There’s no denying we’re massive fans of Bobby Alu.
We bought his new album Flow after seeing him support Busby Marou at The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle last year and since then, we’ve had it on high rotation. A few of us are even getting pretty good at singing the words!
So we were keen to see him on the Central Coast for a gig at The Rhythm Hut on Sunday as part of hi Flow tour.
Get to the gig early for the support act
First to hit the stage on the night was singer-songwriter Sunny Smith from The Kava Kings & Caravana Sun.
Sunny provided chill, emotionally driven stories accompanied by his guitar and keys. He admitted that he is fresh at the solo thing, having only played his first gig on Friday night in Sydney supporting Bobby. Bobby & Sunny go way back and he was pretty grateful to be on the road with one of his mates. He ended his set with the admission, “I don’t have merch, just a curry stain on my shirt!”
We enjoyed his set, and it reminded us that you should get to the venue early to check out the support act.
You don’t have to be in Byron Bay to experience the vibe
As described on their Facebook page, The Rhythm Hut is a hidden gem of the Central Coast. ‘The Hut’ serves up live music from international and local acts throughout the year, they host open mic sessions and fundraising events, and you can take an array of weekly classes to learn anything from African or Japanese drumming to ukulele or yidaki, and everything in between.
At its heart, The Rhythm Hut is a community space dedicated to supporting & promoting the arts, music and culture. It’s adorned with pillows, lounges and spaces to relax. There’s also lots of artwork, murals, prayer flags, fairy lights and good vibes. And it reminded us of some of the laidback venues in Byron and dotted around the North Coast of NSW… but only a couple of minutes up the road from Gosford Station.
Tropical music brings tropic like humidity
There wasn’t a dry forehead at The Hut but as Bobby said ‘tropical music brings humidity’!
Even with sweat dripping off everyone in the room, there was no stopping the crowd from dancing and enjoying the fresh, Polynesian inspired, Pacific beats, and catchy songs. And those harmonies – Delivered by Bobby, Paulie B (The Beautiful Girls, George) and Declan Kelly.
It was HOT but truly sublime.
It’s Called The RHYTHM Hut for a Reason!
Between Sunny Smith Bobby Alu’s set, we were treated to an incredible Taiko and African drumming demonstration presented by Rhythm Hunters
Rhythm Hunters is Rendra (a musician in his own right and also drumming teacher at The Hut), Luke & Rosie (both former students of The Hut and in a band called Rhythm Hunters).
Rendra, Luke and Rosie also later joined Bobby and the band on stage for the traditional Samoan song his mother and uncles taught him on the Pātē (Traditional Samoan drum).
It sounded amazing and the rhythm was well and truly alive at The Hut on Sunday afternoon!
The Ukulele Is Cool
There’s a bit of a stigma around the uke. But to see a national artist like Bobby play the ukulele puts that totally to rest.
Bobby has taken uke playing to another level. Beyond his drumming (check him out drumming for Xavier Rudd) the Uke is bobby’s instrument of choice. During a recent interview with Central Coast Live Bobby told us that he’d been playing it since quite an early age.
“My Mum showed me. I’ve got memories of her showing me when I was really young like 4 or 5. Most Samoan songs are played with the same three chords. So I played those chords for a good 10 years before I knew any others”.
CATCH BOBBY ALU AT LOVELANES IN WYONG
If you missed out on The Rhythm Hut gig is Gosford you can catch Bobby Alu during the Love Lanes festival in Wyong on 8 February. Check out more info here.