The Crooked Fiddle Band
The Crooked Fiddle Band @ Idolize
10:00pm, Fri 17 Feb 2012
One thing I actually do really like about The Garden’s scheduling is that they seem to encourage bands to pop into Adelaide to do a one-off gig. I’ve seen some fantastic acts over the years who I’d never have travelled interstate to see – New Young Pony Club, Lani Lane, and the glorious Washington spring immediately to mind.
What I’m trying to say is that I tend to approach one-shot shows in The Garden as something I might want to prioritise… which is exactly how I came to be sitting in the Idolize watching The Crooked Fiddle Band.
And sometimes – like tonight – that approach really pays off.
The Crooked Fiddle Band (Joe drums and occasionally sings, Gordon plays guitar & mandolin and chips in the odd percussive yelp, Mark rocks the double bass, and Jess is the sole fiddler and holds a few notes) seem to conjure up a healthy mixture of rock, metal, and gypsy music – all in the same song. Where they may open a track with a jaunty folk riff, it will soon break into a solid rock groove in some really odd time signature – Caffeine‘s 3/4 would hold no fear for them. Throw in another huge tempo variation, veering into a pounding metal bridge, then back to a folksy finish… then on to the next song.
It’s thoroughly exciting stuff; you never really know what they’re likely to throw at you. They’re as tight as a duck’s chuff, and there’s absolutely no bum notes or missed beats – technically amazing, from the driving drums that propel them along, through to the trickery of double-bowed fiddling and the two man bass (Mark playing normally, Gordon tapping a rhythmic note on an unbowed string). Joe leaves the drums to tell a two-part tale of ear-biting. And they show a hint of Tolkein-ist geekery with hobbit references.
But mostly, they just assaulted us with folk and rock – something which kept the dance floor crowd (including the guy pogoing in Vibrams) very happy. The only bummer is that the final song in their encore was an acoustic duet, just guitar and fiddle – beautiful to listen to, but very down-tempo from the other tracks of the night. Still, the alleged name of the piece – Jess Rides Over One Thousand Corpses, or somesuch – left me with a little high.
Great show :)