Live In Concert – Luka Bloom, The Helix, 2005

I’ll admit I felt like a bit of an outsider at this gig. Luka Bloom was filming a live DVD in The Space at The Helix, an intimate venue for a mere 100 lucky attendees. Why was I feeling outcast? Well, it was my first time seeing him live in full. I had seen him play support to his brother, Christy Moore, in the Kaedeen in Newbridge but this was the first time I was seeing him in full. And here I was surrounded by his most enthusiastic fans!

Kicking off proceedings by declaring he was “Happy as a pig in shit!” Bloom kicked off with the massively topical at the time “I Am Not At War With Anyone” which was a staple opener at the time, and from there he launched into what was a new track at the time, “Primavera” from 2005’s “Innocence” album. There is no better introduction to this man than that tracks, written, played and song exquisitely. Seriously, Spotify, YouTube, whatever needs be done, hear it now.

Picking out highlights from the set is a redundant exercise as for the life of me I don’t recall not enjoying a single one, though I will always remember that night as the first time I heard one of his more well known songs “The Man Is Alive”. This heart wrenching and never saccharine tribute to Bloom’s late father is just musical and songwriting perfection, taking full advantage of his DADGAD tuning to bring a fuller guitar sound than ever heard before. He wrapped up the gig with a special performance of one of Ewan McCall’s last songs, “The Joy Of Living” which was performed solely for us and it was beautiful.

Unfortunately, those of us following the process were informed that all but an hour of the footage from that night we unusable for some technical reason, the horror of filming a live DVD in one night I suppose. But what survived is there to be seen on the DVD and it’s more than worth the watch. A true artist of this isle.

Next week’s Live In Concert – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slane Castle, 2003

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Bachelors Degree in Arts from NUI Maynooth. Double Honours English & Philosophy.

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