Alphonse posted:

....& reversed his decision a few weeks later.

Absolutley . First of all he got a bit of pressure from the management . I think Mark chipped in , but finally it was up to Nick to approach Neil and argue his case . Had he not done that I’m not sure if we would have heard from Nick again . 

Unfortunately, I don’t think Mark is that kind of character to approach Neil and have it out with him  

From what I've seen, it seems the relationship with Mark and Neil isn't as strong as others?  Such as stage banter and introduction: "my good friend Nick", "my good friend Matt", and "my friend Mark Hart".

On the FTTW commentary, it was just the two of them and I didn't sense the closeness other members seem to hold. Just my 2c.  We all have favorite friends.

  I love Mark. "You've been a fan longer than I've been in the band", Atlanta 2010.

c.houser posted:

From what I've seen, it seems the relationship with Mark and Neil isn't as strong as others?  Such as stage banter and introduction: "my good friend Nick", "my good friend Matt", and "my friend Mark Hart".

On the FTTW commentary, it was just the two of them and I didn't sense the closeness other members seem to hold. Just my 2c.  We all have favorite friends.

  I love Mark. "You've been a fan longer than I've been in the band", Atlanta 2010.

Mark joined Neil on his first solo tour . I thought they always seemed close . 

Plug posted:

I don't think there is "management" any more. Just like there isn't outside production. There's just one place where the buck stops.

Neil / crowded House has management around the time of and after Intriguer .i remember he discussed his hopes for Neil and the band . Don’t know if that’s changed ?

I find it surprising. Mark has talent and class so we may never know what actually transpired. He certainly will never say. As to saying Mark and Neil were not close, Mark generally played with Neil for at least a song or two each time Neil played a Neil Finn show in Los Angeles. That wouldn't happen if there was not a certain closeness. Neil likes having his friends around, like having Eddie Vedder play with him in Seattle when he comes around. Mysterious happenings.

Hello all—

What a shocking couple of days. First, we learned that a new CH show had been scheduled, and my first thought was, “It doesn’t make sense for them to go to the trouble of rehearsing a set for a single show...”
 
Next, we learned the unthinkable.  Mark Hart is gone.  
 
Having spent the last 20+ years of my life in regional and local bands, usually as the lead singer and main songwriter, I’ve been the guy who made the decision to kick others out of the band. It’s not an easy thing, even when the person leaving wasn’t pulling his weight. It’s infinitely more difficult when the person had talent and commitment but simply wasn’t the right person at that time. Of course, this was on a minuscule level compared to CH. 
 
But I imagine it wasn’t easy for Neil to make the decision, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Mark to hear it. 
 
So...bottom line, I’m happy about the possibility of new CH material coming. I agree that it doesn’t make sense to fire Mark and bring in Froom for one festival show. There simply must be something more to this. 
 
I wondered if maybe a new album produced by Froom was already almost completed, and perhaps a single was being readied for release in advance of the blues festival.
 
Neil seems to have a respect for Froom that he maybe doesn’t have for others with whom he’s played.  And Froom clearly isn’t afraid to say, “That tune needs some work.”  So, perhaps Froom is the guy to draw one last great CH encore from Neil.  Because it all comes down to the songs. I have enjoyed each of Neil’s projects, with the exception of Light Sleeper, which didn’t connect with me.  But, unlike many of the songs from his first  few solo and Finn Brothers records, few of his recent songs really sounded like CH to me. 
 
I’m not sure that the cost (Mark) is worth the risk, but Neil clearly thought it was. I just hope that we get great songs first and a great band and producer second. 
 
And speaking of the festival, does anyone else find it funny that CH is on the bill? Based on the line-up, the organizers cleanly don’t restrict it to blues artists.  But CH is about the least bluesy band around...!
 
Folks have speculated that Fleetwood might join on drums and Mike Campbell might sign on for lead guitar. Mick is a larger than life personality, so in that respect, he’d be a little more Hester than others who’ve sat on the throne.  But his playing style is very much a more aggressive one than Matt or Paul. He’s not a power drummer, but he loves to show off. 
 
