Following the crowdies and neil has been a passion of mine since i first saw them in 1988 at sydney’s state theatre then had the equivalent of a religious experience in 1991 getting up on stage from the audience and playing a few songs with them. Waving them off in 96 at the opera house. Waving them back in 2007 after the sadness of paul. About the only thing that didnt capture me was the pyjama frolicks. But i could forgive neil that lapse. I could follow what others found out about them here and get a feeling for what people were liking and not liking through strong periods and leaner times. I think i mustve seen neil in concert in the crowdies and other guises around 40 times over the years. Which is why what im about to say fills me with a degree of sadness.
ive come to this board for many many years to post and follow what the boys are up to. I was a long time lurker then a frequent poster. This is where the sadness of paul’s death played out its grief to those who understood what it meant. His death remains the most significant death of a public figure ive ever experienced, as a key figure of my impressionable teenage years couldnt find a way thru.
But the release of dreamers are waiting marked a turning point on this notice board. A muted flare of interest, pros, cons, comments. But such was the lack of ability to tour and promote the album and generate any spark that something else happened in my opinion. The lack of new posts here is revealing.
Last week was the 25th anniversary of the FTTW concert. Sydney’s biggest paper smh.com.au did a lovely video interview and tribute with neil and nick. They republished photos and reviews from back then. And how was that anniversary marked here on the fan board? Nothing. Not a post of the date’s significance. Not a link to the lovely presentation. No buzz about what the boys might be doing next. The release of tim and eddie’s old forenzics plaything got a couple of mentions. But no buzz. The crowdies last week won an aria (australia’s emmys) for best adult contemporary record for dreamers. Nothing.
This community thrived under peter green’s stewardship. His retirement saw community pitch in for information. But the well here has gone dry. And looking on other social media the cheerleading is simply emojis in response to corporate promotions.
i never posted my true sentiments for dreamers are waiting here. I didnt want to be a downer. And on reflection i suspect thats true of others too. Lots of names i had become accustomed to seeing on this board over the years have stopped popping in. I never saw their reviews for DAW either. Revvers and believers of the crowdies dream who built enthusiasm uear after year drifted away.
The significance of the live act to the crowdies persona has been hammered by covid. They r at their most memorable when u can take a two hour slice of joy and laughter and expert musical craftsmanship home with u. This has been nigh on impossible. And with touring still looking extremely difficult into 2022 and now with the omicron covid variant emerging, who knows when first hand experience of that spark will return.
Last week adele released an album to huge overwhelming global corporate propaganda. But It wasnt even the best album released that week - sting’s new album Is far more impressive. I watched an hour long interview with him on youtube done by a music industry journo and long time fan that was more informative than any mainstream interview of anyone ive seen in years. He created his own buzz at the right level. Neil tried that with fang radio but that died a death. He did his webcasts. His talent undeniable and a sense of giving his kids a foot up keeps him going. But where’s the spark? From the fans … from the ether … from the music... from the band. We’ve stopped talking about neil and the band.
I’ll still pop in to see how the conversation is going every now and then but i think this board has reached a moment. What do fans want and need from their community? Have we grown grey and moved on? Is there nothing more to say?