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Originally posted by Half-Full:
Neil said on twitter a while ago in response to someone's question that Johnny is on the album. It won't show in your personal feed, you have to read it on his twitter page.

Yeah, that was my question.. I'd read about it earlier that day in an article (I believe one which was linked to on here)

I got all giddy and fan-boyish when he replied Smiler

really excited to hear the album
Originally posted by cradle:
"I will try to get four albums out in the next three years."

WHAAAATTTTTT?? Place your bets now people Eeker

A longer extract from the article on that point:

Windy City Times: ...Are you doing any more solo albums?

Neil Finn: Yeah, I have a bit of a fire under my belly to do as much writing and recording in the next few years that I can. Not to say that I won't tour but I am very excited about touring with this thing because it feels like a new band and that is a rare and beautiful feeling. I the next few years I would like to hone in on the recording process. I have a studio here and I am starting to feel like if I were to focus on a few things in a row I will get better at them. There is a solo album coming and another Crowded House record. At some point my brother and I will be doing something again. Now that we have opened this little door with the Pajama Club I would like to keep that angle going as well. I will try to get four albums out in the next three years.

Windy City Times: That would be amazing.

Neil Finn: Well, I haven't done it yet but it is an aspiration.

Yeah!! Bring it on. (Hey I can dream!) Big Grin . I (we) support your aspirations, Neil Smiler
Originally posted by alucidor:
Not quite 'press', but I'll put it here - a very enjoyable phone interview with Neil on 95bfm radio in Auckland:

It's also available as a podcast on iTunes.

NZ Pajama Club gigs in August/September, and um, Gaga... Wink

Thanks for the link. Great to hear the album version of "Tell Me What You Want" at the end of the interview. It sounds like Neil was singing through a megaphone thereby altering his voice. This song is definitely one of my favorites. If they make a video for it, I hope it's not corny.

Pajama Club has its origins in the late-night wine-fuelled jams of Neil and Sharon Finn – indeed, their donning of bedclothes during these sessions is what inspired the name. The Crowded House frontman and his wife have retained the care-free atmosphere of these jam sessions, yet have expanded the ideas into full-length songs with the help of singer-songwriter Sean Donnelly. The rhythmic swagger of opening track Tell Me What You Want sets the scene, with sweet vocal harmonies keeping things interesting. The summery guitar lick and electrified drums of These Are Conditions are also a catchy stand-out. The overall sound is sometimes more derivative than definitive, though. Golden Child, with its delicate fretwork and mystical singing, could easily be an outtake from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album. Likewise, closing track Diamonds In Her Eyes is a dead ringer for the Fab Four’s Revolution in parts. Pajama Club doesn’t aim to be stylistically ground-breaking, though – it serves as more of a snapshot of a great songwriter and friends letting their hair down and getting loose. The results are relaxed but never boring, and there is enough variation in sound and style to prevent these glorified jam sessions from drifting into a monotonous haze. *** 1/2
Interview with Neil from Brighton's The Argus

“It’s a ringing endorsement of my fans’ open-mindedness – they’re used to my restless nature.”

And a not-so-hot review of the Glasgow gig

"...the dearth of future classics among Pajama Club's own material, whose debt to the likes of The Human League, Tears For Fears, The Cult, and occasionally further back to glam rock and disco, ill-concealed its often plodding, turgid monotony and scant melodic appeal"

I'd agree with the writer on some of the musical references, but not the rest of her opinion.

BTW I'm still waiting for someone to post a photo of Neil wearing Nile Marr's jacket at the Birmingham gig!

Pajama Club began as a private after dinner racket to fill an empty nest. With their two sons, musicians in their own right, grown up and away, Neil and Sharon Finn found themselves home alone in New Zealand with time, a sensible supply of red wine, copious musical instruments and a 16-track tape recorder on their hands.

“I’d always had a hankering to play the drums, Sharon’s had a similar attraction to the bass”, says Neil. “We were having a great old time making noise but we didn’t think too much about it until we started playing some of it back and found ourselves dancing”. And as Sharon quips; “We’d take turns singing whatever we thought would work over the top. Neil did the the lion’s share. I contributed a few lines – the good ones”.

