" with lots of ooh-wah ooh wah ooh wah ooh wah's!, "Ciara", "Keeper of The Flame", "Natural Mystic", and "If I were a Carpenter". Luka introduced us all to his new Mandolin. He had been trying to track down a mandolin player he knew to work on the new recording but when he couldn't locate him he bought the instrument himself.

Luka Bloom After an encore with the crowd loving it to bits, sadly it all had to come to an end. Luka thanked the audience for not smoking as we had been requested not to. It was clearly important to him and being a non-smoker myself was much delighted. Fair play to you Luka!

There was a man selling Luka CD's in a back room (could this be Lukabloom.com) and Luka came out to be with his brother and friends and enjoy a well-earned drink. He looked tired but still found time to pose for a few photographs and talk about the new recordings. With the bar closing I drifted out and back to my room very tired but very happy. The journey had been worth it. Clonakilty and De Barra's will be visited again. The correct e-mail for them is tighdebarra@hotmail.com. The good man Diarmuid will read it. The website is going to be redone soon. www.debarra.ie

Photos & Review: K.B.


Sligo Weekender - Thursday, July 05, 2001

Luka Bloom in concert this Friday

The name Luka Bloom conjures up more than just images of a solitary figure on stage with a guitar in hand. Barry Moore from Newbridge, Co Kildare, has build a legend around his stage name, and has earned the admiration, respect and adoration of fans all over the world. Luka, who will perform in the Model Arts and Niland Gallery on Friday July 6 at 8.00pm, is in the twelfth year of his solo career. And he has just launched his latest CD, Keeper of the Flame to critical acclaim.For the first time in his career, he solely performs the songs of other artists and in doing so, transforms their songs. That's what his career has always been about.

A dozen years ago he transformed himself, on a flight from Dublin to Washington D.C., from a singer-songwriter named Barry Moore, to an itinerant ex-pat troubadour named Luka Bloom. With a new name and a new, albeit temporary home, he built a reputation and a fan base, while commuting via train between D.C. and New York City. He attracted major-label interest and signed a deal with Warner Bros/Reprise Records carried his music around the world on three successful albums - 'Riverside', 'Acoustic Motorbike' and 'Turf'. When he returned to Ireland, he was something of a star. He had been transformed. Luka Bloom chooses covers sparingly but wisely, performing an anthemic, clamoured-for version of The Waterboys' 'This is the Sea' and a delicate rendition of Sam Phillips little known gem, 'River of Love' amongst others.

"I decided to use this project to celebrate the work of artists I love," Luka explains. "This was the decision that caused me to get fired up about the CD: the idea of taking songs that are already loved, by artists who are already loved, and presenting them in a unique musical environment. Some of this was about interpreting songs I already knew and felt comfortable with. Some of it was about challenging myself to perform songs that supposedly come from outside my area, from artist like The Cure, U2, Radiohead and Abba." Other covers due to be performed in the Model next Friday are a feisty version of Prince's 'When Does Cry' and a stunning rendering of 'Everybody Hurts', well before the Corrs appropriated it.

Sligo fans can see Luka Bloom for one night only in the Black Box Space in the Model Arts and Niland Gallery on Friday July 6 at 8pm. Tickets cost £10.00 (£7.00 conc.) and can be booked at the Model or by phoning 071 41405. The Model Arts and Niland Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10.00am to 5.30pm.

© Sligo Weekender


Leitrim Observer, Carrick-on-Shannon - 22 June 2001

Luka Bloom for Cornmill Theatre, Carrigallen

The Cornmill Theatre proudly welcomes Luka Bloom to it's stage on Saturday, 7th July 2001. This concert is part of the Theatre's policy of bringing a wide variety of entertainment to its patrons and is another in a succession of concerts that has seen acts like Juliet Turner, Eleanor Shanley and Ronnie Drew play to packed houses in the Carrigallen venue.

Luka Bloom It's hard to believe that Luka Bloom has been singing since the 1970s when as Barry Moore he sang songs such as 'Black is the Colour' and 'Deep River Blues' to the appreciative audiences of the then thriving folk scene. He was at that time part of the great anti nuclear movement which saw a contingent of musicians lead by people like his brother Christy Moore spearhead a musical campaign successfully resisting the building of a nuclear power station at Carnsore Point in Wexford.

Twelve years ago Barry Moore was reborn as Luka Bloom and was signed to Warner Bros/Reprise Records releasing three albums 'Riverside', 'Acoustic Motorbike' and 'Turf'. Over the years his style has changed from the gentle finger picking guitar style of Barry Moore to the high-powered rhythmic style that is Luka Bloom's today. "I contacted tendonitis, which prohibited my finger picking, and it was the kick in the pants I needed to push me into writing and performing my own songs rather than hiding behind my guitar," he says.

