Recorded in Utrecht on the last night of his European tour, Live In The Netherlands is a faithful rendering of what makes Xavier Rudd such an electrifying live act.
Veering through his reggae tinged back catalogue with laconic ease, he and his two compatriots, Bobby Alu on percussion and Ant Aggs on keyboards, skank and stroll their way through this double cd with the consummate skill of true road tested musicians.
There’s a lovely sense of musical drama as album opener, Flag, comes to a stop one verse in, leaving a 20 second pregnant pause before lurching back into its prowling, angular groove. It’s a silence that says a lot about the whole concert experience ahead – stay with him and enjoy the ride, next verse soon come.
His message is uplifting and wonderfully positive as he sings of changes coming while exhorting his brothers and sisters to let their hearts out in song.
His songs are about love, unity, respect for the planet and for each other – universal messages that are all the more resonant in today’s world.
Rudd is quite a singular talent, and his playing on both the Weisenborn lapsteel and didgeridoo is expressive and innovative, while his vocal delivery is warm and heartfelt.
Filled with highlights, from the manic didg breakdown of Mother Earth to the infectious sass of While I’m Gone and an atmospheric interpretation of No Woman No Cry, Live In The Netherlands is a richly rewarding listen that will leave you with a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.
Closing with the touching Spirit Bird, it leaves you with the sound of an audience chant and a feeling that this man truly believes in the power of people and nature and that everything is indeed possible.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.