Roesy, at The Newsagency, Marrickville
When the star of the show admits that he feels like a pole dancer it’s not going to be an ordinary concert.
Thankfully the front row weren’t the kind of fans that wanted to stuff a few twenties into Roesy’s back pocket. Instead, they were obliging souls who happily trotted out to the kitchen down the back to get him glasses of water on request. Yes, it was that kind of gig.
The Newsagency is a gem of a little venue and seeing a huge talent sing there was nothing short of a privilege.
The fans may have been squished in together on dinky primary school sized chairs but they were mesmerised for the entire gig. Watching Roesy perform is as relaxing as sitting back listening to the grand old man of country, Don Williams.
There is nothing forced or strained and he brings his rich vocals to a strong catalogue of work. His voice can race from being a wrinkled folk singer one moment to a hip-hop beat boxer within a flash. It’s polished and faultless, and his thoughtful lyrics give it an extra edge.
Roesy’s songs are scattered with flecks of old Appalachian blues and country, and have tones of other Irish songwriters such as David Kitt laced throughout them. He opened with the gorgeous The Truth In Your Heart, which instantly showed off his powerful vocals. Shake The Devil Down had shades of Maverick Sabre and classical Spanish guitar zipping through it.
And Backbone, Flesh and the Fruit was one of many tracks that dabbled with the paint box. As an artist and designer it’s no surprise that his songs are swimming with deep pools of colourful images and scenery.
Roesy also shared a few brand new tracks with the audience alongside favourites Hell Bent on You and Stardust. Between songs Roesy couldn’t resist telling a few stories about a previous gig under a pokie machine, taking inspiration from fellow Birr man Mundy and holding a songwriting workshop with a gang of teenagers.
One of his encore songs Colour Me Colourful was inspired by the workshop and could easily have come from the cheerful pen of Eagle Eye Cherry. He tied up the night with the gorgeously lazy and hazy Hairpin.
Finding a new favourite song at a gig is a rare occurrence but Hairpin is an irresistible tune with a great little story behind it. He might tell it at his next gig if you are lucky enough to see him.