High 5, with Jack Lukeman

Irish singer Jack Lukeman will be a familiar face to fans of The Proclaimers. The talented troubadour supported the brothers Reid on their recent tour, going down a storm at venues up and down the country. But the 46-year-old from Athy, Kildare is headline material in his own right – be sure of that.

A household name in his native Ireland, the multi-award-winning singer-songwriter is currently touring the UK – and he’s bringing his solo tour to the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on March 10. On this occasion, he’ll mostly be playing tracks from his latest album, Magic Days. But he’ll also throw in a few fan favourites from his impressive back catalogue.

Jack’s 12th (yes, 12th!) album features a veteran team of gifted musicians, with string arrangements from Golden Globe-nominated composer Brian Byrne (Katy Perry, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison) and long-time collaborator Derek Cronin. Conor Brady (The Commitments) provided guitar, with drums by Conor Donavan (Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran), Greek sound wizard Vasileios Gourgourinis wrapping up the production, and Jack on guitar and vocals.

One of the hardest working singers in the business, the last two years have seen Jack living life on the road with a remarkable 220 gigs under his belt – among them high-profile support slots with the likes of Van Morrison, Imelda May, and, as aforementioned, Edinburgh’s own The Proclaimers.

Over the years Jack’s hard work has paid off, winning numerous awards such as the Edinburgh Fringe Spotlight Awards in Best Music, the San Diego Fringe Festival two years in a row, the Irish Post’s, Best Male Singer, and the Hollywood Fringe Judges Choice Award.

Ahead of his visit to the Capital, AAA caught up with Jack for a quick high five. You can check out some of his tunes below and get ticket details for his visit to Voodoo Rooms.

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Favourite Film 

Some Like It Hot. First of all, it still looks absolutely beautiful in old black and white. It’s still hilarious. Jack Lemon’s finest moment – if not Marilyn’s too – and it has great music shootouts and chase sequences. If it pops up in TV you have to watch  it! I went and visited the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego where it was shot. It’s preserved perfectly as it was and stunning in the sunlight.

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Favourite Single

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley. I’ve always thought it the perfect raw rock ‘n’ roll song and it still sounds great. You can feel the energy captured. It’s the ultimate recording of people playing in a room together. It’s take 28 of 31 takes with Elvis driving the band for a rawer rock sound. His voice is also primal in the opening line

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Favourite Album

Spirit of Eden – Talk Talk. I think this transcends genre and it set the stage for Radiohead and Spiritualized, to name but a few space rockers. It’s a feast for the ears and just sets a wonderful soundscape and ethereal mood

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Favourite Gig 

Depeche Mode – Faith and Devotion tour early 90s, Dublin’s Point Theatre. After the fantastic album Songs of Faith and Devotion they were at the peak of combining the rawness of rock ‘n’ roll with the world of synth music. They were probably at their most anthemic songwise also. It was just a big singalong. Dave Gahan was on fire and is one of the great frontmen, and let’s not forget Anton Corbijn’s visuals enhance the proceedings.

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Favourite Book 

Cosmic Trigger 2- Robert Anton Wilson. This is part of a trilogy of books he wrote at one time or another. It’s actually a bunch of individual stories and chapters inter-crossing. It’s a bit like scrolling the internet before it existed. Sometimes books are all about timing, and at the time I read this it opened up a lot of doors in my head, hence the cosmic trigger I suppose.

Jack Lukeman, The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street, Sunday 10 March, doors 7pm, £14.85, 0131-556 7060

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