REVIEW: Rooftop Sunday sessions with Jake Folbigg

Nestled amongst the hive of activity of one of Newcastle’s shopping meccas Westfield Kotara, the brand new Rooftop terrace garden oasis awaits. Welcomed by the Gig Series sandwich board, you are invited to sit back, relax and enjoy. A lone vocalist sits with his electric acoustic, vulnerably exposed with just his voice and guitar, meet Jake Folbigg.

Serenading the busy crowd of cafe and restaurant patrons, raw, honest, and unpretentious he intimately offers his smooth vocals and skillful guitar work handling his instrument like a seasoned craftsman. Sharing an array of acoustic covers, his fresh take on pub anthems and romantic ballads from legendary storytellers such as Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Train, Tom Petty and 3 Doors Down, it is a satisfying arrangement of smooth Sunday afternoon soul cleaners. A one man band, self-accompanied by clean layered loop pedal, he has no need for backing tracks and you don’t even acknowledge their absence. As the sign requested you sit back, relax deeply into your chair, soak up the warm summer sun, fresh air and enjoy the smooth melodies. As the afternoon progresses you would be forgiven for thinking you’re at the local beer garden, rather than atop a bustling shopping center.

Whilst your senses are musically captivated, why not treat your taste buds by blissfully chowing down on a Naked beef burrito and sipping a cool Corona at Catina de Mad Mex. The restaurant itself a mix of American diner, Aussie surfer beach bar and Mexican restaurant, the quirky fun and stylish place is a perfect match to the music and atmosphere. Referring to itself as a lively, casual bar and eatery experience with an extended Mad Mex menu, they offer freshly made cocktails including the Coconut Mojito or House Margarita, and a satisfying choice of Nachos, Tacos, Quesadilla, Burritos and salads. Boasting ‘We believe this is the best Baja-style burrito this side of the Pacific. Half a kilo of the most complete, satisfying & tasty meal you can hold in one hand.’ It does not disappoint and It’s definitely worth a visit. As a side note, the burrito is junior family member friendly, and the black beans quite a ranging hit.

If you haven’t checked out the Westfield Rooftop Garden restaurants or ‘Raise The Rooftop Gig Series’, its an especially lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon from 1 – 4pm. The next event in the series is this Friday 26 Feb with ‘Josh & Joey’ from 6 – 9pm.

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