With a commanding stage presence, rogue sex appeal and remarkable vocals, Jack Lukeman seems poised to leave his mark in the U.S. By Christine Heffernan
JACK LUKEMAN. At Mercury Lounge, Soho, NYC. July 12.
Striding onto stage wearing a black shiny suit over a blood-red shirt, a pair of wrap-around sunglasses and the obligatory roadie to help push his way through the crowd — it was clear from the offset that Jack Lukeman is a man who likes to put on a show.
Modeling himself as a rock star in the Bono/ Hutchinson/ Tyler mode, Lukeman, previously known as Jack L, has built up an impressive following in Ireland on the strength of his live shows. For the crowd packed into the Mercury Lounge last Wednesday evening it was clear why. Swinging his jacket around his head, later a red feather boa and strutting around the modest stage, Lukeman and his band were every bit as good as their reputation.
Although his set list was dominated by tracks from his debut U.S. release, "Metropolis Blue," Lukeman kicked things off with "Tremendous," a top-10 single in Ireland. Lukeman’s music frequently draws comparisons with old-style crooners such as Scott Walker and Jacques Brel, and his powerful voice has also been likened to Tom Jones. Such comparisons are fair. His flyers for the gig touted him as "a mixture of all the great male singing voices of the 20th Century." However, it is the combination of his engaging stage presence, rogue sex appeal and remarkable vocals that have made Lukeman into Ireland’s next big thing.
With a sold-out gig in the Point Depot, Dublin behind him and his record breaking three-night stint at Glastonbury, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, not to mention the Hot Press nominations, Lukeman is set to make his mark in the United States. The Mercury Lounge was an impressive start.
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