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Xavier Rudd @ The Tivoli, 20th August

I first saw Xavier Rudd as a child. His performance was the first that I had ever seen and I was astounded. His pure talent had left me in awe. If you weren’t looking at the stage you heard a complete band, only to realise Rudd played nearly all the instruments himself, while singing. He really was a great performer.  Admittedly I have not heard too much of Rudd’s newer music so I’m unsure what I will expect from him and his band, The United Nations, tonight.

I walk into the Tivoli and to a great spot; a full view of the stage. The supporting act is Palm Royale, they begin by playing wooden drums, the undivided attention of the audience fixed to the stage.  Palm Royale swap their drums for ukuleles and sing a number of Hawaiian-type songs. They sing mostly covers, changing the originals to suit their style perfectly. I am very impressed by the band and the audience are going mad for them too, majority already dancing and singing along.

While waiting for Rudd to make an appearance on I look around me and realise the diversity of the crowd. Anyone and everyone is here, a true testament to how many people enjoy his music.

His band finally take the stage and the audience go wild.  Rudd smiles and sits down with his lap guitar and begins to sing Messages, one of his older songs, a definite crowd pleaser.  As the show goes on I am coming to realise that the majority of the songs are from Xavier Rudd and the United Nation’s new album Nanna. I am worried that we will miss out on hearing the music that made me fall in love with Rudd originally.

To my confusion the show becomes repetitive, songs like Follow the Sun and Flag make numerous appearances. The nature of his new music, although catchy, leads me to believe that the Xavier Rudd and The United Nations tour is more of a political statement than a concert.

Despite this, Rudd’s agenda is positive and he is able to convey his message through powerful lyrics and the talent of his multicultural band. His personality shines on stage and it is impossible not to be intoxicated by his energy.

I am excited when I see a harmonica and didgeridoo brought on stage.  He sings a few songs while playing both instruments, finally allowing him to show off some of his musical talent. Short solos by both Rudd and his musical compatriots bring something different to the end of the show, but even after a heartfelt thank-you and a short encore, I am left dissatisfied.

I think my preconceived idea of Xavier Rudd is what left me dissapointed. If I had not seen or heard of him before I would I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  In fact there wasn’t anything distinctly bad about it, Rudd just has so much more potential.

 




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