Any one who knows me will know that New Zealand Music Month is not significant in my liturgical calendar.  It was mentioned that one of the staff at the Castle was performing tonight.  As well as a couple of other artists that I wanted to see.  It was early in the evening with rain arriving later.  I chose to go.

The title above was given to the Gig Night: A quartet of local bands celebrate the feisty, fickle and soulful power of the strings.

First up a tall skinny rat emerged from the book shelves and Alan Star Rat serenaded us for half an hour of violin music without a break except where the audience broke into applause.  I’m sure there was some use of distortion that caught my ear at one point.

Second Catgut and Steel, a duo, long-term supporters of Music Month at the Library, playing on guitar and violin.  I guess Jason would approve of this use of ‘cat’ for playing folk and retro.

Julian Temple and Alex Vaatstra up next, again guitar and violin.  Julian Temple has a voice like gravel at the bottom of a coal-mine, Alex Vaatstra proved that he could use a violin to match and compliment that singing.  I didn’t think I had enough money on me at the time for a CD, although I want one!  They ended with the nightmare  song Who is Bazil if the Devil’s Daughter is his wife?

Unfairly Humboldt County had to follow them.  Their music was sleepy and laid-back at the end of the evening and the audience was drifting away.  Perhaps they would have been better appreciated if they had been earlier in the line-up.

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