Although we were out on the Karikari Peninsula, we were enticed by a concert to return to the Swamp Palace. German violinist Toni Geiling is visiting New Zealand and touring nationally with Jon Sanders and Dave Alley. Sanders Alley Geiling included the Oruru Hall in their New Zealand itinerary after receiving a warm reception to their concert last year.

When we arrived at the hall, it was lovely to see Pat and Mandy again with their daughters. Uncle was there, as was some of our new friends from our time at La Hacienda.

Shasa, Tierra and Pat at the Swamp Palace, April 2011
4yo Shasa and 3yo Tierra were the first dancers — moving away from the tables and chairs to dance on the floorboards in front of the stage.

Toni Geiling, April 2011
Toni Geiling (from Germany) plays violin.

Dave Alley, April 2011
Dave Alley plays lead guitar and sings the main vocals.

Jon Sanders, April 2011
Jon Sanders plays bouzouki, guitar and ukulele.

Brioni dancing, April 2011
After watching her friends dance for a while, Brioni became enthused by the music's beat and skipped around the dance floor.

Geiling with saw, April 2011
We were treated to a performance by Geiling on the saw. The sound of the violin bow on the woodsaw is very haunting.

Concert at the Swamp Palace, April 2011
About 100 people attended the concert at the Swamp Palace.

Concert at the Swamp Palace, April 2011
The three men's performance delighted the crowd who responded enthusiastically with lots of dancing and applause.

Aisha, Brioni and Shasa dancing at the Swamp Palace, April 2011
By the end of the evening, Aisha joined Shasa and Brioni in dancing at the front. The adults gave the girls enough room to move around.

The evening was world-class folk entertainment in a what some may consider a backwater village hall. The juxtaposition of the two extremes meant that the performers were given an authentic reception by enthusiastic locals. And we really enjoyed the evening — spending time with friends and dancing to the music.

It’s important to us to continue to expose our children to live musicians rather than enrolling them in formal lessons. We don’t know where their interests will lie, and giving them a wealth of experiences to draw from will help lead them to a passion which we can then resource properly.

At the end of the evening, it was an easy matter of putting everyone to bed in the truck that was parked outside the hall. Living on wheels makes staying up late very easy!