This much I know Luka Bloom
I still remember the strange feeling of bond and connection I had the moment I first held a guitar, aged nine.
I’m 52 now and still get the same feeling today when it presses against my body.
As a child, I liked being on stage, but that rock n roll cliché you hear, of people throwing up before they go on stage, is kind of true. It never got quite that bad for me but if I’m honest it’s only in the last 15 years of so that I’ve been able to feel relaxed in front of audiences. I’m a sociable loner.
I really like people and l love interacting with them but in order to do what I do, I need plenty of quiet time. Long periods of such time are spent not writing anything at all. This means that every time I go to the well in search of the songs, I feel terrified, but this is the feeling I’m after: it protects me from the dread of repeating myself. The trait I most admire in others is kindness.
As someone who wants to write songs for a living, I need to be on the outside of things. The word outsider can have negative connotations but I don’t think I suffer from ‘terminal uniqueness’ any more than the next person. I don’t take it all too seriously. We’re all in this together. I’ve had a couple of challenges so far. One is an issue which affected my whole family: the premature passing of my dad, who left my mother a widow at 33.
She raised six of us on her own and that familiar challenge spilled on to later life for me when I took to the drink for a while not even aware that the two things were connected.
When I turned 27, that was a pivotal year for me. People had been pointing things out to me, about my drinking. But it wasn’t until a guy I didn’t know very well took me aside after seeing me in action one night and said, ‘you do realise you are going to kill yourself if you continue like this?’ At first I was angry, but he was right, and he was so brave. That burst me wide open.
My idea of misery is having a job. It has been one of the motivating factors in my life since I was 15, although I like to think I work hard at my music.
Barry Moore is who I am and Luka Bloom is what I do, it’s a brand for my work and is all about the songs.
Having Christy Moore for an older brother has been more of an inspiration to me than anything else. There were periods of frustration of course, it’s inevitable, when he was rising to fame in Planxty and Moving Hearts, but all the challenges were to do with myself and my attitude.
Our mother had a huge influence on all of her children - she was profoundly decent and it was a priority for her that we would remain close.
What irritates me most about other people is denial. I find it especially frustrating that at a time when climate change is so serious and potentially fatal, that so many choose to remain in denial about it.
I live outside Liscannor, in County Clare. I moved here from Kildare for many reasons – the sea, the Burren, the limestone walks and the musicality of the people.
I guess I feel like part of the community no matter where I am. I even felt that way when I lived in New York in the early 90s.
I have no idea if there is an after life. I don’t give time to thinking about it. I regard living in the now as being the most spiritual act anyone can do. I don’t always do it, regret or shame for the past often steps in the way of being present, but I believe one’s journey is largely a journey for peace.
The lesson so far has been, don’t take yourself too seriously, do the work and forgive as quickly as possible – yourself included.
Luka Bloom’s latest album ‘Refuge’ is out now and is available, along with details of upcoming tour dates, on www.lukabloom.com