Xavier Rudd and his United Nations Tribe had made their way to the Miami Marketta on a warm Sunday afternoon, the streets of Miami were buzzing as the gates opened at 3pm. Xavier and the United Nations have been touring since May this year, making their first festival appearance at this year Bluesfest bringing a whole different vibe to the crowd. I spoke to Xavier prior to Byron Bay’s Bluesfest and he explained that the United Nations crew brought a completely different energy to the Xavier Rudd shows. Xavier said it was going to be a huge dance party with loads of booty shaking, and I knew exactly what he meant as soon as they came on stage, oodles of effervescent energy was just pouring into the crowd, and I was lucky enough to witness this all over again at Miami Marketta gig.
As soon as I stepped into the marketta I was overwhelmed with such a warm energy, so many smiling faces, beautiful colours and the sweet sounds of Akova, a local Roots artist, and a very good friend of the Marketta team. People were bustled around the bar and stage, chatting and swaying to the relaxing music of Akova, the multi-instrumentalist is one of the most respected within the Gold Coast with a huge following and bundles of respect from the locals. It was a great start to a Sunday afternoon gig. I made my way around the marketta space, which always looks beautiful but that afternoon was particularly special. People were gathered around a table making flower crowns from scratch, so that was really lovely to see so much colour and beauty floating around on the heads of so many people. It smelt AMAZING, as the Marketta usually does throughout the weekend, an array of multicultural goods and plenty of desserts to choose from made everyone’s bellies very happy I assure you.
I made my way over the main stage where Gold Coast legend and lover Bobby Alu and his crew were bringing some very nice island vibes to the space. Bobby and band have been touring with Xavier Rudd + The United Nations on this MASSIVE Australian tour and Bobby of course being a part of the United Nations crew, killing it on the drums representing the beautiful island of Samoa. You could tell Bobby was absolutely loving being home with his local mates hailing from local spots, Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach to name a few. Bobby released his 6 track Bay Sessions E.P earlier this year, recorded and filmed in Byron Bay. Bay Sessions EP is a beautiful collection of uplifting and diverse instrumentals and solicitous lyrics. We were lucky enough to hear tracks like My Style, Step, Something and the very beautiful instrumental track Mana. Everyone was vibing off Bobby and his crew as the sun was setting over the Marketta, we even heard a sneaky cover of Michael Jacksons ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, which got plenty of hips shaking and punters singing along. Throughout the set I really should’ve been sitting on the beach drinking out of a coconut, the music really had the kind of effect on you. The fact Bobby was so comfortable and just completely stoked to be back home made me feel so happy to witness this particular gig.
It was such a clear night on the Gold Coast, the stars and moon were shining down on the crowd as the space filled up very quickly as everyone grabbed another beer and made sure they had a good standing spot. The intermission music cut out and the locals let out a huge roar as Xavier entered the stage with his United Nations crew. The relationship and energy between all the members of the band was infectious, so happy and completely fulfilled with gratitude and love. Xavier thanked the custodians of the land, and the dance party started. Nanna, the debut album from Xavier and The United Nations was released back in March this year filled with heart warming and damn good grooving tunes. The band played tracks Flag and Come People off the new album and a few older tracks from Xavier made their way into the set including Come Let Go and Follow The Sun and Better People. Everyone was hanging off each track, and the message Xavier spreads, I love that he takes the time to pay respects to the elders of our land at every single gig he plays. Also, recognising the corruption within our current government system and how us, as Australian’s, are strong enough in our own beliefs to make change by coming together, which has been seen through the constant fight for our Great Barrier Reef and The Kimberley. A nice little surprise from the band was an awesome cover of The Beatles track ‘Come Together’ that really got the crowd singing along. All members of the band were all so individually talented and brought their own flare to the stage, members from all different tribes, cultures and traditions. The crowd of course demanded an encore and Xavier came out by himself to close the night with one of the most beautiful tracks he has created, Spirit Bird. A powerful and touching way to finish what was an amazing evening, the United Nations tribe joined Xavier to sing along, embracing one another and truly representing unity.
I think everyone who were lucky enough to catch this gig can agree that it was just amazing, with one beautiful energy created through the passion of music. Big thanks to the Miami Marketta for making our Sunday Afternoon/ Evening one to remember.