The Rusty Rovers [Folk / Roots, 5 piece]
Having enjoyed hearing them at some of their own gigs, I was looking forward to attending a new acoustic Open Mic / Jam Session hosted by the Rusty Rovers at the Royal Oak in Leatherhead. The pub itself has recently been refurbished, car parking is plentiful, and the landlady very hospitable, so live music hosted and encouraged here by a decent band in comfortable and appealing surroundings presented a winning combination full of potential for me.
The Rusty Rovers set things in motion with a well performed short set of their own, which included "I'll Tell Me Ma (the boys won't leave the girls alone)", "Star of County Down" and the incredibly catchy "The Road to Lisdoonvarna", concluding with Steve Earle's rousing "Galway Girl" and stunning lead vocals from Pete Smith!
Once the host band completed their first set there followed many guest players and singers, with sound mixed expertly by The Rusty Rover's very own sound lady, Giselle, who did a fabulous job of making everyone sound so clear.
Although the standard throughout this open mic session was high, standouts for me were Simon and Garfunkle's 1968 classic "America" sung excellently by Geoff Rogers; a wonderfully jazzy interpretation of Ray Charles' "Hallejujah I Love Him So" by Trev on guitar and vocals from Pam. Following these was a nice experimental, original song (with echo) entitled "Parachute" from Joy C after which we were treated to two numbers performed by Charlie Menagh in the form of The Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon" and a self-penned original "We're All Afraid of Love".
Once we had been treated to the wonderfully varied choice of songs from these and others, all five Rusty Rovers took to the stage again for a final gallop including "Wagon Wheel", "Tobin's Jig", "Down To The Ocean", finishing with a cracking original song entitled "Cool Mint Raita" through which lead Rover singer, Richard, performed an entertaining ode to all the spicy foods he has enjoyed throughout a lifetime, with great backing vocals from the other 'NOT so rusty' Rovers!
What can I say - this Open Mic night was a real winner and looks set to be a regular event every first Thursday of the month - a great alternative to yet another night in front of the TV!
Dave BerrySaturday 16 May 2015
I saw The Rusty Rovers last night at The Cavern and they certainly did the business. Paddy's Night can't be easy to predict but the guys had a good percentage of the crowd dancing and singing. Go maith ma agut!
Al FerrierWednesday 18 March 2015