Cut to July 2011, and a set of sold out UK dates, and it quickly became apparent Pajama Club were onto something good. With the self titled debut album scheduled for release on the 19th September, the first single from the self titled album is Tell Me What You Want - an ESG inspired slice of lo-fi funk, with a down and dirty bassline.

Pajama Club album tracklist:

Tell Me What You Want
Can’t Put It Down Until It Ends
These Are Conditions
From A Friend To A Friend
Golden Child
Go Kart
Dead Leg
TNT For 2
The Game We Love To Play
Diamonds In Her Eyes
What a lovely surprise when I picked up my Weekend Australian from our front yard!! Neil and Sharon smiling up at me!!! (lol)

Lovely pic on the front page of the Oz website today!!! (the printed version has a different picture)

here is the article.

NEIL Finn and his wife Sharon are giving a guided tour of their studio cum headquarters, Roundhead; an inconspicuous, three-storey, stand-alone former function and meeting hall smack in the centre of Auckland. We're in the basement.
As it looks now, fitted out with soundproofed walls, state-of-the-art recording equipment and with a variety of standard and exotic musical instruments strewn around the place, it's difficult to imagine it as the pornography distribution warehouse it had become before the Finns took it on.
Sharon draws some comfort from the fact that the chandelier design workshop in which she has spent much of the past few years was not part of that operation. Her creative space immediately beside the studios, which sits on the corner of a busy street, was only an adult bookshop.
"Guys kept turning up for about a year after we bought it, with brown paper bags, looking for the right slot to put them into," Neil says with great amusement. Some would have baulked at the idea of inhabiting a building so tainted by the bump and grind of inglorious industry, but when the Finns saw it they didn't give it a second thought.
"I wanted a place to store all my gear and to have it set up all the time," says New Zealand's most celebrated pop craftsman. "It just so happened that this place came up. It screamed at me when I walked into it that it would be a fantastic place for music."
That is indeed what Roundhead has become in the seven years since the couple acquired it. Not only has it been a recording hub for Neil, his band Crowded House, the Finns' son Liam, an assortment of international artists ranging from members of Radiohead to Kanye West and, most recently, Neil's brother Tim, it has also given the songwriter and his wife another income separate to the regular royalties from his considerable achievements during the past 35 years.
Today, however, it's the noise Neil and Sharon started making together at Roundhead in the wee small hours 18 months ago that has become the focus of their attention and, they hope, of a lot of other people's as well. With their sons Liam and Elroy out of the house pursuing their own musical ambitions (Elroy is drumming in Liam's band on a world tour), mum and dad have more time on their hands -- that is, when Neil isn't on the road or recording.
The Pajama Club, as the Finn project is called, began as late-night jam sessions in which the insomniac Neil and Sharon would wander into the upstairs makeshift studio and experiment on instruments -- drums and bass respectively -- on which they had extremely limited experience. "We were evenly matched," says Neil.
Before this year Sharon had performed only at the occasional party, while Neil's drumming expertise had been highlighted once in his career, at a gig hosted by some friends in California a few years ago. How sleepless do you have to get before forming a rock 'n' roll rhythm section becomes the most logical solution?
"We just found ourselves with a bit of time to ourselves at home," Neil explains. "We'd have dinner and a couple of wines and thought: 'Why don't we go and jam?'
"Every musician wants to be a drummer and so I had plenty of urge to do it and I quite enjoyed it in a funny kind of way. Sharon had played bass a few times for fun but she had a yen for it. We jammed and we could do these really simple grooves. They felt really good just to lock on to. They would end up falling apart eventually, but it was good fun."
After several months of these nocturnal excursions it became clear to both parties that what they were recording and dancing around to as the wine flowed might amount to more than just a bit of fun. When the kids called up to say hello of an evening they would find it hard to get an answer.
"I think they were pleasantly surprised to ring up and find out we weren't watching telly but playing drums and bass," Neil says.
Slowly, whenever he had the time last year, Neil began to build tunes around the grooves (a word he uses liberally during our conversation) and from there, along with Sharon, lyrics, until songs emerged.
"It was really exciting as the whole thing took shape," Neil says. "It's like having the framework of a house and being able to do anything you want with it."
Having applied that principle, the obvious next step was to make an album. That album, The Pajama Club, is released on September 9 on their own, newly founded, label Lester Records. A single from it, Tell Me What You Want, is already getting airplay. Multi-intrumentalist Sean Donnelly, who plays on the album, is part of the new Pajama Club band, as is drummer Alana Skyring.
Sharon, whose only experience of being on tour or recording has been at her husband's side, has suddenly been cast headfirst into the world she has known only through Neil for most of her adult life.
"I'm nervous, like anyone would be," she says, still getting used to being interviewed about her music. "Seasoned musicians get nervous about playing, too," she adds, "so that's OK. I don't mind being nervous."
THE Finns celebrate their 30th anniversary next year. They married when Neil was still in his first successful band, Split Enz, with brother Tim. Long-term marriages are hardly normal at the top end of the fame game, but the couple has never been interested in the more indulgent aspects of rock 'n' roll, despite the level of success achieved by Neil in Split Enz, Crowded House, as a solo artist and with a variety of collaborative projects, including with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who plays on two songs on the Pajama Club album.
Finn clearly isn't Motley Crue material when it comes to excess.
"What's a typical rock star?" he asks. "I don't turn up at glamorous parties and be seen cavorting with models and cocaine. That's not my scene. Never was. I never liked it, that whole thing . . . nightclubs. Some parties are all right. Our parties are good. Once every 10 years. To me it's a mythology that is irrelevant in rock 'n' roll that the classic way to be rock 'n' roll is to be wild and crazy and take drugs and absolve yourself of all responsibility of behaving like a human being. Good music doesn't come from that. Destruction comes from that and makes great copy for the media. Good music comes from a dedication to that art and having real relationships; owning up to stuff and being honest. That can produce good songs, too."
