Bobby Alu + Black Salt: Live gallery and review | Mo’s Desert Clubhouse | Friday 21 February 2020

A sold out Mo’s crowd spent an uplifting evening with the charming, disarming Bobby Alu and his talented crew for the ‘Flow’ Tour.

Support act Black Salt are relative newcomers to the scene, but are definitely ones to keep an eye on. Georgia Corowa and Waveney Yasso are Saltwater kinswomen from Redland Bay, who utilise sweet vocal harmonies over warm melodies and smooth rhythms, and we could have listened to them all night long. They are supporting Bobby on a few of his south east Queensland stops, and provided a perfect opener for the evening. He always finds gems to plays with, and these two fierce and fabulous soul sisters are no exception. With their debut album set for release in May, you need to watch this space

As the ever-smiling Bobby Alu takes to the stage, you know you are in for an evening of joy. You can relax, safe in the hands of this instinctive entertainer, especially accompanied as he was by his most frequent band members Paulie B on bass and Declan Kelly on drums, both long time industry stalwarts and esteemed musical talents who have toured, played and produced with some of Australia and the world’s finest musicians for decades.

It was a beautifully crafted set, and one that – for want of a better word – ‘flowed’ perfectly, through the surfy, coastal vibes, into the real reggae portion of the evening, through the absolutely essential drumming solos that showcased the inner rhythms that drives everything this natural born drummer does, and into the slightly more seductive portion of the night, where Bobby encouraged those who had experienced an energy exchange with someone across the room to be brave and go and say hello.

(There was certainly plenty of energy being exchanged between the couple in front of us throughout the evening. But it was all love! And isn’t that what it’s all about?)

Bobby has told the story of his father travelling to Samoa and meeting his mother so many times that he’s managed to craft a condensed version of it, which is what we were treated to, before his gorgeous mamma came out on stage to do a traditional Polynesian dance to the strains of traditional Samoan tunes. It’s easy to see from where Bobby inherited his stage presence, as all eyes in the room immediately trained to her. As always, it was a highlight of the evening.

Of course, being the Flow Tour, tracks from the new album ‘Flow’ featured heavily, with crowd favourite ‘Move’ getting a decent singalong, but the back catalogue got a bit of workout too, with a few pleasers making appearances, and plenty of bounce happening when ‘Changes Changes’ was brought out close to the end. Ever humble, Bobby brought Black Salt back onto stage for the first encore, not to play along with one of his songs, but so he, Paulie and Declan could be the backing band for one of theirs. It was clearly a highlight not just for the Black Salt ladies themselves, but for the crowd as well.

But that’s what a night spent with this talented Byron Bay musician is, whether on the stage or off, you leave smiling from ear to ear, and feeling better about yourself, and the world in general. It’s simply the magic of Bobby Alu.

Images (C) Simone Gorman-Clark

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