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This article was first published on CLUAS in Feb 2000

What Does the Future Hold for Jack L?

Frank on the prospects of an Irish crooner...

There's no doubting the rare talent possessed by one Jack Lukeman. Highlighted more so on his Jacques Brel inspired 'Wax' project with The Black Romantics than his latest release 'Metropolis Blue.' He may have vocals as richly textured as an expensive chocolate and the genuine charisma of a strong whiskey but as the more refined Irish listener has learned over the past six years or so, what the hell has talent got to do with it!

 Jack LBoth the broadcast and the print media welcomed the Louis Walsh and co. revolution with open arms?and, it has to be said, open legs, such was the prostitution involved. Now, it seems, they have chosen their darling for the mature, more discerning audience. No problem with that! Great, in fact, the man deserves to have his skills exposed to the masses. Exposure is one thing however, overexposure is quite another and somehow you can't see the more and more British-influenced Irish media treating the whole affair sensibly.

It is thanks to some of this remarkable promotional work that he has suddenly gone from The Olympia to playing The Point but after witnessing his Valentine's weekend performance it was clear that something was off. Watching a large portion of the crowd, it was obvious that they were not familiar with the material on offer. They duly turned the occasion into a cabaret affair that would have left Mr. Pussy overwhelmed and you couldn't help thinking that these bandwagon joy-riders took great pleasure in telling their colleagues, when asked of their weekend plans, that they had tickets to see Jack L at The Point. Taking even more pleasure in the quizzical looks they got in return. To suggest a conspiracy is a little far fetched but you get the feeling that poor old Jack is being set up as a pawn for the clap-along Celtic Tiger.

Mr. Lukeman has been touted by some members of the press as the next Bruce Springsteen. Although that comparison is utterly ridiculous there is no question that he has great potential in the international market and could go along way to restoring some much- needed pride in our industry, especially on the export side of things. In order to achieve this there are the aforementioned shackles that need to be broken or we might soon find Jack L sharing the stage with Joe Dolan in the Mount Brandon Hotel in Tralee.

Frank McNally

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