Live Review: rosie burgess trio jungal northcote social club

1 April 2012 | 8:23 am | Shailla Van Raad

Summer is heading out the door on the night that a pair of Melbournian trios Jungal and Rosie Burgess hit the stage. Melbourne's famous Northcote Social Club room, smelling of the usual beer and sweat, is filled with punters of the mostly female variety. First up is the young and vibrant, electric blues'n'roots band Jungal. The three sisters from Jungal obviously have an Amazonian following and they flock to the NSC in droves. The band grace the stage unassumingly: there is no pretense in their stance. They don't have to assert themselves as an all-female band, they already have a following, but they are here to say goodbye to their home, for at least a year.

Three women onstage in a band may not be the most common sight, but boy does each member hold their own! Jungal give the audience a final hurrah not to be missed with rocking drums, slapping bass and well-chopped guitar, all intertwined with three sexily harmonious voices. Guitarist and vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla gives the songs her all, busting out in a vocal style reminiscent of Amy Winehouse mixed with the gravelly textures of Julia Stone. Songs such as Spring add a personal element to the performance, where one of the girls explains, “We wrote this when our family was going through a tough time,” and Say It serves what seems to be Jungal's signature dish: soaring rock'n'roll blues intermingled with a folksie streak.

Rosie Burgess Trio are up next, launching their new album Before I Set Sail. Judging by the response of the crowd, the trio seem to be a Melbourne institution, after three albums and now with a fourth on the way, this is not a bad feat. There is some impatient foot shuffling and disappointment during the performance though, because the trio take the stage for granted and use it for their banter rather than to play music for more than 50% of the time. At first it is a great device to build suspense, but towards the end of the performance it just gets annoying. Apart from this qualm, Burgess busts out in her definitively Australian, quirky style on single Stackhat (which she apparently once wore to bed) and the simplistically elegant, rootsy swagger of Best Dressed. Also, a special mention to the horn section, which features on the album too: they stand out. Burgess is also something a little bit different, incorporating elements of hip hop into the mix while still staying true to her folk roots. The title track of new album Before I Set Sail is the highlight of the set. It is very cute and incorporates all of what Burgess has now become: the good, the bad and the ugly all rolled into a raw and uplifting, honest song.