Last night I headed into Camden, London with a friend to see The Rosellys. The gig was taking place at the Green Note and despite only having been there twice, the venue is quickly becoming my favourite venue of all, the intimate atmosphere perhaps perfect for country music/Americana.
Having managed to grab the only seats left in the place before enjoying a drink or two, the night was kicked off by support act Hannah Rose Platt (accompanied by Ryan Williams and Ryan Trebilcock). If you’ve followed Belles and Gals since the start you’ll already know we are huge fans of the London based Liverpudlian singer/songwriter. Hannah put on a brilliant set which included personal favourites such as “1954”, “Dancer” and “Hello Central, Give Me Heaven”, while her set was rounded off by “Little Screws”, the song which opens her stunning “Portraits” album. This was a real treat, as it’s the first time I’ve heard it live and she was joined on stage by a couple of guests, including Rebecca from The Rosellys, which made for the perfect end to a great set.
Fifteen minutes later, Rebecca and Simon Rosellys appeared on stage, backed excellently throughout the night by their full band (Andy Watson on drums, Matt Kirby on bass and backing vocals, Allan Kelly on steel guitar). The first song was “Camden Town” which was a great starting point seeing as that was exactly where we were and the lively number really set the tone for the evening. The brilliant “Cocaine Train” was next, this a song you just can’t help but sing along to and already The Rosellys had the sold out crowd under their spell. Next up was “Maryland”, the first song I ever heard from the band and this emotional number was certainly one of my highlights and I was completely taken by Rebecca’s brilliant lead vocals.
The night continued with excellent numbers such as “Asheville 1784” (which saw Hannah appear again on backing vocals) and “Not that Old (But I’m Not Eighteen)”, while “Don’t Let the Whisky Win” and “Rose Tinted Glasses” were real highlights. Simon took the lead vocals on “Red, White and Blue”, a song that I really hoped was on the set list, while “A Thousand Miles”, the opening track of the brilliant “The Granary Sessions” album came next.
Watching the Rosellys you can see a real chemistry between Rebecca and Simon and it’s very clear they absolutely love what they are doing. They also have a great infectious quality – at one point I looked around and every person in the entire room had a smile on their face. Simon has a great sense of humour too, so some of the chat between the songs has you laughing out loud, which only added to the brilliant atmosphere – and man, can he play the fiddle!
“Empty Pockets” was the “last song” of the evening and was just fantastic, a song I hadn’t heard before the gig but one that I need to hear again. That somewhat disappointing feeling when a great gig has ended was short lived, as shouts of “On the Porch!!!!!” saw them perform this in a brilliant encore which rounded off the night perfectly.
This was the first time I’d seen The Rosellys perform live, but there is no way it will be the last. The setlist was great, the venue was great and The Rosellys themselves were just amazing. If I didn’t have to leave to get the train soon afterwards, I might still be in the Green Note now, singing a poor rendition of “Cocaine Train” whilst propping up the bar – this was a gig I didn’t want to leave!
It’s a fine time to be a fan of UK country music right now and with bands like The Rosellys leading the way, the future is in very safe hands. Brilliant.
Thanks to @lifeisafestival (on Twitter) for the brilliant images of the gig.