Paléo Festival, Nyon
Acoustic guitar in hand, surrounded by an increasingly complex and elaborate framework of didgeridoos and percussion, Xavier Rudd has been a unique and captivating figure since he released his first indie albums in the early 2000s.
"I was surprised to receive such a positive response at the very beginning of my career. I thought that what I was doing was more art," he says. I was experimenting with didges and taping them to chairs with gaffa, and I've always had a great fondness for the sounds of wood, so it was all very earthy."
From these instinctive beginnings eventually came the more polished and purposeful works such as Spirit Bird, Nanna (with his nine-piece band The United Nations), Storm Boy and seven more live albums - although no one can count the early bootlegs that were traded by fans from Argentina to the Czech Republic, doubling his audience on each return.
Today, Xavier's unstoppable rise is one of the most astonishing success stories of our time. Countless acclaimed acts have come and gone like firecrackers, while his bonfire continues to grow: a beacon for the kind of music fan looking for sustenance in a fast-food world. His tenth album Jan Juc Moon, released in March 2022, carries the vastness of space and great natural elements. A force much bigger than us, but one we can harness if we take the time to learn, reflect and respect.