Xavier Rudd

To the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, last night, to see George’s cousin play live. You may be wondering how someone you’ve never heard of can sell out two nights at a 2,000 capacity venue, but he’s quite big in Australia, you see, and this is, after all, She Bu, the travellers’ enclave.

As we entered the venue, the woman in charge of giving the inside of each handbag the most cursory of glances was telling a young Aussie that, no, it was not possible for him to go outside for a smoke, or at least not if he wanted to get back in. It’s not normally “no smoking” in the Empire, and so as we pushed through to the bar to purchase a couple of pints of overpriced, watered down lager, we idly wondered if the man himself had made a special request. Sure enough, as we took up residence at a spot in the middle, we spotted the signs everywhere: “At the Artist’s Request, there is to be No Smoking tonight!”

“That’s Great!” said Sal, “I can wear these jeans again tomorrow!”

That said, most of the punters seemed to interpret this rule as applying only to cigarettes, and as Xavier took to the stage we were surrounded by a pleasing aroma of illicit substances.

The show was great, too. If they gave prizes out for being able to play several instruments at the same time, then Xav would be first in line: on most songs he seems to be playing about 5 different things at the same time, and it’s hard to believe that all those sounds are coming from just the one guy…

Photos, as always, are on Flickr:

Xavier Rudd, Shepherd's Bush Empire