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New interview with Neil about Homebake (and confirmation of the 7 Worlds studio project)... Smiler
Neil Finn reflects on Crowded House's mischief and future

By Kathy McCabe
August 14, 2008 12:00am
NEIL Finn has always loved a spot of mischief.

Of course he can get away with it as the frontman of Crowded House, a band renowned for its cheeky humour in performance along with the perfect pop songs which inspire some of the loudest and biggest communal singalongs.

Finn, Nick Seymour, Mark Hart and Matt Sherrod are in Poland to play their final show on the Time On Earth world tour. And the frontman wishes to share some contentious gossip the band heard backstage at the recent Glastonbury Festival.

“We didn’t stay around for Amy Winehouse but I did see her in our backstage area wearing what appeared to be a nappy. Hey, she sure can wear them, I’ll give her that,” Finn says.

“I did hear – and you can be the first to launch this one – that she’s a real actress and this is all a con and her father is in on it. Somebody pulled Nick (Seymour) aside at a bar and swore to him it was all a con.

“I don’t think we have ever been devious enough to pull off a good con.”

They are, however, clever and mischievous enough to pull off memorable moments during gigs. Such as daring security staff stationed in the wide pit in front of the Glastonbury stage to turn around and watch the show.

“Well, you just have to use what you see and they had this serious phalanx of security down the front and I couldn’t take my eyes off them,” he laughs.

Crowded House’s reunion tour in support of the Time On Earth album began with a massive event – the Coachella Festival in California in April last year – and finishes with the annual Homebake festival in December.

While they battled missiles thrown by obnoxious and impatient Rage Against The Machine fans at the US event, the band have proven hugely popular drawcards at all their other big gig performances, including Live Earth in Sydney last year.

“We feel we have done pretty well at all these things and they are fun. It was very early days when we did Coachella and being on before Rage Against The Machine created some challenges but we felt good about it,” Finn says.

“Nick Seymour has been close to vomiting before some of them; he gets really nervous on the big ones.”

Crowded House didn’t get a chance to play Homebake before they split in 1996, although the Finn Brothers closed the Domain festival in 2005, with Seymour on bass. “We had a tremendously fun time when we did it with Tim. There was such a familiarity within the audience, even with so many younger people there,” Finn recalls.

“The thing about playing those huge shows in Australia is that everyone seems to know the words. There’s a palpable excitement level about hearing that many sing a song, both for us and the audience.

“There’s a nice connection between that and how we were even before we were in a band, sitting around and singing with the family. Even as a band in those early days, we would play those little shows in people’s houses . . . it seems our natural game has been to approach any gig as if we are in someone’s lounge room.”

Crowded House will remain reunited. Several new songs are already being rotated into their live set and Finn hopes to have the next album recorded and released by mid-2009.

There have been some preliminary sessions at his Roundhead Studios in Auckland but Finn is cagey about the details of their future recording plans.

“I think we always intended that (the reunion) was something that went on. I wasn’t thinking of it being a one-off but yes, you have to go through the process of making the decision that you want to continue,” he says.

“As for the next album, we won’t be recording anywhere else (than Roundhead) but there are various other ideas of how we present the music.”

Instead of asking the obvious Radiohead question – are you giving it away for free? – I propose to Finn his ambitious plan is to be the first band to record and play from space.

“From space? I don’t think it would take much to start that rumour,” he says.

“Tell everyone we’ve been offered a huge amount of money from a really wealthy man with the first name Richard. Weightless music is definitely on the cards,” Finn laughs. “Now we’ve planted that seed, it might happen.”

Before they become space cowboys, there are a few major distractions.

Seymour and his partner welcome their first child in October. And Finn will be helming a 7 Worlds Collide record.

The project started as a live event in Auckland in 2001 when Finn invited brother Tim, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr, Radiohead’s Phil Selway and Ed O’Brien and others to perform several concerts in Auckland. The magic shows were released on a live album and DVD.

O’Brien has confirmed on Radiohead’s website that he will be involved with the new record.

“There’s a plan to gather a few of our friends together around Christmas and New Year to do a project,” Finn says.