I confess that when I read that Neil and Campbell had really connected in FM, I hoped that the friendship would result in them forming a band together. Campbell is a huge talent on guitar, and an extremely underrated songwriter who contributed significantly to many of Petty’s best tunes as well as to songs like Don Henley’s “Heart of the Matter” and “The Boys of Summer.”
 
But Mike already has a record in the can by his side project, waiting for his commitment to FM to run out. I mean, maybe The Dirty Knobs will be finished with promoting their record by the time CH reconvenes. Maybe. 
 
Someone also mentioned that Froom is a producer, not a band guy. And that’s mostly true, but he WAS a member of Latin Playboys with Tchad Blake and a couple of the guys from Los Lobos. They released two records, so it wasn’t a one-off thing, either. 
 
I don't know if Mark or any of his family or team reads this website, but if they do, thank you Mark. Your contributions to CH are immeasurable, and they helped provide a soundtrack for many people’s lives, including mine. Be well.
 
mattl 


Some great comments here from a lot of people. Have loved reading them.

I love all Neil's projects, love him working with his family, and love his involvement with Fleetwood Mac. More than anything, I love that he makes his own decisions on what he does and who he works with on his solo material.

But firing Mark, if that's what we're led to believe has happened, does not pass the sniff test. On the surface, the decision does not sit well and is a true kick in the guts to the fans. Crowded House, in my opinion, is sacrosanct and Mark Hart is an important cog in that machine.

If Mark had tragically died, then I could buy Crowded House carrying on with either Mitchell Froom or Eddie Rayner taking his place. But flat out sacking Mark and Matt (if that is what happened) does not sit right with me. Forced or amicable changes (Paul and Tim) are one thing, but this news leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many fans.

If this Bluesfest gig were for a one-off show to serve as a reunion with Mitchell Froom (and perhaps Tim Finn) I would understand Mark taking a break, but when you start slashing half your current membership (again, if that's what has happened) then it becomes Neil Finn & Friends.

Hell, I wouldn't be against the idea of a whole new band featuring Neil Finn (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nick Seymour (bass), Johnny Marr (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Campbell (lead guitar, vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums) and Mitchell Froom (keyboards). What a supergroup that would be. Think of all the great songs they could play, including Crowded House and many other songs from Neil's songbook.

But just don't call it Crowded House. Not that I'm suggesting Neil will try and pass off an entirely new band as Crowded House. To me, Crowded House, at the very least, is the core trio of Neil, Nick and Mark. And throw Matt in there to make up the quartet, since Paul and Peter are no longer options. I wouldn't even be against making Liam and Elroy an official 5th member, but not at the expense of Mark Hart.

Again, I'm only theorising/speculating. There are still a lot of questions that will be answered in time. To Neil's credit, he did say we need to trust him. I'm certainly not blindly trusting him, but until we know what these upcoming announcements will be it's hard to make too many further comments.

stuartjb posted:
Plug posted:

I don't think there is "management" any more. Just like there isn't outside production. There's just one place where the buck stops.

Neil / crowded House has management around the time of and after Intriguer .i remember he discussed his hopes for Neil and the band . Don’t know if that’s changed ?

Neil is listed on the Suretone roster now, along with Crowded House, and of course most of the Fleetwood Mac members. 

http://suretone.com/management/

I hope he made the right choice in signing with Suretone. 

Freofan posted:

Does anyone know anything about them? Is this recent?

Within the last year.  Presumably as a result of the FM situation.  

I believe it is Carl Stubner's business:-

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Stubner

You'll see Mick Fleetwood's name crop up a lot in connection with Stubner.

I'm pretty sure Lindsey Buckingham was listed there too, until quite recently.

Secret God (Stew) posted:


Some great comments here from a lot of people. Have loved reading them.

I love all Neil's projects, love him working with his family, and love his involvement with Fleetwood Mac. More than anything, I love that he makes his own decisions on what he does and who he works with on his solo material.

But firing Mark, if that's what we're led to believe has happened, does not pass the sniff test. On the surface, the decision does not sit well and is a true kick in the guts to the fans. Crowded House, in my opinion, is sacrosanct and Mark Hart is an important cog in that machine.

