Round Mountains prove molehills
AFTER seeing the band’s name, I expected several rather plump rural opera-singing ladies to take The Tatts Hotel stage last Friday night.
Instead, five not-so-plump, middle-aged North Coast men relentlessly belted out high-energy bluegrass rock tunes with utter passion and joy, transporting witnesses to a late-1800s Irish-Australian shindig.
The name Round Mountain Girls comes from a myth about mysterious women who seduce and enslave men from the surfing communities of Round Mountain, near Bogangar in the Tweed, releasing them only after several days of adult torture.
Naturally, the Round Mountain Girls band included humour in their show, although they weren’t a novelty act, not by any means.
The humour was concise and calculated, enhancing the stories behind catchy songs like Mobile Love (a banjo-driven tale of lost love, seen through the back window of a Holden) and Nobody Came (one of the few slow tunes performed on the night, about holding a party which nobody attends).
Most songs were Celtic mayhem, with flute, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass, drums and vocals conducting a high-tempo musical conversation.
Violinist, Rabbit Robinson was like Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash with a fiddle, carving busy solos whenever the opportunity arose. His long black hair picturesquely flailed in the fan’s breeze which was necessary to keep the fast-moving, hard-playing entertainers cool.
Halfway through the speedy number Rikki Tikki Oo-l-A-Oh, Rabbit Robinson and banjo-playing vocalist Chris Eaton sprung down on to the dance floor to shuffle around with a handful of devoted dancers.
The only real downer of the night was the crowd size, which should undoubtedly have been bigger. Although it did allow the band to wander around and personally introduce themselves to each individual before the show.
This was a joyous performance filled with fly-kicks and well-written songs.
Rootsy one-man-band and support act, Bill Jacobi set a nice mood for the Round Mountain Girls to take advantage of, and they clearly did.