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Obituary: Luke Gleeson


The country lost one of its most ardent supporters of music this week. A vital force in Dublin’s live circuit, and a tireless advocate of up-and-coming artists of every ilk and sound, Luke Gleeson dedicated a sizable part of his time and efforts promoting shows in The Grand Social, Whelan’s, Sweeney’s, Drop Dead Twice and, more recently, Bloody Marys.

In terms of sheer passion and incentive, he will be remembered by many as a one-off; a zealous live music fan who, in heeding the abundance of talent around him, played his part in making it known to others. As the Dublin underground scene comes to terms with his passing, we fondly remember him as a fervent, yet always courteous ambassador of Irish independent music. May he rest in peace.

We would also like to share some additional from his friend and colleague John Brereton.

One of Dublin’s most notable independent music promoters Luke Gleeson passed away suddenly on Tuesday evening leaving behind his partner Anita and young daughter Darcie.

Luke started out in the press department of EMI and went on to curate one of Dublin’s best-loved live music club nights – the Retro Revival Indie Club. In its initial run in Sweeney’s Bar, Luke’s RRIC championed Ireland’s underground punk/garage/psyche scene and most notably gave the fledgling Fontaines DC and The Strypes their first gigs in the city.

Luke was also instrumental in co-promoting acts like Damo Suzuki, Blow Monkeys, Night Beats and Jah Wobble in the Grand Social before landing the bookers job in the Drop Dead Twice music venue on Francis St. After a career change his most recent forays saw him resurrect the RRIC monthly in Bloody Marys to great crowds and acclaim. Luke’s no-nonsense, professional approach won him great respect amongst musicians and his ear for unearthing and supporting fresh, raw talent will be greatly missed. John Brereton


is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.