Music – Sat 14 Sept – Jack Lukeman

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“The most magnificent and enigmatic of performers.” Edinburgh Spotlight Magazine – Scotland

Jack Lukeman is an Irish singer-songwriter, performer, raconteur and a whole lot more besides. A platinum-selling, critically acclaimed artist in his homeland, in recent years Lukeman has devoted more of his time to winning a growing fanbase in the UK and abroad. In this regard, he has toured the UK as Special Guest on tours by artists as varied as Imelda May, Jools Holland, The Proclaimers and Neil Sedaka, and is currently promoting “Magic Days”, his latest album of idiosyncratic original songs. Lukeman is a compelling, dazzling stage performer. Incorporating the theatrical and romantic sensibilities of the likes of Jacques Brel, but with genuine melodic appeal and a knack for creating his own ‘magic realist’ world that is peopled by all manner of unusual, picaresque characters – Lukeman is a rare, unusual brand of performer.
The best music artists know that the world of the recording studio and onstage are two entirely different mediums – Lukeman’s recordings are colourful, absorbing collections, but it’s in the live environment, where his stage craft and desire to inspire really take flight. Despite the many achievements he has notched up in his lengthy career, Lukeman still has the hunger and drive to take his music to new audiences. During 2019 he takes to the road in the UK with his own headlining shows, and more special guest appearances with Caro Emerald, The Proclaimers and Jools Holland – other highlights include opening for Sting in July in Bonn, Germany – offering yet more proof of the outstanding versatility and unique talent of Jack Lukeman. From clubs to concert halls, theatres to festivals, Lukeman has the performing power and compelling presence to win over the most demanding of crowds.



When we think of independent artists, those who resolutely plough their own furrows away from the major labels, we tend to think of guitar bands, usually with distortion turned up to 11. However, Athy crooner, Jack Lukeman, has determinedly controlled his own career since the release of his Brel-loving tribute, ‘Wax’ way back in 1995. It is proof of Lukeman’s perseverance that he’s still devoutly independent in 2017 and testament to his talent that ‘Magic Days’ is amongst his finest work to date. It kicks off with recent single ‘The King of Soho’, a big, bold, brassy stomper that’s a perfect calling card, complete with an earworm chorus that impossible to shift. It’s a supremely confident opening salvo, a Lukeman showcases that wonderful voice, capable of switching from bruising baritone to sweet falsetto that the drop of a note. His songwriting has improved immeasurably and there’s a newfound maturity to tracks like the string drenched ballad ‘Sweet As Freedom’ and the achingly beautiful ‘Till I Saw You’. The latter is easily one of the finest songs the Athy man has penned with the singer wringing with every ounce of emotion from his voice. But it’s not just the ballads where Lukeman excels: he’s equally comfortable as the post-apocalyptic Pentecostal preacher of ‘Sky News Blues’, a rolicking rocker where our hero waxes testily about the tabloid-esque ticker tape of the Murdoch generation with Lukeman imploring, “stop telling me that the sky is falling down”. Similarly, ‘Deeper Down The Rabbit Hole’ is a whirling, swirling Wurlitzer ride, complete with galloping drums, bittersweet brass and gently tinkering keys. Other highlights include the honeyed Waitsean ‘Magi Days And Magic Ways’, outsider ballad ‘Left Hand Man’ and the stellar subtleties of ‘The Sunset Is Blue On Mars’. ‘Magic Days’ confirms that Lukeman is only getting better with age. 8/10 John Walshe – 02/02/17 (click here for review).

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