If Mark had tragically died, then I could buy Crowded House carrying on with either Mitchell Froom or Eddie Rayner taking his place. But flat out sacking Mark and Matt (if that is what happened) does not sit right with me. Forced or amicable changes (Paul and Tim) are one thing, but this news leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many fans.

If this Bluesfest gig were for a one-off show to serve as a reunion with Mitchell Froom (and perhaps Tim Finn) I would understand Mark taking a break, but when you start slashing half your current membership (again, if that's what has happened) then it becomes Neil Finn & Friends.

Hell, I wouldn't be against the idea of a whole new band featuring Neil Finn (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nick Seymour (bass), Johnny Marr (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Campbell (lead guitar, vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums) and Mitchell Froom (keyboards). What a supergroup that would be. Think of all the great songs they could play, including Crowded House and many other songs from Neil's songbook.

But just don't call it Crowded House. Not that I'm suggesting Neil will try and pass off an entirely new band as Crowded House. To me, Crowded House, at the very least, is the core trio of Neil, Nick and Mark. And throw Matt in there to make up the quartet, since Paul and Peter are no longer options. I wouldn't even be against making Liam and Elroy an official 5th member, but not at the expense of Mark Hart.

Again, I'm only theorising/speculating. There are still a lot of questions that will be answered in time. To Neil's credit, he did say we need to trust him. I'm certainly not blindly trusting him, but until we know what these upcoming announcements will be it's hard to make too many further comments.

This . In a nutshell .

brownie posted:
Weightless Astronaut posted:

 

I hope he made the right choice in signing with Suretone. 

Why would/could this be a wrong choice?

I don't have any particular reason for wondering about the choice.  Just that, as others have alluded to, most recently Neil seems to have been in complete control of everything.  The cultural fit is important.  

Hi folks,

I’m new here and joined so I could post some pertinent information about the new Crowded House line-up. I used to be involved with them in a professional manner many years ago and still maintain contact with some of the band & crew. This is how I found out.
Anyhow, with all the talk about Mark Hart being fired, it’s also true that Matt Sherrod has been fired.
Unofficially their replacements are:

Liam Finn - guitars  (possible keyboards as well)
Elroy Finn - drums  (possible guitars as well)
Mitchell Froom - keyboards
Sharon Finn - bass (just joking, lookout Nick)

So there we have it, the new Crowded House members. It will be a pretty good band and Neil Finn usually knows what he is doing. I’m sure that an official announcement will be made as soon as the time is right.
I’m so sorry for Mark & Matt. They are awesome folks and very good musicians. Crowded House won’t be the same without them.

Thank you for reading,
Beatlebum

Beatlebum posted:

Hi folks,

I’m new here and joined so I could post some pertinent information about the new Crowded House line-up. I used to be involved with them in a professional manner many years ago and still maintain contact with some of the band & crew. This is how I found out.
Anyhow, with all the talk about Mark Hart being fired, it’s also true that Matt Sherrod has been fired.
Unofficially their replacements are:

Liam Finn - guitars  (possible keyboards as well)
Elroy Finn - drums  (possible guitars as well)
Mitchell Froom - keyboards
Sharon Finn - bass (just joking, lookout Nick)

So there we have it, the new Crowded House members. It will be a pretty good band and Neil Finn usually knows what he is doing. I’m sure that an official announcement will be made as soon as the time is right.
I’m so sorry for Mark & Matt. They are awesome folks and very good musicians. Crowded House won’t be the same without them.

Thank you for reading,
Beatlebum

Thanks for the info . Just as I suspected . Not happy .

If Neil is planning to use Mitchell Froom for keyboards instead of Mark Hart, I think that's a perfectly acceptable choice. For many years Mark was the unofficial 4th member of the touring band, but he was playing Mitchell's parts. Mitchell was really the unofficial 4th member of the studio band for the first three albums. All that changed for Together Alone of course and Mark got to compose and perform his own parts in the studio for a change. 

I love Mark and I love his playing but Mitchell's work with the band is equally (or arguably more) legendary. So, I'm keeping an open mind. I don't think Neil is saying Mark will never be part of Crowded House again, but I'm up for a different incarnation of the band. Though I too would be unimpressed if it turned out to just be Liam and Elroy. 

First, one report does not an official announcement make, re: Liam and Elroy. 

