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Live Review: The Crooked Fiddle Band, Rapaport & Ellesquire, P. Smurf

3 March 2015 | 12:27 pm | Kassia Aksenov

The Sydney band performed at The Basement with a 17-piece string orchestra.

The Crooked Fiddle Band displayed ferocious violin work as they enthralled the audience through a double set last night, the first of which was accompanied by a 17-piece string orchestra!

P.Smurf was the unexpected opener who got the crowd boppin’ and hip-hoppin’. His most outstanding rap track certainly was Con Artist where P.Smurf cleverly conned 300 ‘con’ words into one song.

Next came Rapaport & Ellesquire of Loose Change who began with Mess where they told of the impact of an unwanted break-up. Their performance was arguably different to their usual gigs as they indulged in the support of the string orchestra.

There was no grand entrance needed by The Crooked Fiddle Band as they bathed in the ostentatious accompaniment of the string ensemble. They played impressive string pieces that you would expect to hear in the celebratory scenes of a regal period drama.

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Within the first set The Milkman with its heavy double bass and exceptional violin got the audience feeling light-footed as they danced along to the melodies. The Deepwater Drownings Part I was another standout where Gordon Wallace led the eerie vocals through the chilling tales of witches and witchcraft.

At the end of the first set the string ensemble vanished leaving the four-piece and their step-in cello player to triumph over the audience with their exceptional music for the second set. They opened with a song penned by Wallace which drew inspiration from the anger he felt when his car was stolen recently.

The Crooked Fiddle Band finished with The Twin Peaks, And The Other Peak, Of Mt Kilimanjaro and came back with a strong encore of Countess Bathory’s Finishing School For Girls which moved the crowd to link arms and twirl around making The Basement feel like a 19th century Irish pub.