fri 22/06/2018

Xavier Rudd, The Electric Ballroom | reviews, news & interviews

Xavier Rudd, The Electric Ballroom

Xavier Rudd, The Electric Ballroom

Australian globalist imbibes the spirit of his sounds

Xavier Rudd, a one-man rainbow coalition

The last time I spent hours on end listening to Xavier Rudd I was giving birth to my daughter. Weirdly, the anaesthetist had seen him perform in Australia a few weeks previously (this was a few years ago when Rudd wasn’t as heard of as he is now) and we bro’d about the magical coincidence pretty hard, in between contractions.

To see him live was therefore a pretty big deal, seeing as what he essentially (musically) birthed my baby. There was a lot to live up to. I am thankful in life for many things – the fact that seeing him in the flesh did not disappoint, is one of them

The Beatles' 'Come Together' finishes with a rave digeridoo solo

Xavier Rudd is a movement. He is an activist as much as a musician, singing about our one global nation coming together in harmony, protecting our oceans, our wildlife, our world; respecting creation, race, creed – one another. He has harnessed many world sounds for this eclectic musical collection – reggae, aboriginal, Inuit, Hawaiian. The transformation between musical cultures is remarkable, as his his ability to perform them in a way that is legitimate.

He sings about “change coming” as the crowd “woah woah”s along, singing “for the oceans; for the world; for Belgium; for Pakistan” to a pulsing beat. The crowd really get into it with "Spirits Of The Ancient", "Spirit Bird" (a chorus of “Emannahyo yo yo yo” runs for ages) as well as that old favourite (and my birthing mantra) "Let Me Be". "Follow The Sun" has the audience in ecstatic raptures and "Nanna" elicits the waving of many an iPhone in the air, while "Don’t Understand" bathes us in soft, plucky acoustic and warm harmonies.

Mixing up favourite songs rather than just pounding through the soundtrack of his most recent album, there are also a few covers thrown in for good measure. The Beatles’ "Come Together" finishes with a rave didgeridoo solo, ending in Rudd blowing it like a conch shell, and there's a lush rendition of Bob Marley’s "No Woman No Cry".

I’m not going to lie. I’d much rather see Rudd on a beach, stomping to his happy harmonica with sea salt and sand in my hair, but, if only for a brief second, I am transported to that place by the magic of his music. Kudos to the man that he’s as good a performer as he is an activist, and as he is a spiritual doula.

We feel less like we’re in grimy Camden on a miserable, rainy evening and more like we’re jamming on the sun-kissed shores of Byron Bay


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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