“The 7 Worlds thing is rising again but not necessarily with the same people. We’re still working out all the details.”

But there’s no doubt the contributors will include his sons Liam and Elroy who are valiantly following in his footsteps. Liam, who started on the Crowded House tour, has since been winning fans for his debut solo record I’ll Be Lightning. Elroy joined his father’s band after finishing studies in Wales.

“Liam is definitely coming home for that and Elroy will likely be doing Homebake with us. I am looking forward to having a bit of family time.’’

Tickets for Homebake on December 6 go on sale on Monday from Ticketek and other outlets
ah, Goggles, you beat me to it! Smiler Thanks, this is a great article.

Record & play from space eh?

So many gems in here - a new 7 Worlds project, Elroy at Homebake, and then of course, there's
quote:
“As for the next album, we won’t be recording anywhere else (than Roundhead) but there are various other ideas of how we present the music.”


the mind boggles......
For those original Frenz members doing the buses from Melbourne- remember to grab your Crowdies Survival kits from Liz (those going know who she is). Full of some fun band bits and pieces but the most important item is probably the sunscreen sachet. Glad we could get you those cheaper fares.

For first time Homebake people remember it is December so quite sunny. Homebake usually have a free 'slap slip slop' sun cover area but it gets busy so best to bring your own. Don't want you getting baked at Homebake!

If I'm there on the day Liz will have some details of where we can catch up. Still can't believe some of you have been club members for 28 years! (retirement soon!) an amazing length of time.

Have a great time guys and thanks for keeping the faith!

Gryph
So glad someone got it Finngirl!! It would be so great to go and so healing for me right now because of the loss of my dad last month...

I know you'll have enough for me too though, and I look forward to hearing detailed descriptions, so I hope someone takes notes!!! Jokes and spur of the moment songs: the gamut of what can only be known as the whackiness of Crowded House!!! Gotta love that live show even on a bad night!!!! So have a blast for you and for me! Big Grin
I can't help wondering why Foxtel are not televising Homebake live today. The show is SOLD OUT so I wonder what their excuse is. It's been done in the past so what's different this year?

I guess those of us not lucky enough to be there will have to make do with the heavily edited highlights version.....whenever that may eventuate on Channel V. Here's hoping they'll post clips on the Homebake website and perhaps Triple J will replay highlights like they did back in 2005.

Have a great time everyone - we're looking forward to living vicariously through your reviews!
AMAZING!!!

I'm not sure if I was in a particularly nice part of the crowd (probably not - we were near the tool that threw a shoe at Neil's face), or if the crowd was just really good this year, but we had an amazing time! Awesome performance (but towards the end of I think the second song Neil seemed to strain his voice a little and had trouble on the high notes for a while), great response, just fantastic. Totally worth time off work, flights, accommodation etc!! Wow. Still a little stunned obviously!
Sorry guys, just back and have found the internet modem has failed again, using a borrowed one.

I think we must have got a good spot too(thanks to Fallingforyou)with only the one jandle throwing clown(to keep it polite)and one fellow who tried to get up close and personal but quickly left

The setlist from Kazzah

When You Come
World Where You Live
Turn It Around
Fall At Your Feet
Don't Stop Now
Neil's challenge to the dance tent/Nick's disco theme
Streets Of Amsterdam
Four Seasons
Whispers And Moans
Hole In The River
Don't Dream
Distant Sun
Only Natural

Encore

Locked Out
Weather With You/Throw Your Arms Around me snippet
Fingers Of Love
Better Be Home Soon


Us three girls were worried about Neil near the start,I don't know if it was just the lighting,but from my vantage point he was looking rather pale and worn out(knowing how we were feeling,I can't even imagine how much harder it had to be on the guys)as for the creature feature abd his jandle,I certainly hope he was thrown out Mad

I only mangaed two half decent photos as I did'nt dare take my 'good' camera(I could have as it turned out, but was still shy from the wonders of Homebake '05 ahem)pleased to see that at least some of Sydney has grown respect for their fellow festival goers

Good morning one and all!
Interesting day yesterday, even though the beers were crazily priced still managed to enjoy a few in the sun. Love Homebake....

