Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Return of The Wine Cellar Strings

OK, listen: It seemed like a good idea, we gave it a go, and it sold out – so we're doing it again.  On Friday the 14th of December the Wine Cellar Strings return to our spiritual home in the depths of St Kevin’s arcade, joined this time by the cream of Auckland’s alt-folk crop, fresh off  the Gunslinger’s Ball Tour – Steve Abel, Bernie Griffen and The Bads.

The Wine Cellar Strings, who desctibe ourselves in press releases as 'a rag-tag collection of string players from some of the most exciting acts currently operating in Auckland’s thriving alternative folk scene,' made our sell-out debut in September of this year. The concept was simple (as, it must be said. were many of the people involved): fiddle players, cellists and upright bass players from bands that play and drink regularly at The Wine Cellar – the beating heart of the Auckland underground, as we say in press releases – would get together and form a string section, inviting our favorite songwriters to feature in occasional special shows, performing stripped-back versions of their songs with swaggering string arrangements.

That first show in September, featuring Reb Fountain, Goodshirt’s Gareth Thomas and Bernie Griffen, essentially went off in quite a big way, packed the Wine Cellar, everyone was happy, and the Wine Cellar Strings were invited to join Delaney Davidson, Marlon Williams and Tami Neilson – the three finalists of this year’s APRA silver scroll for best country song – for a special one-off show on Waiheke Island, which was quite lovely and included at least one member of the string section smooching Marlon's stubbly cheek after he had brought the house down with 'I can't help falling in love with you.' Which is unlikely to happen at future shows so don't get any ideas.

For this second performance at the Wine Cellar, the Wine Cellar Strings have invited along three acts with well-deserved reputations as leading lights of the Auckland alt-folk scene and by God we're lucky to have them.  Bernie Griffen, Steve Abel and The Bads have just toured the North Island with the wildly successful Gunslinger’s Ball, and they’re each in peak performing voice. The Bads and Bernie Griffen have just stepped off the stage after supporting Emmylou Harris at Vector Arena, and Steve Abel has caused audiences around the world to swoon with his mournfully beautiful songs.

Do yourself a favour, tell your friends and catch these three acts at the top of their game supported by Auckland’s hottest band of string-sawing rascals at bar that keeps the scene alive: The Wine Cellar, St Kevin’s Arcade, 14th December, doors at 8:30.

Go on. Presales are here and you should get them pretty quick I reckon.

The Wine Cellar Strings are:

Dave Khan, Sam Prebble, Emily Giles, Brendan Turner, Will Wood, and Louise Evans. Between them they’ve played in The Broadsides, The Grifters, Bond Street Bridge, Don McGlashan’s Band, An Emerald City, The Broken Heartbreakers, Forbidden Joe, Rodney Fisher’s Backyard Orchestra, The Bads, Reb Fountain’s Bandits, and altogether more bands than they can recall.