His lush 'Salty Heaven' album, which he recorded for Sony is now followed by his latest 'Keeper of the Flame'. 'Keeper of the Flame' is an album made up totally of covers of other people's songs such as ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' and Joni Mitchell's 'I get the urge for going.' The album has received extensive airplay and also includes a cover version of U2's 'Bad' as well as songs by Bob Dylan and Tim Hardin among other.

Luka Bloom's live performances are always what he does best and his concert at the Cornmill Theatre, Carrigallen on Saturday, 7th July is a "not to be missed" experience. Special guests will be Drumshanbo's Daly Family who have thrilled audiences all over the world with their unique harmonies both live and on CD.

Tickets at £10 are available from the Cornmill Theatre, Carrigallen.
Telephone 049 4339612 for bookings.

© Leitrim Observer


An Taibhdhearc, Galway
Saturday, 28 July 2001


I just made it home from Ireland today and after a 25 hour plane trip, I'm amazed I'm sitting here writing this but I guess that's what jet lag will do to you. Ireland was wonderful and I've come home with some great memories of warm hearted people and stunning scenery. But the highlight from which I'm still buzzing is the Luka concert in Galway. Everyone in the States who's waiting for the man I don't think you'll be disappointed.

He played at the Taibhdhearc in Galway which is a tiny Irish speaking theatre. It made a great change from seeing him in the huge places he plays in when he comes to Sydney. It was very intimate and what seemed like a rather cold audience warmed up quickly to the point where requests where being asked for and Luka did his best to play them. I'm really sorry but I don't have a set list, he just played whatever came into his head. Some of the more memorable moments included the mandatory "Fertile Rock" singalong which later became the mantra by which the entire audience sang him back on stage for the encores and also the fact that everytime I've heard him sing "I Need Love" it's been different and this time it was with a rather ironic and insincere edge which gave the audience a good laugh.

So, it was a mixture of old favourites, covers and a few newies. Lots of stories were told and it was really interesting seeing him in front of an Irish crowd, he seemed more relaxed though he did say he was on holidays. He was on stage for 2 and 1/2 hours and did two encores. It's amazing the buzz that you walk out with after one of his shows, I took a friend who was converted into a Luka fan that night and we couldn't stop raving for hours.

So, everyone he's in fine form and I think he'll be worth the wait. Anyway enough raving, I think maybe I should grab some sleep.

Live review by Kris Watkins, Australia

Swans in Galway
Galway

Westport Arts Festival - 23-29 September 2001

Fjord open days, festivals, art education in west
By Aine Ryan

An extravaganza of fireworks, currach racing, a battle re-enactment and lots of street activities will herald the opening of the Westport Arts Festival on Sunday, September 23rd. After a low key festival in 2000, this year's committee has programmed more than 40 events to suit all ages and tastes...

A lecture by archaeologist Dr Peter Harbison, performances by Stockton's Wing and Luka Bloom, an art trail, a comedy evening with Kevin McAleer and theatre events will ensure that the six-day festival is a dizzy jamboree.

www.ireland.com/explore/festivals/2001/0901/fjord0905.htm


Luka Bloom @ Royal Spa Hotel, Lisdoonvarna
Thursday, 27 September 2001
Royal Spa, Lisdoonvarna Autumn Leaves (a cappella)
Diamond Mountain
Blackberry Time
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
Natural Mystic
Ciara
The City Of Chicago
Colourblind
Rescue Mission
Sunny Sailor Boy
Rainbow Day
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
Make You Feel My Love
Here And Now
I'm A Bogman
Keeper Of The Flame
Holy Ground
The Fertile Rock
Hands Of A Farmer
Lonesome Robin
Black Is The Colour
Te Adoro / Black Is The Colour
Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends
[Kris Kristofferson]
Perfect Groove
You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time
Water Ballerina
Dancing Queen

As I Waved Goodbye
Exploring The Blue
Throw Your Arms Around Me
Gabriel

Setlist: Koen Cassiers

Artists Against Racism Friday 7 December 2001
The Point Theatre, Dublin: Artists Against Racism

Amnesty International and Le Chéile, Artists in Ireland Against Racism announced a major anti-racism concert to be performed at The Point in Dublin on Friday, December 7. The line-up for the Artists Against Racism concert includes Christy Moore, Afro-Celt Sound System, Frances Black, Luka Bloom, Sinéad O'Connor, Kila, Máire Brennan, Juliet Turner, Cora Venus Lunny, and Métisse.

More information is available at the MCD website.


