Australian legend Xavier Rudd is making just two stops in the UK this summer – one in
London and the other at Southsea’s Wedgewood Rooms on Thursday June 25.
The multiinstrumentalist made his name by taking his one-man band act (surrounded by an array of instruments) around festivals in his native Australia, as well as America and Europe.
A long-time political campaigner, particularly on environmentalism and the rights of the Aboriginal people, he has included both Australian and Canadian Aboriginal vocals in his recordings.
Now he has recruited eight musicians from around the world (from Australia, South Africa, Samoa, Germany and Papua New Guinea) to join him on stage as he tours as Xavier Rudd and the United Nations to plug his latest album, Nanna.
As part of his sound, the didgeridoo features prominently – although he prefers to call it by another name.
‘Didgeridoo is the name given to it by Dutch settlers. I’ve been playing yidaki for about 25 years. I think I was about 10 when I started circular breathing. I just taught myself. It’s part of my culture…it’s the oldest instrument on the planet.’
Xavier, known for his one-man band act, now tours with the United Nations.
‘It was something that I’ve wanted to put together for a long time.
‘I was patient with the concept, and this year I put it out to the universe and it all came together very organically.
‘The right people presented themselves and away we went.
‘Everyone on this record is amazing musically but also carry a huge story of spirit with them.
‘The band are symbolic of the message that all people of the world can come together and return to spirit, respect the ancient ways and protect the Earth and the very essence of creation.’
After years of solo work, Xavier says he is enjoying playing with a band.
‘It’s a new project - but I like everything I do.
‘I’m having a ball – there are great musicians laying it down all around me and I’m so stoked to be a part of it.’
Nanna, Xavier’s latest offering, is a fulfilment of some of his artistic goals.
‘It’s a nine-piece band, so that’s the main difference. It’s also a dedicatedreggae project, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
‘Errol Brown [from Hot Chocolate] mixed the record. It came from meeting with Steven Marley, who suggested I work with Errol because he had worked with his father. Knowing that he mixed all those classic Bob Marley tracks that I love, it was such a huge honour.’
Tickets: £15, visit wedgewood-rooms.co.uk