Since their first gig in February 2017, Sydney’s Rosa Maria have quickly become one of the city’s favourite acts… delivering a live show last night (March 8) of such high quality, it’s not hard to understand why.
The five-piece made their way through the sold-out Oxford Art Gallery Bar towards the stage – sophisticatedly dressed in button-down shirts and bolo ties – before sauntering into their first song.
The opening chords were unrecognisable. “This is a new one,” lead singer Brock Townsend shared enthusiastically.
It was perhaps a strange choice to begin with an unreleased track, but with their unique and irresistibly dance-able blend of sixties rock n’ roll, surf, blues, and garage, it took mere seconds before everyone’s hips were swinging with ferocity.
With his signature dusty tone, Townsend howled through crowd favourites Girl In 507 and La Honda – both takes from the band’s debut LP Let It Be Known, released late last year.
For tracks Blood Of My Blood and Dead Cat Swamp, guitarist Bobby Diamond took to the mic with a viscous growl reminiscent of Tom Waits or a pissed-off Louis Armstrong.
The enthusiasm of last night’s hometown crowd was far removed from the scowling faces of airport-stranded travellers the boys met leaving Sydney this morning (March 9), with a computer glitch delaying all flights.
As the lads embark on a national tour in support of The Ruminaters, they’re set to continue taking over dance floors… so if you haven’t been paying attention, it’d be a wise decision to start now.
– Bill Robinson