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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 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?

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I understand where you’re coming from, Silent Stream.  I too have noted with some dismay how little activity there’s been on the boards over the past three or four months.  I was surprised that nobody posted about the (slightly out-of-character) new video for Love Isn’t Hard At All featuring the surfer Kelly Slater.  And CH’s gong at the Aria awards seems to have attracted little attention here either.  

But I wouldn’t give up just yet.  I think Jeremy is right — we’re living in a time when social media disperses our attentions across too many diverse channels and micro-echo chambers.  There is still a fair bit of chatter about Neil and CH going on — but it’s spread out across different platforms, including FB (which I’m no longer on) and Instagram (which I am).

I also suspect that, among regular board posters, there’s been a collective holding of breath until Crowded House can tour again.  There was a small flurry of activity when the album came out, but I get the feeling that many people want to hear these songs live before digging deeper into them and debating the virtues (or vices) of the new line-up.

Yes, that flurry was a mere blip compared to the three-year blizzard of intense conversation on this forum that followed the release of Time on Earth.  But that is understandable.  Time on Earth, regardless of its musical merits, was an occasion for us to come together to mourn Paul — and to marvel at the (partial) resurrection of a band we never we thought we’d hear from again — at a time when many of us weren’t yet on Facebook, and Instagram didn’t yet exist. I actually like Dreamers Are Waiting more than I thought I would — and a heck of a lot more than I liked Intriguer.  But as an event, despite the relief it has given me through the difficulties of the pandemic, it cannot match the excitement that the release of Time on Earth generated.

Still, I think many of us — grey haired/sideburned or not — will chatter again once the band can tour again.  Omicron may still destroy that hope, though I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this latest pandemic setback will turn out to be far less disastrous than the panic-makers of 24-hour news are speculating it might be.

Last edited by Watney Sideburns

I left here because everyone else did.  I posted a negative opinion not too long ago and was jumped on.

I’m not on Facebook or Instagram.  I mostly moved to Steve Hoffman Forums several years ago.  There has been a years-long Finn thread there that has discussed every Finn song by every Finn (even Elroy and Harper!), but it’s winding down now.  I’m sure it will pick up with the next Finn release, which I guess will be Forenzics.  There are a couple of people there who used to be regulars here years ago.

I definitely have not lost interest, it’s just nothing much happens here any more and the conversation over there is better.  

There used to be very good discussions here, back in the day, you are right, silent stream. And I think most of us would admit, yip, there's a real lack of buzz now.

When you think about it, the most excited things got in Finn land in the recent past  was when Neil did his fang radio thing, and I suspect that's because he was playing the songs of old we know and love.

And for sure, there are some discussions about Finn stuff on social media, mainly Facebook, but honestly I don't think the dynamics of a social media app can ever provide the depth a forum can, when it comes to real discussions. Most of us are 40+, we don't have the motivation,  drive, or eyesight!,  to be tippy typing comments on our phones as we cook dinner or commute to work, or other times when most social media scrolling occurs for us. And really, when you look at it, what's being mostly posted by fans on FB are old Youtube clips of old songs (which is not a bad thing!)

(I mean, things got wild on FB there when Mark Hart was, er, retired, and that's understandable, but whooo what a time to be alive! :-D - Also, I think the whole Mark Hart saga shows how better equipped for discussions a forum is compared to FB / Insta for that kind of pretty significant event)

Honestly, I think if the songs being produced by Finn and sons were putting a fire in our belly, we'd all be here in droves, I'm pretty sure. However, the truth, for many reasons, is that the new stuff just doesn't give many of us that glow and wonder that drew us here in the first place.

Last edited by Perfectchord

I think the lack of live performances does a lot to drive down conversation. I also find the current CH project one of his least interesting in a long time. Some good songs on the record but live, the by-the-record arrangements of the songs Mitchell played on, the static prepared stage show, Neil giving up all his guitar parts to Liam… it’s true he’s doing something new, but it’s not _better_, imo.

I’m glad for the people who are enjoying it, and I’ll certainly go along to a show if he comes to the US, but I’m much less excited about it than any project since I started listening all those years ago.