Amnesty International - Ireland

Anti-Racism Concert At The Point

Amnesty International and Le Chéile, Artists in Ireland Against Racism,
have announced a major anti-racism concert to be performed at
The Point Depot on Friday December 7.

"Research released by Amnesty last month showed that almost
four out of five people from ethnic minorities say they have been
the victim of racism while living in Ireland,"
said Seán Love, Director of Amnesty International's Irish Section.

"We need leadership at every level of society to fight the problem, and the
artists who will perform at the concert are helping to provide it."

"Music and song bring all cultures together", said Colm Ó Cuanacháin of
Le Chéile, artists in Ireland against racism.

"The concert will focus on the positive side of living in a multi-ethnic society."

www.amnesty.ie/news/2001/concert.shtml


Le Chéile - Amnesty International - Artists Against Racism in Ireland

AAR Programme Luka Bloom's 'Keeper Of The Flame' - in which, for the first time in his career, Luka solely performs the songs of other artists - is about transformation, not simply interpretation. And that's what his career has always been about. After all, it was a dozen years ago that he transformed himself, on a flight from Dublin to Washington D.C., from a singer-songwriter named Barry Moore to an itinerant ex-pat troubadour named Luka Bloom.

With a new name and a new, albeit temporary, home, he built a reputation and a fan base, while commuting via train between D.C. and New York City. He attracted major-label interest and signed a deal with Warner Bros/Reprise Records that yielded three highly acclaimed albums - 'Riverside', 'Acoustic Motorbike', and 'Turf' - and carried his music around the world. When he eventually returned to Ireland, he was something of a star. He had been transformed. What he has done now is a rare achievement when it comes to covers: he has created something entirely original from found materials. 'Keeper Of The Flame' is as personal and revealing as any of his previous, self-penned albums: an intimate glimpse into the heart and the mind of an unfailingly honest artist.


L i v e R e v i e w
The Point Theatre, Dublin
Friday, 7 December 2001
Artists Against Racism

Last Friday night Luka played at The Point Depot, Dublin in front of 6000 people united in their stance against racism. The following night Luka entertained and delighted just 60 blessed souls at The Arts Centre, Wexford. Two very different venues, two very different towns, one very gifted performer.

Friday night saw Luka play just two songs to brother Christy’s four as part of the Artists Against Racism event. Dublin needed this event. Racial abuse, strife and poverty are on the city streets. An influx of East European immigrants over the last few years has resulted in casualties. The Irish nation has been slow to welcome these brothers in to their living rooms. It is not just the traveling people who now face discrimination. Four out of every five people from ethnic minorities claim to have suffered racial abuse living in Ireland. Different races live a series of parallel lives and rarely touch each other. Lack of true contact between the races fuels fear and suspicion, which can easily be exploited by extremists. The failure to communicate is compounded by the lack of honest debate as people tiptoe around the sensitive issues of race, religion and culture. Ireland is not the only country calling for a sense of shared identity and the teachings of citizenship to overcome the difficulties. Amnesty International is working hard to make Ireland the land of a true thousand welcomes. Music is one of their chosen channels to achieve unity.

Fair play to Luka for supporting the event, always a man with a strong awareness of and support for the downtrodden in life. He began with the uplifting Holy Ground after which we were treated to the mellow harmonies of Love Is A Place I Dream Of, a duet with the enchanting Sinéad O'Connor. Such a moving emotional song, it was a shame that Luka and Sinéad stood so far apart on stage to deliver it. Then again, she was saving her energy for her later solo set and duet with the excellent Paul Brady and she had a splendid birthday cake to eat later! Sadly Luka's contribution was all too short but he obviously enjoyed himself.

With so many artists appearing the evening was long and fragmented with gaps for sound checks etc. The packed audience in the cavernous hall that is The Point was patient and hugely appreciative of all the performers. For me the highlight was the pulsating rhythms and raw energy of the AfroCelt Sound System. They had a band of followers urging us to get up and paaaaaaaaarty and many did! A fine example of multi race, multi culture, one nation under a groove. Magical time had by one and all. Also much liked Juliet Turner, fresh and breezy, a pleasant contrast in style to the perfect cameo performances from Máire Brennan and Frances Black.

Christy Moore as usual gave us so much. There was an anger and fire in him. You sensed his frustration that for so much of his career he has highlighted injustice, but what have we done about it, how much have we cared? He looked tired; no surprise after all his recent Vicar Street shows. He occupied a stool rather than his traditional 'stand and deliver' position. He was on the pulse and the audience identified with him and loved him. God bless Christy.

Review & Photos by K.B.


13/12/01 Luka Bloom:
The Anti Racism gig at The Point was wonderful, a great night's music, for a very important cause; brilliantly organised. The audience was fantastic, and on a personal note, I got to sing with Sinéad. Moments like this are dreamt of. Thanks and well done to all involved.