Being based in their native New Zealand has been another grounding factor for the couple, although they have enjoyed stints overseas, including in London before they bought the porn emporium. They have a network of friends in Auckland, as well as family, that make it important to have that base to come back to. "It also gives you an attachment to the land and the light," Neil says, giving home a poetic spin.
Like all marriages, it's not a perfect picture. Sharon jokes that the age-old cliche of "musical differences" has been an issue more than once in their relationship.
"He nearly dropped me once because I had a Steely Dan record," she says.
"I do have a strange thing about Steely Dan," admits her husband. "It's a bridge too far in terms of smoothness for me. I know they are good, but too many major sevenths in a row for me."
"He didn't like Tears for Fears either," Sharon replies.
It was when they moved into the warehouse space that Sharon explored the idea of designing chandeliers, although not initially with the plan of turning it into a business.
"I was doing them from home and people liked them," she says modestly. "Then I got an order for 17 chandeliers and it started from there."
So popular did the chandeliers become that she was getting commissions from film and TV companies as well as selling to the public from her shop in the basement and from her website. Now, however, it looks as if rock 'n' roll will force her to shelve her artwork, at least until she knows how far the Pajama Club will take her.
Following the album's release the band will embark on an Australian tour, with more dates to follow overseas. Already the band has performed a series of gigs here and has been doing small shows in Europe and the US, including at friends Wilco's annual Solid Sound festival in Massachusetts, where Liam and Elroy also performed.
"It seemed like a nice way to debut," Neil says of those first dates sharing a stage with his wife. "We want to get really good at doing it. This is not a side project. It's the main thing and we're all enamoured of being in the band together."
This flurry of new activity doesn't mean the end for Crowded House, however. Following the band's album Intriguer and world tour last year, Finn immediately began work on new songs for another Crowdies album, although it could be 2013 before we hear the finished product.
"We had an enjoyable tour and went off with lots of goodwill towards each other," says Neil. "We have the beginnings of another record that I think is extremely promising, but it's on the backburner."
Finn says he has been so inspired by the writing method for the Pajama Club that he may apply that to the Crowded House album. "I want to take time, inspired by this process," he says. "Rather than me do it the traditional way of writing and doing demos and taking them to the band . . . this process has been so much fun I might try it more that way."
IN that same makeshift upstairs studio that started it all the Pajama Club is going through the set list, adding a few covers to pad out the 11 songs that make up the album. Neil is on guitar and vocals. Sharon, opposite, looks assured and comfortable on her McCartney-esque Hofner bass, contributing vocals mostly, but not always, in union with her husband. Donnelly, a long-established local muso and friend of the family, is positioned behind a rack of keyboards but with a guitar within arm's reach. Facing him is Skyring, former drummer with Brisbane band the Grates, coaxed out of very early retirement to take on Neil's percussive manifestations on the stage.
Skyring left the music business to go to university in New York. When she got a call from Neil asking her to join the Pajama Club, she said no. "Then I thought: 'Did I really say that?' " It didn't make life any easier that Skyring's seven-year stint in the Grates did not include working with a bass player. "I'm used to a different style of playing," she adds, "so it was good to work at playing with someone else."
The idea of having a female drummer was a mutual one by the Finns, designed in part to make novice Sharon more comfortable on stage. Also, it was always going to be difficult having someone of Neil's vocal and guitar capabilities confined to the traps.
"We flirted with the idea of me playing drums all night," he says, "and appealing as that was as a late career change I just thought the potential for a train wreck with me on the drums was too great. Also, I had parts on guitar that I was quite attached to that I would have to teach someone else. We thought eventually it would be good to have a drummer. We want to be a real band."
The room we're in, high-ceilinged with rich carpets and ornate fittings, is cosy and cluttered with cables, mics and instruments. There's a mixing desk and a 16-track recording machine, on to which the band has been committing its rehearsals. They launch into another song from the album, From a Friend to a Friend, all four facing into the centre while laying down one of the grooves hatched over a few glasses of wine in the same space more than a year before.
"The grooves that make up most of the record were done during those first sessions, although we came back and did a few more," Neil says. "At least half of it was built on the bass and drums, with a bit of splicing here and there. We recorded it on the 16-track and it sounds great. Plus it's a great-sounding room and these grooves just had a great feeling about them."
The test of whether the grooves were worth pursuing in their raw state rested on whether Sharon got up to dance when they listened back to them.
"Sharon is a really good dancer and I'm a slight failure in that regard," Neil says. "I'm not particularly well co-ordinated because I've had a guitar in my hand for too long, so it's good that something has come of that groove that she's got.
"I would know when Sharon started to dance again that I was on the right track. The album is pretty groovy."
Whether this is the beginning of a whole new era for Sharon, dancing on stage as well as off it, remains to be seen.
"It is awesome," she says of her new gig. "And it's exciting that the album is coming out, but it's in the hands of the gods. I don't like to look too far ahead. Seize the day is my motto."
The Pajama Club is released through Lester Records on September 9.
"It seemed like a nice way to debut," Neil says of those first dates sharing a stage with his wife. "We want to get really good at doing it. This is not a side project. It's the main thing and we're all enamoured of being in the band together."

