Luka BloomOn entering the Tivoli and walking into the theatre space I knew instantly I was in for something unexpected and different. I had the feeling I had walked in on someone else’s party. I was uninitiated to the sounds of Mr Bloom, yet, the crowd that had amassed to see Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom seemed to know better. They had taken their seats and were patiently waiting. I had surmised that Bloom had a devoted following and for the most part this following seemed, at first glance, to be in their late forties or older.  On closer scrutiny amongst the crows there were parents with their adult children, groups of friends occupying whole rows of seating, young couples and fans alike. One fan in the foyer noted that he just got hooked on Bloom’s music and sound upon hearing his album on national radio; but more tellingly, his nineteen year old son, who is prone to knowing everything, thinks “Blooms’ lyrics are intelligent”.

Luka Bloom did not disappoint. The words from his first song which spilled across the audience set the tune for the rest of the night; “I am not at war with anyone” taken from Bloom’s 2008 album “The Man Is Alive” is a strong and clear statement on the upshot of war amongst humankind. Bloom has been described as a folk song troubadour, and though essentially that may be true it pays not near enough homage to the humility of the man, the ability of the musician and the insight of the storyteller.

Bloom’s music is evocative; taking listener’s on the journeys Bloom has travelled himself. His lyrics are intelligent, he strikes a balance between what is needed to convey the emotion and narrative of the stories he sings without the words being burdened by weight of some of the topics within the songs. It is clear that this is a man proud of his heritage and homeland. It is this grounding which serves as the conduit through which Bloom reaches out and connects with the audience; there is at times, a universality of experience.

Highlights included “City of Chicago” from the album “Innocence” (2005) and “Prima Vera” from his 2007 album “Tribe”. The stand out song of the night proved to be “No matter where you go, there you are”, also from his “Innocence” album. This song tells the story on an Algerian wood carver, Mohammed, looking to escape the trouble of his homeland.  Mohammed moves from city to city through Europe searching for a haven and new home. It is a simple enough tale and this is where Bloom’s genius lies. Before the end of this tune, a number of audience members sitting around me had tears in their eyes as they recited the words. This was not the first time Bloom had taken them to such a place. It was a song, like many of his others, which transported you to a place and time, letting you join in the story of his subjects. His songs remind you of the importance of today, imploring the listener to accept moments and chances in life as they come.

Luka Bloom is a humorous, engaging and talented musician. His rapport and banter with the audience enhanced the evening as he provided insight to the songs. It was evident that he genuinely likes to perform in Australia and spends time to get to know his audience and the locality. Conversely, his fans enjoyed the exchanges. The comments and jokes between performer and audience member were often and generous. In his encore, Bloom courageously and dryly covered one of our Kylie’s better known tunes, a great laugh. Fair play to yer, Luka Bloom.

Bloom is performing around Australia including a stint at the Byron Bay Bluesfest this April.

Adrian Bohm & Irish Echo Present


The Tivoli March 28
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or

Wrest Point Ent. Centre March 30
Bookings: Wrest Point Service Centre 1300 795 257

National Theatre March 31
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136 100 or or National Theatre 9525 4611

Enmore Theatre April 3
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or or Enmore Theatre 9550 3666

Tilley’s Devine Café April 4, 5, 6
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 or

East Coast Blues & Roots Festival April 11, 12
Blues Fest Tickets On Sale Now! Bookings:

Governor Hindmarsh Hotel April 16
Bookings: VenueTix 8225 8888 or OR The Gov 8340 0744

West Coast Blues & Roots Festival April 18
Bookings: Moshtix 1300 GET TIX (1300 438 846) or

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