Its obvious activity has decreased on the forum and in my opinion its been a steady decline over the years. In part likely to the overwhelming number of ways, shapes and forms that we all consume media/information, and the amount of it we take in during every waking hour.
There really is only so much time in a day, and its a challenge to stay up-to-date with everything thats happening all over the world.

I believe the true accelerator though has been the Pandemic. True that us Finn Fans have been spoiled with Fangradio and Dreamers (which I rank with Neil’s best work, topic for another day), and it’s also true that the past 20 months have been VERY hard on most people (whether they know it or admit it). I feel like we’ve all lost so much, and unfortunately some part of the magic/innocence some of us have grown to love about Neil’s music, is gone. Not because of anything Neil, Nick, Liam, Elroy and Mitchell have or haven’t done, its actually despite their tremendous talents and generosity with their fans.

Just like the world changed (not for the better) on Sept. 11, 2001, its been a much bigger shake-up since March 2020 and we’re still not in the clear yet…

The good news: Neil isn't showing any signs of slowing down and I’m pretty sure I will continue to obsess with every little thing he’s done and is doing, until one of us disappears.

This forum still offers a place for dynamic discussion, a platform to share relevant news/events, and as much as I appreciate what Peter Green and Mark Hart mean to the Crowded House fanbase/brand/legacy I welcome the future with open arms.

Last edited by BRANDO BRANDT

Another part of it is perhaps how the records are released now days. So many bands and artists drip two or three songs out prior to the release of the record and over a period of months. The associated promotion and interviews happen in fewer places and over a much longer period of time as a result.

In many ways we were really spoiled through the lockdowns with sessions, the playing of unheard songs, the acoustic re-presentations from the beginning of this year and this year a new Crowded House record. We'd all really like to see a show and perhaps its the lack of the tours that has thrown things out a little. It feels really quiet but think Neil did an interview the other day to support the charity dinner party where he said he was busy writing.

Maybe in the past, we always had half a sense of what the next release would be, whether a solo record, or a brothers record or something else. Right now and probably due to Covid, it feels like we are in a quiet spell where we're not hearing much - probably 'cos Neil and those who work with him are not sure what comes next.

I hope the shows planned for 2022 go ahead and there are webcasts and broadcasts for all to appreciate. I also hope we might see some re-issues of the Finn Brothers and the Solo records... especially vinyl. Maybe the fan club CDs will all get some kind of digital release too? Of course there will be something that none of us have probably thought of either....

For myself, I move through different era's as the mood and whim take me. I roll through phases where I listen to different parts of the back catalogue. The forum is a great place and yes its much quieter than it has been but it'll pick up again.

I too feel the COVID pandemic in past few years has affected most mentally and economically whether they admit it or not which can affect one with communication in all forms. I don’t feel DAW has anything to do with how quiet this forum has become. As above “the great pause “ is a great way to explain this shift in communication. Perhaps people are more wary now of their comments? Perhaps because there hasn’t been any live tours besides those performances in NZ. I feel once the world reopens again and it will there’ll be no stopping this forum. Can you hear the buzzing 😊 by the way, I did post about the charity of late. But I possibly didn’t post it in the right spot?😉 keep well all .

I am guilty of not posting regularly; often come to read and have noticed the lack of activity, but haven't done much to help. I fully intended to write a full review of my thoughts on DAW (which I think is awesome, one of the best Finn efforts in years) but just didn't think I had much to add that hadn't already been said by others. In my case it has nothing to do with lack of touring, as I have never seen any Finn incarnation live (no one seems to come near North Carolina in the states). I do eagerly await any new offering, and will endeavor to help keep this board active going forward, as it has provided me with much knowledge and pleasure in the past.

Thanks for the reminder that it's been 25 years since FTTW. Hard to believe. I was planning on marking it by watching the DVD (for the first time in ages) but it just flew past me and completely slipped my mind. I'm not on here very often but will pop by a few times a year to see what I missed.

In my world, here are the issues:

1. I now have a son. That means I have very little spare time or energy, both to listen to new music and to comment on it. CH (and music in general) just doesn't play as large a part in my life as it once did.

