Catgut & Steel (named for the strings on their instruments) have a sound bigger and fuller than two musicians would normally command - yet they play all their own instruments and use no backing electronica of any kind. Their repertoire is amazingly eclectic from Celtic tunes to contemporary covers, klezmer to country; but always with the strong vocals, harmonies and swinging rhythm styles for which they are renowned.
The duo can often be found in backup roles with other fine artists, both recorded and live; Chris Penman of the Penman family, the award-winning Ben the Hoose, singer/songwriters Bob McNeill and John Egenes and Dunedin acoustic rockers The George Street Patsys to name just a few. Always exciting and unpredictable, Mike and Anna are renowned for their abilty to entertain young and old whether it be festivals, concerts, schools, wedding dances or called barndances. The duo has travelled extensively playing in regularly in Europe as well as around New Zealand.
With over 50 years of playing experience between them (and it's probably only fair to point out that most of those belong to the old fella) Mike and Anna come from diverse musical and geographical backgrounds. Anna was a student of classical violin in Holland where she lived until she emigrated to Australia and eventually, to New Zealand. Mike is Dunedin-born with a background of classical piano, brass and singing and a lifetime of playing in rock bands (which he still does). He's been involved in the New Zealand folk scene since the early eighties playing solo and accompanying countless others. Mike and Anna teamed up through their involvement in the now defunct Pioneer Pog 'n' Scroggin Bush Band. Mike also plays in the internationally renowned acoustic showband, The Chaps.
Pubs, Weddings and Anniversaries
Material covered in a typical pub or private gig includes songs by the Pogues, Van Morrison, Sting, Dave Dobbyn, Crowded House, Bic Runga, Christy Moore, Jeff Buckley, Richard Thompson, Alison Kraus as well as many Irish, Scottish, European and American tune sets. Catgut & Steel can provide an evening of Irish music, colonial-themed or country music, dance music - whatever your theme demands. Being an acoustic duo, they can play "plugged" or "unplugged" depending on the nature of your event. Commissioned works are also possible. Mike is an excellent dance caller as well and the duo often play for barndance evenings.
Festivals and Concerts
In concerts and folk festivals, Mike and Anna are a warm, humourous and engaging act with a wide range of material, some original, some well known and some more obscure ballads and tunes - often giving the folk treatment to a well known pop or country song. Catgut & Steel have guested at festivals and clubs all around the world to high acclaim.
Catgut & Steel
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