Saturday, 3 October 2009
After weeks of putting up flyers and posters, of selling tickets to neighbours and friends, of newspaper articles and radio interviews, Luka Bloom’s concert for FADA felt like a victory party. We packed the hall almost to capacity, we made an impressive take of money for our group, and everyone celebrated long into the night.
The openers, a local folksinger with a guitar and a Celtic instrumental duo, were good enough to draw a crowd by themselves. But when Luka took the stage he held an instant rapport with the audience, telling funny stories between songs and bantering with the audience. At times he stopped and let the audience take the chorus, and the gathered crowd sang well and softly.
I’m sure his fans do that in Australia or Amsterdam as well, but it helps that he grew up in Newbridge -- his brother is the venerated Irish singer Christy Moore, and they are probably related to many people in the audience in one way or another. Small-town Ireland runs thick with old relationships – one fan came up to Luka after the show and said, “You know, my godmother delivered you.”
Now that the concert is behind us, we will be turning out attention to other things. I am still writing the weekly column on peak oil preparation for the local newspaper, and we are still hosting courses in self-reliant skills at the Bia Linn garden. One of our members is promoting a film about living sustainably, to be shown today at the same hall where Luka sang. A number of us will be travelling to another county to see a bio-digester next weekend -- I'm trying to learn more about the technology. Finally, for the rest of the month, we will be working to create the Feile na Samhna.