Having just clocked up 50 shows with Xavier Rudd, Bobby Alu is back in town for a solo show on the weekend with some smooth harmonies, rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance, and unassuming grooves that work a gradual, smile-inducing high for even a casual listener.
Bobby Alu tunes have a way of sneaking into the subconscious and taking up residence. Every now and then, one will pop up as a toe-tapping reminder to take it slow, enjoy the ride. He’s the curator of calm’s way – delivering island-time vibes with gentle optimism rather than forceful instruction, and encouraging the type of reflection best achieved in a hammock. Though it’s not all palm trees and daydreams – there’s a robust energy in Alu’s mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his songwriting that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence.
With a reputation as a performer that leaves audiences feeling truly good in the heart, Bobby Alu continues to observe the ebb and flow of life while locking into his tried and always true grooves. There’s a fire that comes from the ability to hold a 20,000 strong festival crowd captive with beats, and when mixed with the love that comes from serenading your nearest and dearest with an instrument handed down from your mother, very special moments will always emerge.