Rose Room with their wonderful gypsy jazz sound at Merchant's Hall (Venue 112) tonight were without any question one of the musical highlights of The Edinburgh Fringe for this year.
Rose Room are violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken, Jimmy Moon (double bass), Tam Gallagher (rhythm guitar) and Tom Watson (lead guitar and vocals). Individually each member of the band is a hugely talented musician, but when you put the four of them together on a stage, something magical happens and that was so obvious tonight in a room laid out for a table/supper bar format ...hardly a sound in a fully packed large room when the band were playing. Everyone in the room recognised that someone special was on stage.
The band played two sets of roughly 45 minutes each here at The Merchant’s Hall, and in all too short a time the audience were taken back in time to the golden age of gypsy jazz - those evocative sounds of Stephane Grappelli , Django Reinhardt, and European jazz, come back to life in a wonderful warm sound that seamlessly blends vintage material with new and original material from Rose Room.
The hard working duo of Jimmy Moon and Tom Gallagher kept a tight but driving rhythm section going all evening while the incredible lead guitar playing music of Tom Watson coupled with the amazing violin playing skills and vocals of Seonaid Aitken simply amazed an appreciative audience all night.
Seonaid Aitken and Tom Watson make a great gypsy jazz band front duo and both have a natural feel for each other’s musical timing and phrasing that is a joy to watch and listen to on stage. Seonaid also has a haunting voice that sounds as if it floated in from another time when singing. Imagine if you can being able to plug in a vintage radio from the 1920s or 30s and get that vocal sound that singers of the day had, and you get some idea of Seonaid’s timeless sounding vocals.
Simply an outstanding performance from Rose Room with original material such as “January Blue” “Edge of Love”, and “Tomorrow’s Goodbye” blending seamlessly with classics that included “Menilmontant”, “Dark Eyes”, I’m Confessin’” and “Isn’t This a Lovely Day?” to name but a few.
The undivided attention of an audience, appreciative applause at the end of every song and a standing ovation pretty much sums up why Rose Room are amongst the very best of gypsy jazz players anywhere at the moment.
If you want to hear a flavour of what Rose Room sound like, their album “The High Life” is available now. We reviewed it a little while back on this page
Further details on Rose Room available from
Review by Tom King