Luka Bloom has had a hugely successful singing career all over the world and is renowned for his innovative style, inspiring lyrics … and a masculine Irish brogue.
He was born Kevin Barry Moore in 1955. He is the younger brother of singer Christy Moore. When he was still just a teenager, Bloom worked as a backing musician for Moore, but he wanted to develop his own style and spent much of his youth writing songs.
When he was 14, he went on a tour of English folk clubs as support act for his brother, Christy. In 1976, Christy recorded two of Blooms’s songs, Jenny of the Sun and Wave Up to the Shore.
Bloom attended Newbridge College where he formed a band called Aes Triplex with his brother, Andy, and friend, Pat Kilbride.
A couple of years later he dropped out of college in Limerick so he could focus on his music.
In the late 1970s, Bloom performed all over Ireland and toured England and Germany with his band Inchiquin.
In 1978, Bloom released his first album, Treaty Stone. At this point he was still using his real name, Barry Moore.
In 1979, he had tendonitis in his picking hand and he had to learn to play guitar with a plectrum rather than finger style. This forced him to change his style of playing, making it more rhythmic.
At around this time, he went to live in Holland where he stayed for several years.
In 1980 he released his second album, In Groningen, with Eamon Murray. In 1982, he released the album No Heroes, which featured a song called Remember the Brave Ones, which was later recorded by his brother’s band, Moving Hearts.
After his No Heroes album, Bloom decided to change his musical direction. He became the front man of Red Square, who were a post-punk rock outfit. Between 1983-86, they became part of a rock scene in Dublin that included hundreds of bands following in the footsteps of U2.
Bloom thoroughly enjoyed his punk rock phase. He said that it “got me off the stool, out of the folk clubs, taught me how to roar”.
In 1987, the alias Luka Bloom was born. Barry Moore moved to America and decided to reinvent himself using a new name for his new country and new fans.
The name ‘Luka’ came from the song, My Name is Luka, by Suzanne Vega and Bloom came from the main character in James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Bloom commented: “I made a conscious decision before I went to America to create a solo performance that would be exciting and relevant to rock audiences. I also decided that I was going to create an audience for myself, without the help of record companies.”
In 1988, he released his self-titled ‘Luka Bloom’ album which announced his new stage name to the world.
With a new name and a new decade looming, Bloom was ready to take on the world.
When he was on the plane to New York he practiced saying: “Hi My name is Luka Bloom, I’d like to play here.”