Acclaimed speaker, MC and entertainer
Versatile performer Luke Escombe is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, comedian, raconteur and MC who has turned over 20 years of living with chronic illness into inspiration for his art.
Because of his own unique experiences and insight, Luke is particularly popular with audiences in the health, medical and pharmaceutical sectors, not only as a keynote speaker and conference MC but also as a superb entertainer.
When Luke spoke at National Medicines Symposium (NMS) 2012, sharing with the audience of 500 health professionals his personal story of chronic illness, he received a standing ovation and praise for his quick wit, ability to appeal to the audience and his compelling message. After hosting NMS 2014, he was described as one of the best MCs the event has had.
Luke has also performed for three years in a row at Parliament House in Canberra, as well as at the New Zealand National Museum in Wellington, the 2013 Pharmacy Australia Congress, and at conferences, workshops, support groups and nursing homes across the country.
Luke, who was born in London into a musical household, began playing guitar at the age of seven. In his teens he was diagnosed with the chronic illness Crohn’s Disease, moved to Sydney when he was 21 to escape the cold, then spent much of his early 20’s either housebound or in and out of hospital.
Luke emerged in 2008 to introduce himself as a distinctive voice on the Australian music scene with his debut solo album Golden Ages. One of its tracks, The Blame Game, was used as part of World Vision’s Stir the World campaign.
Luke’s 2011 musical comedy show Chronic took him to festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh Fringe and earned him a nomination for one of Australia’s premier accolades: the Green Room Award. Back in Australia his comedy began to attract attention for its candid discussion of living with chronic illness. After being filmed for the ABC’s Tonic program, he was flown to Canberra to deliver a moving speech about the experiences that inspired Chronic to a room full of politicians. He ended the year with standing ovations at the Peats Ridge Festival and the proud winner of a competition on radio station Mix 106.5FM to find “Sydney’s sexiest man voice”.
The following year his self-produced album Mantown spent nine straight months in the top ten of the Australian Blues and Roots chart, earning comparisons to the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Nick Cave.
Luke Escombe is an ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis Australia and a Champion of Australian Pain Management.
Early in 2014 Luke simultaneously released his first feature length DVD Chronic Symphonic along with a live album Live on the Coast, following a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The Vegetable Plot, Luke’s musical comedy for kids, families and foodies won the award for Best Kid’s show at the 2014 Sydney Fringe.
Luke Escombe, who frequently describes himself as ‘the Mick Jagger of inflammatory bowel disease’ has a unique perspective, an inspiring personality and exceptional comedic and musical talents which make him hugely popular with all audiences.
Luke was a real highlight of our National Medicines Awards Dinner – his candid down to earth humour is not only hilariously funny but refreshingly honest and humbling. He is a truly talented individual who has risen above personal adversity to share his experiences and make the world a better place through music and laughter. Luke is a great MC for any occasion
Luke brings a unique perspective to life's challenges and triumphs including dealing with chronic illness and parenthood. His velvety vocals and pithy song writing ability are both engaging and moving. Luke is able to tailor his performance to suit a range of audiences and this makes for riveting entertainment whether you are seeking laughter, tears or simple reflection
Luke Escombe is no ordinary entertainer. I have seen him at two 2014 conferences –NPS Medicinewise (Brisbane) and Consumers Health Forum (Melbourne). He had the whole audience in stitches both times, with new material for each occasion. I have only met Luke upon congratulating him after a show, but I’m delighted to recommend him, because he has twice managed to be the best entertainment I have ever seen at any conference. Book him!
-Australasian Medical Writers Association
Luke ran a sensational forum on patient recovery for staff from our Service at RNS Hospital. Staff absolutely LOVED it and feedback included, “Awesome”, “Left beaming”, “Learned a lot about recovery”, “Inspirational and relevant,” “Best presentation ever”. Luke has an amazing ability to change the perceptions of living with a chronic illness as well as inspiring and motivating through music and humour.
-Northern Sydney Drug & Alcohol Service
What's not to like? Luke Escombe is funny and brave, a showman and an artist, a brilliantly engaging lyricist, expert tunesmith, fine guitarist and exceptional singer. Seldom is such sophistication wrapped in a coating of such overt fun. Even Escombe's most savage satire evokes a laugh rather than a snarl.
-John Shand, Reviewer, Sydney Morning Herald
Luke was received very well by the audience. He was well suited to addressing Health staff and his jokes etc were very much in tune with the environment of health care. His music was also a hit and it gave his performance a real sense of variety. We received excellent feedback from our forum participants. Luke was also a pleasure to deal with when briefing him prior to his performance.