But if that is true: Elroy's drumming on the Neil Finn/Paul Kelly tour was outstanding, and I can imagine it working extremely well.  I would rather it were an actual band, with Matt and Mark, but if it’s going to be Neil and Friends Playing Crowded House Songs, Elroy is as good a fit as we could want. See his drumming on Won’t Give In from Goin Your Way for a good example (I know it’s not a Crowdies song, but it’s a good example of why I think his playing works well with Neil).

Liam, on the other hand - he’s done good things with Neil live, but when he toured with CH in 2007, he tended to add extraneous parts to thinks which weren’t necessary (e.g. Mean to Me and World Where You Live do not need acoustic rhythm guitar), and made the songs weirdly busy mostly so Liam had something to do.

I would take Elroy over, for instance, Mick Fleetwood. Though if this *does* turn out to be the arrangement, then the early 2017 shows where Nick played bass were as much Crowded House as these will be. Hell, perhaps they were better as they also had the rest of Neil’s catalog to draw from.

If the above-reported new CH lineup is indeed true, the one big question I have is why do Liam and Elroy even want to join Crowded House?  It’s one thing to play with your dad from time to time, but these are adult men in their 30’s.  Surely at some point they should want to just do their own thing?  This seems like a step backwards for them in some ways.  Not necessarily musically, but surely in becoming independent individuals?  I dunno, seems odd to me.

I'm not going to question Beatlebum too harshly since there's really little incentive to come on here and spread a rumour that could be false. But, apart from Matt's dismissal, it doesn't make sense since Neil can (and does) work with his sons in various other projects. 

So...what's the distinction for Neil in writing if they are going to be in Crowded House? Will everything just be Crowded House? 

It's the same reason that I never saw the sense in Tom Petty having 'solo' albums; he ended up recording with the Heartbreakers on those records with the same producer while the sound on those records weren't worlds apart from a Heartbreakers record. 

TryWhistlingThis posted:

I'm not going to question Beatlebum too harshly since there's really little incentive to come on here and spread a rumour that could be false. But, apart from Matt's dismissal, it doesn't make sense since Neil can (and does) work with his sons in various other projects. 

So...what's the distinction for Neil in writing if they are going to be in Crowded House? Will everything just be Crowded House? 

It's the same reason that I never saw the sense in Tom Petty having 'solo' albums; he ended up recording with the Heartbreakers on those records with the same producer while the sound on those records weren't worlds apart from a Heartbreakers record. 

Nail . On . The .Head . 

 

If this is the case , why didn’t he just do this in 1997 when the record company wanted him to . Seems kind of pointless now .

Thom Bullock posted:

First, one report does not an official announcement make, re: Liam and Elroy. 

But if that is true: Elroy's drumming on the Neil Finn/Paul Kelly tour was outstanding, and I can imagine it working extremely well.  I would rather it were an actual band, with Matt and Mark, but if it’s going to be Neil and Friends Playing Crowded House Songs, Elroy is as good a fit as we could want. See his drumming on Won’t Give In from Goin Your Way for a good example (I know it’s not a Crowdies song, but it’s a good example of why I think his playing works well with Neil).

Liam, on the other hand - he’s done good things with Neil live, but when he toured with CH in 2007, he tended to add extraneous parts to thinks which weren’t necessary (e.g. Mean to Me and World Where You Live do not need acoustic rhythm guitar), and made the songs weirdly busy mostly so Liam had something to do.

I would take Elroy over, for instance, Mick Fleetwood. Though if this *does* turn out to be the arrangement, then the early 2017 shows where Nick played bass were as much Crowded House as these will be. Hell, perhaps they were better as they also had the rest of Neil’s catalog to draw from.

Just why call it Crowded House ?!

Paināporo posted:

If Neil is planning to use Mitchell Froom for keyboards instead of Mark Hart, I think that's a perfectly acceptable choice. For many years Mark was the unofficial 4th member of the touring band, but he was playing Mitchell's parts. Mitchell was really the unofficial 4th member of the studio band for the first three albums. All that changed for Together Alone of course and Mark got to compose and perform his own parts in the studio for a change. 

