Bobby Alu plays his last Gold Coast show for Live at Bond as part of Bleach* Festival right before he heads off for an extended sojourn in Switzerland. He has new vinyl, which he’s touring before he departs and some of those dates have sold out. It’s a fitting departure for the Gold Coast man, who spoke with Blank GC before his tour.
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Bobby Alu says he feels honoured whenever he plays the Gold Coast. That he loves being a part of our growing live music culture.
“It feels nice for this to be my last show for a while,” he said of the Live at Bond gig.
“Bleach* Festival has played such a large role in developing arts culture on the Gold Coast. It’s become the consistent arts-focused event that the city owns providing so many arts workers with access to something they need most… an audience!”
The tour Bobby’s rolling out before his departure is focused very much on a new vinyl release which is like a best-of album of work to date. He says vinyl is unique in that it forces people to sit down and listen to the whole thing rather than skipping so easily through an album – and this is where the idea of releasing on vinyl came from.
“Me and Paulie B just picked 44 minutes worth of music we’ve already released that flow nicely together,” he explained. “This way you can put the record on, sit back and relax.”
Bobby Alu is definitely a man of the world. With Polynesian heritage yet growing up on the Gold Coast, travelling the globe in Xavier Rudd’s band and now setting himself up in Switzerland for a year or so, there’s no doubt that multi-culti lifestyle has an impact on his work. He says, though, that this Swiss sojourn is mostly about taking a break.
“I’ve been working so hard and touring so much that it feels right to stop for a moment. I have new music almost ready and could so easily pull the trigger and keep on pushing, but right now feels like a good time to pull up, slow down and take a look around.”
“There’s certain things about my personality and flow that are all pointing to the need for some downtime. A change of scene can be the perfect way to slip into this mind set. Being in a foreign environment can trick you into going back to the simple act of just being present in the day and the place you are,” he said.
We wrap up by speaking about the city he loves, that’s changed so much over the past 30 years. Bobby Alu believes Gold Coast’s cultural identity is vitally important, particularly as we grow.
“Cultural practice is something humanity needs and has been doing for thousands of years,” he said. “Events like Bleach* Festival help develop arts culture and give people a chance to get involved.”
“The arts can serve a community so well. Get your mind off work, bring people together, encourage conversations about everything and anything, provide many different viewpoints on a subject.”
“As a tourism destination, we get people from all over the place coming to share their experiences and stories,” he said. “But for me most importantly, it encourages emotion – something that we tend to bury deep down.”
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Live at Bond featuring Bobby Alu and the Palm Royalw play is on Sunday 2 April from 3.00pm.