Enmore Theatre, Sydney, November 20
Reviewed by Bernie Brian
This was Luka Bloom's first concert in Australia but judging by the audience response he already has many fans here. He has built his reputation on two acclaimed albums, Riverside and Acoustic Motorbike and his appearance in the television series on contemporary Irish music Bringing It All Back Home.
Luka is a solo performer whose trademark is his thunderous and exhilarating acoustic guitar playing, his fine voice and his warm and passionate delivery.
His songs reflect the experiences of so many exiled Irish people who have left for far shores in search of a new life, dreams and love. This is reflected in his song "Dream in America". As he writes there is always the hope of a "reunion in the progress of time".
Bloom has just returned to Ireland after many years absence trying to establish his individual identity away from the shadow of his brother, Christy Moore, and the stultifying effects of Ireland's theocracy.
While his songs mainly reflect personal experiences and are not overtly political, he is not shy to express his concerns about sexism, bigotry and environmental destruction. He does not see his music, however, as a force for change but as a comfort for people in a cruel world.
During the evening he dedicated a song to young Irish gays and lesbians and sang about the destruction of Ireland's natural beauty in pursuit of the tourist dollar.
Bloom's influences are many and varied. During the night he performed covers from the Waterboys, Prince, and the rap band LL Cool J.
Luka Bloom's remaining tour dates:
Perth — Wed November 25, Fly By Night Club, Fremantle.
Adelaide — Fri November 27, the Big Ticket.
Melbourne — Sun November 29, Athenaeum Theatre.
Canberra — Wed December 2, Tilley's.
Sydney — Thurs December 3, Birkenhead Tavern.