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Armed with just his guitar and emotive voice, Bloom magically transformed a large theatre into an intimate bedsit, for this was not just a gig but a celebration of life, love, sex and the Irish weather
Jackie Hayden, 12 Mar 2002
The Cirque Royale is a three-tiered theatre close to the centre of Brussels, with clearer sight lines and better sound than any venue we have in Ireland, despite its high domed roof.
That roof lifted a few feet off the ground several times during the opening night on Luka Bloom’s European and Australian jaunt, not least after a truly stunning rendition of ‘Raglan Road’.
The three thousand Brusseloise in the audience were already well familiar with Bloom’s new album Between The Mountain And The Moon, to judge by the welcome meted out to the opening bars of ‘Monsoon’, ‘I’m A Bogman’ and the rattlingly percussive ‘Perfect Groove’, in which Bloom becomes a one-man Talking Heads.
Sally, from Brooklyn-based Hem, depped admirably for Sinéad O’Connor on ‘Love Is A Place I Dream Of’ and our man dipped into his own back pages for a rip-roaring ‘You Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time’, ‘You’ and the poignant ‘Gone To Pablo’, as well as a thought-provoking interpretation of Dylan’s ‘To Make You Feel My Love’.
Not a pin dropped during the emotional song to his son in ‘Gabriel’, whereas they sang joyfully along to a sublime ‘Sunny Sailor Boy’ and danced like queens to ‘Dancing Queen’.
Armed with just his guitar and emotive voice, Bloom magically transformed a large theatre into an intimate bedsit, for this was not just a gig but a celebration of life, love, sex and the Irish weather. Freed of the pressures of major labeldom, Bloom seemed much at peace with himself and at one with a good-humoured audience who demanded four encores. So he will sing his songs around the world and be back for a home tour in April. Get the red carpet ready.