Last night I played with my other band Tahu and the Takahes to a huge crowd in Dunedin’s Octagon. It was all part of the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival, held on the winter solstice every year. The surreal grace of all the paper lanterns being paraded around the centre of the city reflects the sombre majesty of winter here in the south. In the darkened hinterland, hills crouch with their burden of snow. Beyond, the basins of Central Otago freeze in the grip of ice. Here on the coast, the city is lashed by a fleet of wind and rain that draws back in time to give respite to this carnival of cold. Stilt walkers, drums and flag dancers file past in the early evening dark, the crowds looking on in appreciation – silently acknowledging and celebrating our place here in the shadow of the planet. And we had a great time, playing in front of the biggest crowd we’ve played before. The evening was capped off by seeing good friends Matt Langley and Lindon Puffin play a great set at Queens. Winter in the south is a special time – embrace the cold!