Hmmmmm - might just throw that back at the 'Playlist guy' @ Absolute Radio in the UK, one of the reasons cited for not playing 'TMWYW' is that he preceives it as a 'side project......'

Indie ReviewsPAJAMA CLUB – Pajama Club
Monday, 22 August 2011
(Lester Records)

The Finns’ homemade jams are rich, tasty and a little bit tart.
Sharon and Neil Finn are the kind of parents that circuses run away to join. While their own kids were away on tour, they started jamming with some friends (Auckland muso Sean Donnelly and The Grates’ Alana Skyring), took themselves on tour and dropped an album. Unsurprisingly, in places this will remind people of Crowded House – These Are Conditions wouldn’t sound astray on Woodface, or Golden Child on Together Alone – but these are snapshots in an album that covers a lot of ground. Go Kart has a youthful energy and opens a door back to the ’70s when Neil was a skinny kid with a guitar, nipping at his brother’s heels. Tell Me What You Want details a few other things Mr and Mrs Finn get up to while their kids are away – it’s a flirtatious number on the album, but a steamily raunchy piece live. Neil’s falsetto on Daylight is memorable to say the least, hilarious to say a little more. This isn’t just a new outing by everyone’s favourite 53-year-old teenager with chronic bedhair, the other members of the Club give this a unique sound – Sharon shares vocals, playing bass and leading Neil astray; Skyring’s drums often have a greater impact in this stripped-down sound and Donnelly’s electronica and soul influences also help them spiral into new areas. Pajama Club is proof that Neil Finn could make great music in his sleep – on his deathbed, the machine that goes “beep” will do so in 4/4 time while the nursing staff harmonise in the background.

