The Essential Guide to the Port Fairy Folk Festival
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Byron Bay singer, ukulele strummer and drummer Bobby Alu brings his smooth harmonies and rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance to Port Fairy. Alu’s tunes have 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 and enjoy the ride. 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.
Bobby Alu’s third-ever gig was the 2011 Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and BB King. Joined by his hot band, including Paulie B on guitar (The Beautiful Girls, George), Grant Gerathy on drums (John Butler Trio) and Stewart Barry on bass, Bobby Alu gained instant notoriety with a QLD Music Award, an AWME showcase (Australasian World Music Expo), an International Songwriting Comp award, major national festival performances and support slots with music heavyweights Blue King Brown, The Beautiful Girls and Katchafire. The musical alter ego of accomplished musician Charles Wall, Bobby Alu also plays drums for Xavier Rudd and collaborates with the likes of Nicky Bomba, OKA and Kooii.