On to the Crowdies...Hmmm.
I must say that I was a little disappointed on a whole.

Firstly the sound from up the front was a bit average at first, Neil needed turning up on his vocals and the sound seemed a touch muffled. I actually think Neil was slightly unwell? or maybe a little scratchy in the throat. He was an excellent frontman though but I felt the performance, although excellent compared to just about any other act on the planet, was a little, just a little flatter than how I have seen them the last few times... We actually moved back a few metres and the sound was a bit better....

Don't get me wrong it was a good show and seemed more like a karaoke contest from the crowd who knew just about every line (Even Don't stop now! which was cool to hear)

Nick was great, didn't spot any dodgy lines at all, Mark sounded great on Backing vocals I thought! Matt was one cool looking cat too by the way... Don was great but again he could have been a bit higher in the mix...

Then there is Elroy!! I am afraid to say he is one hell of a good looking kid! (this coming from a very hetero 30 something muso too) but he had more than his fair share of attention! What a talented family, he looked very at home in front of 20,000 people. Pretty cool.

The usual songs got a great work out, particularly

Distant Sun (which was cool)
Don't dream it's over
An impromptu Throw your arms around me
Weather with you
Four seasons etc...

Though they played a few slower songs at a time where the set needed a bit more energy, yes I am looking at you Hole in the river and Fingers of love...(though both were performed well) though songs like Locked out were exactly what the crowd went off to.

The real Lowlight of the act was some clown who threw a thong/Jandle at Neil! I HATE clowns like this! Neil however utterly humiliated the guy saying "you can either take your PANTS off and stay or you can get out of here!" I actually met a couple of people he was with after the festival who were ashamed of the guy. Things like that I (and I bet all us Frenz) take personally, but thankfully Neil is an absoloute pro and deals with it all SO well (post Coachella)

Also funny hearing Neil yell an expletive at himself as he knocked his guitar on the mic stand and had to re tune!

So, really glad I went, Crowdies were professional and solid but maybe not the breathtaking extravagenza I was hoping for but all in all a good job...


I met a frenz girl, Gretchen? up the front, sorry forgot your avatar name? Nice to meet you briefly hope everybody had a great time!!!!!

Right, time for breakfast!
Thanks FG and Chester Kruse for the write ups.

Triple J didnt say a word about CH all the time I was listening (couldn't listen all day though). The only thing I heard was this morning when one of the newsreaders said "Crowded House was sensational". Most of presenters think they are a bit too cool for CH.

Hope they play something later down the track. Keep an ear to the radio Xmas day and cross fingers, they have aired the Finn Bros Homebake then and a previous year the wonderful set Neil did at their Xmas party at a surf club quite a few years ago now on that day.

Here's hoping
Was nice to run into so many club members after Homebake, and it sounds like you all had a good time. I'm amazed at how many of you were walking down the street , probably not knowing each other!!!! The curfew is pretty strict on such shows, from memory 'Something so strong' was chopped from the encore for that very reason.

Overall it seemed a pretty nice day, Sydney siders seemed very relaxed and it didn't rain (despite the weather mans predictions). Apart from the one jangle/thong in the air, for a crowd that big it seemed fine. I went out front for a few songs and there was space to wander about despite being a sold out gig.

Foxtel don't always cross live from Homebake, and I seem to recall seeing something in the Foxtel magazine, I know they had cameras backstage and Nick & Neil teased the stage cameras to 'come closer'... so I'm hoping some of that will appear in a week or so (a guess) if I find out more I'll try and mention it. It could only be backstage I've got no idea on what has been agreed on at the time of writing.

Apart from a bit of a raspy throat (we've all got that at the moment) Neil was fine, might of been the lighting... it can get a bit washed out at those big shows. I thought the backdrops looked excellent at Enmore but the Homebake stage didn't do them justice.

Anyway just got home, need some ZZZZZZ's! It's been a fun 10 days for us.