2. There's a vicious circle: if I pop in here and see that no-one has posted for a while, I just pop back out again. Why post something no one is going to read?

3. Once upon a time, a new album wasn't just an event in itself, it was a part of a bigger event: there would be singles coming along at regular intervals both before and after. Now, the album is released and that's it. The end. Next.

4. Quite frankly, Neil isn't writing songs and making records that grab me any more. There was a time when I could honestly say that there was one, maybe two, songs in his whole catalogue that I didn't like. Then he went solo and there were two, maybe three, songs on each album I didn't like. Now, there are probably two, maybe three, songs on each album I do like.

That's no criticism, it's just fact. My favourite song on Dreamers Are Waiting? Liam's Goodnight Everyone. And that, I think, sums up my malaise. And I suspect that many others feel similarly.

I'm still all in on Neil Finn stuff. But, like Paul H, I now have a son, which takes up a lot of time. And also, like, Paul H, I'm underwhelmed by the "event" and spectacle" of a new CH album this time around. I'm sure that's entirely because COVID, but it still stinks. All the singles came out before release day and then the album was released that there was the live concert stream (which I loved), but the new songs just haven't been brought to life. No acoustic radio promotional performances of a selection of new songs, no world tour, just no promotion. Why wasn't there at least a new Fangradio of songs from the new album being played by the band in the studio?  Did that happen and I missed it? I don't think so. These songs need to get out into the world and that just hasn't happened.

Also, forums are just not what they used to be. Everything that used to happen here is now spread out over a dozen fan-run Facebook pages. I don't think it's better than this forum (I think it's worse), but it is what it is. No one that I work with who is under 30 would ever even dream of joining and posting to an internet forum.

But I still love the new album and can't wait to see what is next. Just looking forward to this whole pandemic thing coming to a close so that CH can tour the US once more.

Hi everybody. Just noticed this topic.

I assume the forum here will eventually be shut down. It's expensive to maintain (while making no money), and if people don't want it anymore, we can wind it down.

We still get some new subscriptions each month, but it's not the flood we used to see when albums were released.

The pandemic has changed music. The Frenz world changed when Peter's fan club shut down. And forums aren't hot anymore other than for technical support. So if this isn't relevant anymore, we can wind it down.

I have no reporting or analytics with the system, so I can't say X people have been logging in or reading or posting. I have no idea how much this is used. Since I pay monthly for the system, I can't imagine that stopping paying lets the site stay up as an archive, but I'd have to ask.

Open to ideas.


My circumstances have also changed too in the last 10 years and my time here has reduced as a result. I'd be sad to see it go.

I think things have been knocked by the pandemic here BUT that said, Neil and family via Fangradio were absolutely class - all those Fangradio shows were brilliant. Reflecting on it, I think many of us were perhaps lost for words by the daily broadcasts, the sessions and sharing of stories, outtakes and demos.

I get what Painoporo and Paul H say. I'm hoping and betting that 2022 will be busier as it sounds like there is the UK / European tour, there is an Australian tour, there's going to be an American tour by the sounds of it - this will pick things up. Hopefully a webcast and chance to hear some of the new songs in a live rehearsal. Maybe a stop off at KCRW when the guys finally get to the states, 6 Music when they reach the UK....

Deb - what is the cost of this site. If there was an annual subscription, what would this work out at per person if all of us contributed or say only half of us paid in. If this place needs some 'support' - what would this mean? I'd be sad to see it go.

The forum can only be what everybody makes of it.

I am not asking for money. I started the forum in 1998 out of my own pocket, and it's still out of my pocket. This isn't about "please donate or the site comes down." The site stays up until it looks like it's done serving its purpose. Please don't worry!

But when we have a topic about how the forum seems dead, I start wondering if it's dead.

I don't really agree with the premise. Forum activity largely correlates to the Finn's activity. Right now -- 6 months out from an album release, when touring is on hold due to covid, no fangradio -- strikes me as a time we'd expect there to be very little forum activity.

