Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Crowded House and 'Time on Earth'

Neil Finn is in full voice, in more ways than one. The preview/webcast of Crowded House’s new 'Time On Earth' album due July shows him in crackling, lyrical, lilting form. Finn and Nick Seymour, with Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod, have reformed the band and announced dates in the US, Australia and the UK. ‘Time on Earth’ features Johnny Marr on two tracks and a Finn/Dixie Chicks song 'Silent House'. New songs include Don't Stop Now, Say That Again, Pour Le Monde, Heaven That I'm Making, Walked Her Way Down, Transit Lounge and You Are The One to Make Me Cry. For over two+ decades Neil Finn has written/sung of songs that are anthems for New Zealanders everywhere. His music is the backbone of university parties, beach barbeques and road journeys. The music of the late 70s/early 80s has traveled beautifully to 2007 – Neil and senior bro Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Netherworld Dancing Toys, Jordan Luck, Hello Sailor and Dragon are heard by tens of thousands of New Zealanders every week in rugby stadiums around the country. Neil, however, is the only New Zealander you’ll hear in the Hermes store at 57th St in New York or a Ralphs in West Hollywood. I saw Neil win a talent quest at Mt Maunganui in about 1974 with an Arlo Guthrie song, we were both about 16; well judged by Benny Levin and Lew Pryme. Then the Split Enz tours from 75 on, I saw Neil open for Split Enz in the Tauranga Town Hall, as son Liam is doing in this new Crowded House. Four years in Hamilton was a long time but the band’s big-city homecoming concerts at the Founders Theatre helped form the view that raging talent can come from the most unanticipated places. I won a South Island leg with the band when I was representing the Topp Twins in the mid 1980s, they opened the shows. It was Paul Hester’s first tour. Dunedin Town Hall was a buzz but a sunset stadium show at QEII Park in Christchurch to end the tour showed all the world class this band had. Being a musician is a rare gift and the best radiate the love of singing and playing and the joy that comes from it for both performers and audience. After-show singalongs with scratch bands can be hilarious and infectious, as a combination of a Finn, two Twins, Mr Hester and Sharon O’Neill proved après-show in Nelson. At a birthday party at Long Island on the East River in New York a month ago I talked to a guy from Minnesota who had an encyclopedic knowledge of Split Enz and Crowded House. Some air miles from Te Awamutu and this conversation. Crowded House’s 1996 album ‘Recurring Dream’ has just gone 12 X Platinum in Australia. The first single off their new album, 'Don't Stop Now', will be released on 25 June as 7", CD and DVD. Rock on. Crowded House play the Beacon Theater New York August 8 and 9. http://www.crowdedhouseofficial.com/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Austin City Limits Music festival has announced it's 2007 Line -Up (happening September). How's this: Bob Dylan & His Band, Wilco, Crowded House, Patterson Hood, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes and more. Get thee to Austin .