And not least because I was in the audience and not the entertainment for a change :).
Fourplay is an Electric String Quartet consisting of 1 violin, 2violas and a 'cello. Yes you read that right: 2 violas!!!! Yay us (in case you didnt realise, I am a viola player).
The balance and tonal structure was fine. In fact the combination worked VERY well indeed. I had been lulled into assuming that the 2 violin 1 viola combo was the better mix but now I am not so sure.
The 'cellist did a fantastic job doing a double bass rhythmic impersonation for most of the show which under-utilised the melodic and tonal quality of the instrument somewhat. That said he was damn cool and did a VERY funky job holding them all together. The violinist was fine and had a good voice as well. This was fortunate as she sang quite a lot. The 1st violist was amazing. He more or less took on the role of a VERY active second violin and then some. He had a wonderful gutsy style that I was totally in awe of. He made it all look so effortless too. I love that. The 2nd violist was the more melodic and sonorous and had some gorgeous solos. I was blown away by the final encore where he broke the a string and ended up playing his solo on the d string up in umpteenth position. Deeply impressed. I do not think it was a show stopper stunt, but damn it was good.
They play everything from Klezmer to Radiohead. They are brilliantly dynamic and tight in their playing style and (all you viola knockers out there take note) their intonation was spot on! That in itself is pretty damn exciting.
They are Sydney based but they do tour a bit. Do yourselves a favour and check them out if you can. They also have several cds out if you are interested.
This all happened at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, my local pub and incidentally one of the best live popular music venues in town. It has just got better by banning smoking in the concert area. Yayness :)