Every major event still sparks a flurry of discussion. There was TONS around Neil's time with Fleetwood Mac and a pretty decent burst with Dreamers are Waiting. Personally I think until Covid is truly ENdemic (which is probably not til 2022) and things return to a (new) normal, it's hard to judge anything of this nature.

Things are definitely less active in general than 10-15 years ago but even apart from Covid, there are factors mentioned by others...the aging of forum members, changing music industry, social media, etc. The activity may never be as high again as it once was, but for what it's worth, I still find it worthwhile even at current levels.

They seem to be in early stages of a new CH record already so hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for something to talk about...

Last edited by slowpogo

just a quick addendum that is more data-based... if you look at recent activity on the homepage, it goes back about 6 weeks. In that time **25** threads have received at least one new post, and quite a few of them (like this one) have received many posts.

I certainly understand that it could feel kinda dead around here, esp if the new posts don't interest you.

But that amount of activity (especially with the Finns in a lull) is pretty solid for a niche forum!! Just sayin

Last edited by slowpogo

I love this forum as I tend to avoid Facebook. I think many of us who frequent here probably discovered the forum during our uni/college years and life/circumstances have changed since then so we are probably not seeing as much activity.

I first used the internet at uni in 1994 and the first thing I looked up was Split Enz and it took me to Deb’s Enz web page. About the same time I signed up to the Tongue in the Mail digest. When Deb started the forum I moved to that. I lurked for years and only started to contribute when I realized I was attending gigs that nobody else was covering and that there was some interest in them.

A few things have changed in recent years. FOTE closing down was a big one. I think when the club closed, Peter also stopped posting here. What I have always loved about the forum is having contributors close to the band - especially the likes of Peter and Jaffaman.

Those of us that discovered the Forum during uni are still probably lurking and posting from time to time but life and priorities change. I think the big thing is that new blood won’t be coming through as much now as they first go the Facebook groups etc…

I always saw Deb’s sites/Forum as being an extension to FOTE (even if unofficial). Peter ran the club but Deb provided the web presence. I miss the club but am immensely grateful we still have the forum. Yeah… it’s probably past it’s peak - none of us are as young as we used to be, time is more limited and priorities are different. I think it is far from dead though. We still see new members popping up and I’m hoping to see more activity as touring kicks off next year and especially if there is another CH album in the works.

I am going to reserve judgement on whether interest has been lost here until the band actually gets an opportunity to get out there, tour and interact with fans. I think that is what creates the real buzz/interest…

The forum can only be what everybody makes of it.

I am not asking for money. I started the forum in 1998 out of my own pocket, and it's still out of my pocket. This isn't about "please donate or the site comes down." The site stays up until it looks like it's done serving its purpose. Please don't worry!

But when we have a topic about how the forum seems dead, I start wondering if it's dead.

Thanks Deb. For what its worth the Frenz forum has been an important part of my regular routine for 20 years or so. I consistently visit this forum for news, comments, updates and comfort. Knowing that others share a deep interest in all things Finn, is reassuring. I guess feeling connected or wanting to be part of something bigger, is just human nature.
I’m not religious or have a particular interest in faith, so perhaps this community has somehow filled that void for me. Simply said, this is my happy place.

Yes my life has changed (in every possible way) in the past 2 decades; I live in a different country, I’m married with 3 beautiful kids, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve come to terms with the road ahead probably being shorter than the memories of the road travelled so far; still, at least once a week (sometimes every day) I come back to this forum with hope.
Dear Deb, you should feel happy and proud of the work you’ve done and continue to do, and the impact it has on all of us around the world. It cannot be underestimated.

My wishes for this community are that 2022 is full of excitement, good news, great music, dynamic discussions, and most important of all, HOPE.

I live in rural North Carolina (USA). I really don't know another person who knows anything about Finn music, certainly not as fanatically as I do. This forum is pretty much the only avenue I have of connecting with other Finn fans. Though I don't post as much as I should, I do check it regularly hoping for news of new releases or works in the pipeline. I do feel a connection to the others on this forum, and hope for a happy and prosperous 2022, with lots of Finn music to enjoy!

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