I love Mark and I love his playing but Mitchell's work with the band is equally (or arguably more) legendary. So, I'm keeping an open mind. I don't think Neil is saying Mark will never be part of Crowded House again, but I'm up for a different incarnation of the band. Though I too would be unimpressed if it turned out to just be Liam and Elroy. 

Prepare to be unimpressed then ! 

 

I also think Marks note makes it clear ( certainly in his mind ) that he’s permanently out . 

(Why change a band that’s been dormant for years anyway ?! Just start something new !)

It speaks volumes about the respect and goodwill that many folk have towards Mark not only as a musician but as a decent good bloke.

The name 'Crowded House' has always struck me highly ironic at best an extreme oxymoron at worst. The first 5 years of the band's life was as a trio; the second 5 years was as a quartet. A phenomenal live band all the way through, and THE blueprint for all of those Unplugged albums that surfaced long after Crowded House appeared when they were masters of the acoustic performance. However, never did they record their albums as a trio or as a quartet. I have yet to understand why or how a phenomenal band such as this always needed a plethora of session musicians on their own records. It's not a criticism; just a puzzle to me. The band has always been a centerpiece for Neil even though I still love what Paul and Nick brought to the sound, arrangements, and performances of all those songs. There was character; a soul; a sense of humour and great life to Crowded House that ultimately was bigger than the sum of its individuals (& I mean this with a lot of courtesy and respect to Neil). This included Mark as well when he officially became a band member; a real band rather than just another group with an obvious leader.

I mentioned a few days ago that I was wary about the new lineup being a possibility of Neil with Others + Nick. Should the listing of Messrs. Froom + Finn + Finn Joining Messrs. Seymour and Finn come to fruition, then I wish them well. The House is becoming full of tenants and that is the landlord's terms; nobody has to agree with it or listen if they don't wish to. Paul McCartney decided when forming Wings would be a band where everyone was equal even though everyone in the world except Paul knew that this wasn't the case. There were at least 3 lineups that I can recall but Paul still called the collective Wings just as Neil has the title of Crowded House. It's ironic that Paul has toured with the same lineup of musicians since 2001 and the instrumentation is identical to Wings....but he doesn't use the Wings moniker anymore. An earlier thread asked 'Why call it Crowded House?' which I think is very pertinent as it isn't a Crowded House that I know of. I remember living in London between 'Recurring Dream' and 'Try Whistling This'; there was huge goodwill towards Crowded House everywhere but Neil was resisting the name (as I recall) in order to have a clear launch for his solo career (advertising was filled with 'The Voice of Crowded House!'). Therefore, why bring the name back in 2020 which is ten years after their final studio album? It will be interesting when we hear the full story one day...if we hear it.

Has anyone noticed that Neil joined his current band to help replace a very forthright singer/guitarist/songwriter? Very similar to why he joined Split Enz(!).

This makes me think it is just a one off gig, based on a few stars aligning where Mitchell and Nick were going to be down south over Easter and the Blues Festival presented them with a chance to get together and play a gig.

Why not bill it as Crowded House if you have the 3 of them? All you are missing is Paul from the pre-Woodface CH (and. While Froom was never a member of the live band, he was instrumental to the sound of the first 3 albums.

Also, it’s been noted that Mark and Mitchell were not particularly compatible, so it would have been a weird dynamic to have Mark on stage with Mitchell. Also, if it was just making the most of an opportunity of the 3 of them going to be in the same part of the world at the same time, it probably doesn’t make much sense to get Mark and Matt to fly over for one gig anyway.

So left with the challenge of needing somebody to cover drums and guitars, it is very convenient that Neil’s sons are pretty handy on both and were also going to be around. Oh... and they cover the backing vocals and harmonies pretty well too. 

I could see Crowded House being Neil, Nick and Mitchell while Liam and Elroy fill the gaps (in the same way The Who are now Daltrey and Townsend, supported  by a backing band.) If this is for a one off gig, I don’t have a problem with it. 

I can’t imagine Neil properly reforming CH to record and tour with Elroy and Liam in the band - they have their own careers and I can’t see them wanting to do that.

The big question for me remains - what is Mitchell Froom going to be doing down here. I don’t believe for a minute he was recruited by Neil to fly over for a one off gig at the expense of Mark.