Gryph
Oh my I forgot to mention that camera teasing in my earlier post...too funny with Nick showing the camera his teeth and Neil telling it to take a large bow to the crowd(what was it. 'is there anything you can't do Mr camera')or something close to that. I think this Finngirl needs sleep too. But what a nice way to be tired Smiler
I had a awesome night at Homebake. Just went by myself, but met up with Mullane before and after the Crowdies.

Crowd were pretty good, so once Sneaky Sound System came off stage, Mullane encouraged me to dive in and get myself down the front (thanks for that Mullane).

Everyone was really nice to me, when they saw I was short and a fan, they kept on waving me further to the front until I was right up at the fence in front of Elroy.

Loved the evening - it was very different to the warm up show - but both performances were special in different ways.

Aaaaah, it's been a lovely week. Now I've got to come back down to earth.
quote:
Originally posted by gryphon:

Apart from a bit of a raspy throat (we've all got that at the moment) Neil was fine, might of been the lighting... it can get a bit washed out at those big shows.


Thanks so much for letting us know that Neil is fine, Gryph Smiler We were a little worried about him, but it definitely must have been the lighting that made him look pale. And his poor voice, it sounded so sore during 'Turn it around' and 'Whispers and moans'. Frowner

But overall it was a brilliant night. We had a great spot (a few rows back off Mark's side) with room to dance! Smiler Enjoyed hearing all the favourites again, the crowd certainly loved a good singalong.
Not much to say about the 'thong throwing' incident, other than it was completely disgusting, and Neil handed it very well. I had hoped he would have been thrown out, but I'm not sure that happened.

Crossing my fingers it will be shown on Pay TV. Channel V were sponsoring it, so I guess it will be shown on there in the future.
Hi all

I'm new to the board but have been a fan for a while. Admittedly I don't know much of the bands stuff other than what's on the best of, BUT I have also seen Neil in solo mode so that must count for something in separating me from the 'i love that weather song!' peeps??? Smiler

Was telling a friend of a friend I was going to see Crowded House and he told me last time he'd seen them was at Coogee Bay Hotel with Noise Works and some other ol' school aussie band I can't recall ha.

Anyway here's some vids I recorded from the gig. Includes the 'jandal' throwing incident and camera playing. Will also be uploading some of the dance tune improv later.
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FEE7ABBEB292E218
quote:
Originally posted by indiie:
Hi all

I'm new to the board but have been a fan for a while. Admittedly I don't know much of the bands stuff other than what's on the best of, BUT I have also seen Neil in solo mode so that must count for something in separating me from the 'i love that weather song!' peeps??? Smiler

Was telling a friend of a friend I was going to see Crowded House and he told me last time he'd seen them was at Coogee Bay Hotel with Noise Works and some other ol' school aussie band I can't recall ha.

Anyway here's some vids I recorded from the gig. Includes the 'jandal' throwing incident and camera playing. Will also be uploading some of the dance tune improv later.
]


Welcome and thank you for the link Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by indiie:
Hi all

I'm new to the board but have been a fan for a while. Admittedly I don't know much of the bands stuff other than what's on the best of, BUT I have also seen Neil in solo mode so that must count for something in separating me from the 'i love that weather song!' peeps??? Smiler

Was telling a friend of a friend I was going to see Crowded House and he told me last time he'd seen them was at Coogee Bay Hotel with Noise Works and some other ol' school aussie band I can't recall ha.

Anyway here's some vids I recorded from the gig. Includes the 'jandal' throwing incident and camera playing. Will also be uploading some of the dance tune improv later.
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FEE7ABBEB292E218


Hey, indiie
It's great to have you here and thanks for the youtube uploads.
Neil DID handle the "jandal d1ckhead" well.
quote:
Originally posted by fallingforyou:

Not much to say about the 'thong throwing' incident, other than it was completely disgusting, and Neil handed it very well. I had hoped he would have been thrown out, but I'm not sure that happened.


There are some professional photos up to view or purchase at http://www.rockvizion.net:80/artistsgp/crowdedhouse2008.html
including a couple of Neil holding the thong (jandle) with a stern look on his face: classic!

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