Folkforum.nl - 19 April 2004
Convincing Luka Bloom Concert with Strong Accompaniment
Luka Bloom gave a concert last Saturday at the Burgerweeshuis in Deventer to
promote his new album Before Sleep Comes. John Beumer (Blue Dew) was there
and wrote a review for Folkforum.
A painful and persistent tendonitis has haunted Luka Bloom throughout his
career. Last year was particularly bad and he could hardly write or play.
All he did was gently strum his Spanish guitar, though he was used to
really lashing out on a semi-acoustic one. He told journalist Dick Laning in
an interview about this: "It was hardly playing, but I began to like it. For
about three months I played a few ballads in the morning in a very relaxed
way. In this way my own whispering songs started. It surprised me more than
anyone that I enjoyed it so much. I, who was always up on stage like an
athlete, who enjoyed the power most of all. And now it appears that others
enjoy this too, that there is an audience for my quiet side."
During a number of in-store concerts and his appearance at the
Burgerweeshuis in Deventer Luka Bloom convinced with his new approach.
Live Review by John Beumer
Luka Bloom: "Before Sleep Comes"
Saturday 17 April 2004 - Burgerweeshuis, Deventer
Just lately Luka Bloom has had to deal with some physical complaints,
tendonitis which made him exchange his typical rhythm - temporarily - for
strumming guitar playing. This resulted in a new, and very special, album.
Throat problems were the reason why he had to cancel his Australian tour.
Instead he came to the Netherlands for a week and Dutch fans were given the
opportunity to attend one Luka Bloom concert in Deventer.
It turned out to be a special performance for the large number of fans that
travelled to the Burgerweeshuis on Saturday night. Luka Bloom introduced the
audience to the intimacy of his new CD, Before Sleep Comes. A challenging
task because the maker says the album is meant to put listeners to sleep.
This exclusive presentation of the intimate album deserved a different
setting to the one the Burgerweeshuis could offer: "It's a sitting concert",
Luka Bloom said, which he proved by not getting off his chair until leaving
the stage two hours later. A pity for the audience that the only chairs
available were up on the stage. A shame it was that the air conditioning
made too much noise and Luka Bloom had to insist for too long for the
machine to be switched off. And Luka was right, only then did the stillness
really come into its own.
Luka Bloom presented the first part with subdued, melodic guitar playing,
and a sometimes almost whispering, warm voice. Songs from Before Sleep
Comes were pleasantly performed: like the instrumental She Moved Through
The Fair, and the ballad The Water is Wide.
Unannounced, and so a big surprise, was the entrance of cajon player Claudia
Chambers and Chinese/Irish violinist Suzi Ng. These two
musicians initially played a small part. They audibly and visibly tried to connect with
Luka's playing, but once they managed this their music became less cautious and
more noticeable. A fascinating combination, which showed just what a great
choice Luka had made when it came to these guest artists.
Claudia managed to seduce Luka with her infectious rhythms on the cajon to
playing his better known style of guitar playing, maybe even more than he
wanted to allow himself because of his vulnerable wrist. The subdued moments
were supported impressively by Suzi Ng's violin playing. Beautiful
highlights were She Sings Her Songs With Open Eyes and a beautiful solo in
My Singing Bird. Who thought that only songs from the new CD would be played was wrong. Bloom
also played a few older songs, like his beautiful rendition of Keeper Of
The Flame, which was really done justice in Saturday night's line up.
And as if the performance wasn't special enough Luka Bloom also treated the
audience to his latest repertoire, including his latest song Love In A Strange Old Place,
written only a few weeks ago about his love for the Jordaan (a popular part of Amsterdam;
translator's note). Thank You For Bringing Me Here was Luka's way of
expressing his gratitude for being able to play in the Netherlands again.
Luka Bloom ended the encore with the title song of the CD and then wished us
all "welltoeruste" (sleep well)......
It was half past one when my sleep finally came and Luka Bloom started 'She
Moved Through the Fair' again, but now in a beautiful theatre of dreams....
John Beumer www.bluedew.nl
Translated by Jolande Hibels