Rose Room at Merchant's Hall - Main Hall in Edinburgh marked another great return to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the band who are currently on a performance and award winning high. Rose Room are simply one of the great modern exponents of that classic gypsy jazz sound that Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt helped create and immortalise when they played in “Quintette du Hot Club de France” in the 1930s.
Our modern day exponents, Rose Room, are violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken, Jimmy Moon (double bass), Tam Gallagher (rhythm guitar) and Tom Watson (lead guitar) and they seamlessly integrate gypsy jazz classics with their own original songs. Rose Room recently won “Best Band” award at the 2018 Scottish Jazz Awards, and Seonaid Aitken was also voted “Best Vocalist” at the 2018 Scottish Jazz Awards (also winning this award in 2017).
Most bands out there would be amazing with just Seonaid Aitken out front on fiddle and vocals, or with just Tom Watson on lead guitar, but combine these two performers and you have something very special happening on stage always. Seonaid and Tom though are only half the story of the Rose Room sound as the engine room of any gypsy jazz band is always its rhythm section, and with Jimmy Moon (double bass) and Tam Gallagher (rhythm guitar) there can be few better ones around anywhere. With all four pieces of the perfect gypsy jazz sound put together on one stage, it was hardly surprising that the audience took Rose Room to well deserved applause from the first song “Joseph Joseph” onwards throughout this 75 or so minute set.
Rose Room, as always, absolutely got the sound and the spirit of classic gypsy jazz standards such as “Menilmontant”, “Rose Room”, and “Dark Eyes” perfect, but their own songs that included “Edge of Love” and “La Petite Valse” blended seamlessly into the standards. Rose Room also pay tribute to contemporary Gypsy Jazz exponents and their version of Dorado Schmitt’s “Bossa Dorado” earned well deserved applause this evening.
Rose Room are so good for so many reasons. Musical talent is one obvious reason, but perhaps the biggest reason is that they play together simply because of a love of the music that they play, and that enthusiasm is infectious and immediately shared with their audience in any show that I have seen them perform over the years.
Review by Tom King
Merchant's Hall - Main Hall
1 hour 15 minutes
Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
Group: Rose Room