Hey Rosetta! At The Media Club

It’s not often that a band of such high calibre, that’s getting buzz in both Canada and down South, play in such a small and intimate venue like The Media Club. No offence to The Media Club, but they just can’t house a great band like Hey Rosetta! without jamming everyone in and making the place hotter than a metaphorical sauna with three rather obese and hairy men. Unlike that disgusting sauna I just described, I noticed that The Media Club was filled with extremely attractive people so if you were at this show, than kudos to your good lookin’ self. I’m not saying that the show was bad, but rather the complete opposite. With the performance Hey Rosetta! placed on stage, they should have been playing a few blocks away at The Commodore. In a few years, or maybe in a few months at the rate they’re going, they’ll be a household name and the lucky few that got to attend The Media Club show will be bragging to all their friends about catching them before they blew up.

Hey Rosetta Hey Rosetta! consists of six very talented individuals, with Tim Baker, the outstanding frontman volcalist/guitar/keyboard/all-around-genius, Adam Hogan, no relation Hulk, on the guitar, Josh Ward on the 6 string bass (yes I said 6…), Phil Maloney on the skins, Kinley Dowling strumming the violin (Question: do you strum a violin?), and Romesh Thavanathan rounding it all out with the cello and the tambourine (and what a tambourine player he is!). Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, this sextet formed in 2004 and soon began to record their debut release simply titled “EP.” It consists of a seven song blend of studio and live recordings that encompassed a unique sound that is known as Hey Rosetta! People swarmed to buy this album and it held the number one spot on Fred’s Record’s best sellers list for almost two months. It still kept selling even after their 2007 release of “Plan Your Escape,” which was produced by Tim and Don Ellis. They have been playing sold out clubs in Newfoundland, as well as garnering much attention from the media. At The MusicNL conference showcase, they earned the right to be called a “Buzz Band” as well as “What to Watch for in 2006.” They received as much praise when they played a showcase for the 2006 Junos in Halifax. Well it’s 2008, and with their new album “Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood),” produced by none other than Hawksley Workman, they are living up to their hype. This new album truly brings the energy and passion they have on stage onto the speakers of your living room.

And on the subject of their live performance, I got the great opportunity to catch them live on stage at The Media Club. As I said before, The Media Club is not a huge venue. On the contrary, it is very small and humid with a touch of what I like to call fat-man syndrome (where people sweat even though they are doing absolutely nothing). The first thing I noticed was how packed the entire place was. To be honest, I thought I was early, but once I noticed the crowd inside, I knew I had come at just the right time. The night started off with a local favourite of mine, Lotus Child. They played about a 30 minute danceable set, which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed and with a 15 minute break, Hey Rosetta! came roaring on stage. Everyone in the bar rushed to the front and it was a rarity to find an open space to stand. I think I possibly might have had the best and worst area. Yes I was right beside the stage and in front of Tim Baker, but I was also right beside the pathway for the bathroom. I stopped counting the number of people who passed by me to go take a leak after the first 20 or so. But it doesn’t matter because, like I said before, everyone in the crowd was super good looking. But enough about the crowd and more on Hey Rosetta! After a few songs into their set, I couldn’t help but compare them to another east coast band that’s making it big these days. You know, a little band from Halifax, Nova Scotia called Wintersleep. I don’t know what it is about that area or what kind of water they drink, but if all bands sound this great, than I might just have to migrate over there. I’ll bear the cold winters and lack of employment, just as long as I get to hear bands of this calibre. With their song titled “The Simplest Thing,” Tim Baker was really reminiscent of Chris Martin from Coldplay, all the way from the way he played the keyboard to the way he sang and to the way he looked. I think if I squinted my eyes from a distance, he could pass as good ol’ Chris. Let’s just hope he doesn’t show up to a Hey Rosetta! show, otherwise you might hear a similar melody on the next Coldplay album (Oh did I just go there?…Yes I did!). I’ve heard so much praise for their live performance, and I sure wasn’t disappointed. Everyone on stage rocked out and played to the energy of the audience and even when Romesh Thavanathan wasn’t killing it on his cello, he ripped it up on the tambourine. I didn’t know an instrument that simple could be played with such energy. Now if only he had a cowbell he would have been the ultimate musician. They are definitely a band to watch for in the near future and trust me on this one, they will blow your mind!

For more information on Hey Rosetta! visit their website as well as their Myspace for concert details and music sampling.