Live Review: Luka Bloom

29 February 2016 | 1:08 pm | Paul Smith

"As he put it: 'There's no bigger turn-off to a fella singing songs than the sound of silver on a plate.'"

Photos by Angela Padovan

Photos by Angela Padovan

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With frequent visits Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom has built up quite a following in Australia. Certainly enough for a two-night stay at The Basement.

Judging by the accents in the crowd for a great many this was clearly a taste of home, but Bloom's songs have such an ethereal quality their reach is well beyond just that now. Somewhat inevitably the venue though, with its dinner and a show option in full swing, made it difficult to create the kind of intimacy Bloom relishes and his songs deserve. As he put it: "There's no bigger turn-off to a fella singing songs than the sound of silver on a plate." Despite his gorgeous lilting guitar and comforting voice it took a while to really feel it. Head And Heart got close early on as it bobbled along and really wanted to take off. The poetry of his music was there though in the beauty of Water Ballerina and the images darted through Exploring The Blue with the rolling guitar sound underneath.

A batch of three new songs immediately followed a brief interval, the first of which was a heartfelt love letter to the country Bloom loves so much (Australia). The real connection with the audience then came in the singalongs of City Of Chicago and Sunny Sailor Boy, while You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time and Ciara built up the energy levels. It was though a couple of tongue-in-cheek new songs in the encore which got the best reaction, with a take on the baby boom in his hometown in Jiggy Jig Jig and Irish surfing in Give It A Go. It may have been hard work for him but by the soft romance of the closing Black Is The Colour, Bloom and his all-enveloping songs had won through.