Bobby Alu

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Bobby Alu

Lying back on a banana lounge in sunny Byron Bay post Splendour in the Grass, Bobby Alu is cool, calm and collected as we begin to chat about the upcoming run of festival dates throughout October and November. With the Queenscliff Music Festival at the end of November, Alu will join the likes of Ben Harper, Killing Heidi and George in the seaside for the 20th anniversary of the festival.

“Things are pretty relaxed at the moment bro. I’m just taking it easy after a big SITG and munching down at the moment on a snapper and mango burrito. If this was Masterchef, they would definitely be safe and into the next round.” As you would expect, with all of the artists that played at SITG 2016, it’s nearly like asking him to pick up his favourite ukulele, however there is a clear winner when it comes to artist of the festival.

“I got the opportunity to see Michael Kiwanuka and that was quite an experience. He has this energy when he is on stage and his vocals are quite spine chilling. I haven’t heard the new album Love and Hate that he has just put out, yet in the live setting, the songs just created a whole new persona and I think I would liken it very much to a religious experience.”

New music alert! Bobby Alu and the Palm Royale will be bringing the Polynesian party vibes to QMF and with them, will be a stack of new tunes. It has taken a few years working on this latest album, yet having the time to sit down and really dig into the song structure and what it’s about, it’s really paying the dividends. A lot of people these days record song ideas into their phones, yet being able to transfer them into the studio environment courtesy of band mate Paulie B (The Beautiful Girls, George) helps in making great records. “It takes a long time to put together a record. The last one we recorded within three days, and it’s been nice to sit down and really work on things and make them sound the best they can. I think you can expect to dance a lot.”

One of the interesting aspects to interviewing artists is to get into the headspace of what they were listening to whilst making albums: “On in the studio, what were we listening to? We listen to a lot of different stuff and that inspires certain things. Beyonce’s Lemonade is an album that we have been getting around a lot lately. The songwriting and beats on that is just out of this world. Who knows, when we play Queenscliff, we might get the ‘Single Ladies’ dance happening on stage. We’d like to get it tight though, so you may be in luck. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Released in 2015, the album Bay Sessions showcases everything that we have come to love about Bobby Alu. Born into music and a ukulele put in his hand at the age of six, the upcoming release is something to get very excited about. When they take the stage, they will surely be on fire. Mark them in your program guide as a not to missed Forte, you won’t regret it!

Written by Tex Miller

When & Where: Queenscliff Music Festival – November 25, 26 & 27