Amnesty International - Review & Photos

Universal Language

The Artists Against Racism in Ireland concert produced the best of performances from a range of musicians, actors and comedians.

You really had to be there. Paul McGrath introducing Christy Moore, Afro-Celt Sound System blasting the audience with a powerful, hypnotic rhythm and Sinead O'Connor singing a surprise duet with Paul Brady. The Amnesty-Le Chéile Artists Against Racism gig at The Point on December 7 was one of the most memorable and successful concerts Amnesty has ever helped to organise.

With help from the remarkable artist Robert Ballagh and Julian Erskine of Riverdance, the concert brought together dozens of musicians. Métisse, an act from the Ivory Coast and Cork, opened the show, and were followed by a fantastic lineup that included Cora Venus Lunny, Kíla, Máire Brennan, Frances Black, Luka Bloom, and Juliet Turner. And that was just the music part of the show...

Over 6000 people crammed into the Point for the four-hour gala evening...

www.amnesty.ie/publ/02/concert.shtml


Poster Ireland 2001 28/11/2001 - imro features:
Wexford Arts Centre presents
The Song Rally II - A weekend of songs and songwriting

Wexford Arts Centre once again launches the month of December with an action packed weekend of events for singers and song-writers from 6th to 9th December 2001. The aim of The Song Rally II is to focus on songwriting and ways of developing it. We think you will admit we have an impressive line-up of performers and activities with events taking place at Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Wexford and Finegan's Bar, South Main Street.

Saturday 8th December:
8.30 pm Luka Bloom in Concert Wexford Arts Centre
- Adm.: £10.00

L i v e R e v i e w
Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford
8 December 2001

Saturday night was a totally different affair. The Arts Centre in Wexford was the base for Song Rally 2, a festival of songs and songwriting. Pre show, Wexford was quiet, the narrow streets housing quaint little shops full of Christmas goodies. Few people ventured out at this time on a chilly night. An old lady stopped me as I parked my car mistaking me for a local priest. A black crew neck jumper can get a man in to all sorts of situations. She asked me to spare a few punts for Christmas. I duly obliged her wish, felt sorry for her and walked on to find the venue. Ten minutes to Showtime and the door was locked so off I went for a swift pint. The bar had an off license attached. As I sipped my Guinness and thought how wonderful it was to be in Wexford town. I spied the little lady clutching a bottle of something to take home. She gave me a knowing smile and I returned it and wondered if I had done right or wrong supporting her habit.

The Arts Centre is a bright little place with a tiny concert room rigged out upstairs. It was like having Luka come round to play for you and family and friends at home. Luka came on and remarked that after the grand affair the previous night he 'really needed this gig'. Much laughter from the audience ensued. Luka apologized there was no coffee on sale after the warm up act, the lady responsible had gone off to bake 500 mince pies for Christmas to feed the poor folk of the town. The atmosphere was so personal and intense. A few lads on the front row turned up slightly late having smuggled in pints from the local pub. Luka was in a talkative mood and joked with them. It was not long before we were all singing along to "Sunny Sailor Boy" and later to "Rainbow Day". This revealed the undoubted singing talents of the pint drinkers who also added a new twist to "You couldn't have come at a better time". Luka compared their singing skills to the stars of the popular Wexford Opera Festival. In fact later Luka too went all operatic for a few lines of "Dancing Queen" a sing along encore with much laughter from artist and audience throughout. Luka told us he had made a mistake when he wrote "Diamond Mountain", admitting now that it was really only a hill! Why spoil a good story with the truth I thought! Introductions were made to Seamus the mandolin, Judy, Rudy and the Spanish guitar Carmen. It was a family affair after all. He played for a couple of hours, about 23 songs. The highlight for me was "Gabriel" with the skilled use of guitar and foot pedal creating an amazing haunting sound. Luka reached the high notes with ease, what a moment that was.

Wexford Arts Centre

Show over I drifted in to the now busy town centre where the ladies were out in force, sparkly dresses everywhere, much flesh on show braving the cool night air. No racism, no obvious poverty, just a crowd of young people having a grand night out oblivious to the little old lady who by now I think will have finished the bottle and gone in search of the next.

Photo & Review: K.B.


Christy Moore & Luka Bloom play a very special concert together in the intimacy of

The Shelter @ Vicar St. on Dec. 19th.
(Doors 7.30, Show 8.30)
www.vicarstreet.com

There are only 200 tickets on sale NOW, priced £20.00.
Credit card bookings @ Ticketmaster 1890 925150 or from your
local Ticketmaster agent. The tickets aren't available online.

Christy & Luka Christy & Luka
Photos by Gerry Ryan



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