I think it is more likely that he has planned to be working at RoundHead Studio before and/or after the gig. This does make me wonder if Neil will be attempting to record with Fleetwood Mac with Michell Froom producing... 

Whysus posted:

This makes me think it is just a one off gig, based on a few stars aligning where Mitchell and Nick were going to be down south over Easter and the Blues Festival presented them with a chance to get together and play a gig.

Why not bill it as Crowded House if you have the 3 of them? All you are missing is Paul from the pre-Woodface CH (and. While Froom was never a member of the live band, he was instrumental to the sound of the first 3 albums.

Also, it’s been noted that Mark and Mitchell were not particularly compatible, so it would have been a weird dynamic to have Mark on stage with Mitchell. Also, if it was just making the most of an opportunity of the 3 of them going to be in the same part of the world at the same time, it probably doesn’t make much sense to get Mark and Matt to fly over for one gig anyway.

So left with the challenge of needing somebody to cover drums and guitars, it is very convenient that Neil’s sons are pretty handy on both and were also going to be around. Oh... and they cover the backing vocals and harmonies pretty well too. 

I could see Crowded House being Neil, Nick and Mitchell while Liam and Elroy fill the gaps (in the same way The Who are now Daltrey and Townsend, supported  by a backing band.) If this is for a one off gig, I don’t have a problem with it. 

I can’t imagine Neil properly reforming CH to record and tour with Elroy and Liam in the band - they have their own careers and I can’t see them wanting to do that.

The big question for me remains - what is Mitchell Froom going to be doing down here. I don’t believe for a minute he was recruited by Neil to fly over for a one off gig at the expense of Mark.

I think it is more likely that he has planned to be working at RoundHead Studio before and/or after the gig. This does make me wonder if Neil will be attempting to record with Fleetwood Mac with Michell Froom producing... 

Why call it Crowded House then ? Just bill it as Neil Finn..

stuartjb posted:

Why call it Crowded House then ? Just bill it as Neil Finn..

Because of Nick.

Remember "Time On Earth" started as a Neil solo album with Nick playing bass, then it was released as Crowded House. Whereas Neil's other solo albums did not include Nick.

So the question is not "Why call the band Crowded House ?" rather "How can we NOT call the band Crowded House ?" when the only surviving original members are playing together.

If what has been said above about Matt being gone as well, and Elroy/Liam filling in the gaps that's both entirely predictable and just plain disappointing. What Neil has said in the past about bands and the spirit of bands seems to have entirely disappeared in favour of the bank balance - which is, of course, entirely Neil's choice but let's not pretend Neil+Nick and a few mediocre musicians sharing the same name as Neil is anything to do with the Crowded House we all remember.

 

Plug posted:

Not only is the wording of that tweet identical to what Neil said when he confirmed he was joining Fleetwood Mac, the date on that tweet is the same date this post was made here on Frenz Forum, which included speculation that Connan would join CH.

I think someone is having some fun. 

You might well be right Brownie. (Could Neil please end the speculation and just tell us?! All of these recent rumoured options got me into a surprisingly bad mood.) 

The post Brownie linked to just reminded me that I do rather like Lawrence Arabia, though. I think he would fit right in. Nice voice, too. 

IainK posted:

If what has been said above about Matt being gone as well, and Elroy/Liam filling in the gaps that's both entirely predictable and just plain disappointing. What Neil has said in the past about bands and the spirit of bands seems to have entirely disappeared in favour of the bank balance - which is, of course, entirely Neil's choice but let's not pretend Neil+Nick and a few mediocre musicians sharing the same name as Neil is anything to do with the Crowded House we all remember.

 

Yep Neil for me has done a 180 !

Whysus posted:

I think it is more likely that he has planned to be working at RoundHead Studio before and/or after the gig. This does make me wonder if Neil will be attempting to record with Fleetwood Mac with Michell Froom producing... 

Of all the things being mooted here, this is potentially a very good prospect. An album of Finn/Campbell/McVie/Nicks tracks recorded with Froom certainly has lots of elements that would make it likely to succeed. 

It’s about 350th on the list of things I would have chosen for Neil to do next, but I’d bet I’d like the result.

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