Not a lot of music cred in that review IMO.
1. These Are Conditions sounds nothing like Woodface.
2. Golden Child might not be out of place on Time On Earth or Intriguer but Together Alone? I don't think so.
3. As I understand it, Alana didn't play on the album, those beats belong to Neil.
4. Tell Me What You Want "steamily raunchy"? Sounds more like a comment on the video than the live performance.

Sounds like a reviewer clutching at things to say.
Originally posted by Martine:
Originally posted by Jenny G.:
Simon Sweetman has already called Sharon "Linda" and the he hasn't even heard the CD yet!

oh, what an arse!! (Sweetman, not you, love) Wink

LOL - no offense taken, my love! Update...this just in...I just spoke to Sweetman and he actually digging the PC CD! Yay! That's a good sign IMHO!

Starting this Saturday the 27th of August, our Showkase is Neil and Sharron Finn’s project Pajama Club. The couple, who began recording after dinners with red wine and a 16-track tape recorder, have finished recording their self-titled album, due out in September.
The couple decided to switch up instruments, Neil leaning towards the drums whilst Sharon took to the Bass Guitar. After recording a set of demos, Neil and Sharon enlisted friend Sean Donnelley to add an electronic punch to the funky lounge sounds Pajama Club had produced.
The group will soon be embarking on an Australian and US Tour, recruiting former Grates drummer Alana Skyring to allow Neil back on the guitar for the shows.

You can grab a free download of Pajama Club’s track ‘From A Friend To A Friend’ from

Pajama Club Album Track Listing:
1. Tell Me What You Want
2. Can't Put It Down Until It Ends
3. These Are Conditions
4. From A Friend To A Friend
5. Golden Child
6. Daylight
7. Go Kart
8. Dead Leg
9. TNT For Two
10. The Game We Love To Play
11. Diamonds In Her Eyes

Finns and friends stay close to comfort zone August 29, 2011

Neil Finn and wife Sharon are about to launch the first album of their new band, writes Bernard Zuel.

Some empty nesters pack up the caravan and hit the road, some discover or rediscover hobbies and others fall apart when what had been the reason to stay together no longer exists.

When faced with an empty house nearly 30 years into their marriage, Neil and Sharon Finn didn't become grey nomads or gym junkies; they formed a band.

Now that may not be unusual for Neil, who has had a couple of bands you might have heard of before in Split Enz and Crowded House, but for Sharon, whose careers have included jewellery and chandelier designer, businesswoman and wife and mother of three musicians (sons Liam and Elroy are also working musicians), it was a step outside the comfort zone.

Advertisement: Story continues below Mind you, it wasn't without its comforts. They've called their band The Pajama Club, reflecting the comfy-at-home nature of its beginnings 18 months ago when, after a few wines and herbal refreshments, Neil would sit at the drums he rarely plays, Sharon would pick up a bass guitar and both would sing.

''It's probably organic, if we can use that word,'' Sharon says. She had become more involved musically in the past decade, contributing some backing vocals and a little bit of writing as Neil explored avenues outside the reformed Crowded House. ''We were at home just mucking around.''

Of course, unlike your average home, the room where they were ''mucking around'' had a 16-track studio recorder and instruments always ready to go.

''We just started jamming away, making a dear old racket, in the spirit of total abandon,'' Neil says. ''And we found the grooves were pretty good so I thought, I'm going to tape that. [''He does tape everything,'' Sharon says with a somewhat resigned tone accompanying her smile.] Then when we listened back to it, even as grooves, simple bass and drums, we found ourselves dancing to it and got excited about it. That provoked, inspired, the desire to make it something.''

They got excited and stayed excited, trooping off to the ''club'' regularly to create the rhythm-based songs on their self-titled debut album, later augmented by friends such as Sean Donnelly and Alana Skyring, now band members. Their eldest son, Liam, tells how, on the road earlier this year and needing ''mum love'', he called Auckland only to have Sharon say, in an echo of so many times over the years, ''can you call back later, we're recording''.

Both parents laugh when told this, the yarn bringing to mind their first months as a couple with Neil touring in Britain and Sharon back home. ''We did our courtship through the mail,'' Sharon recalls, while Neil reveals that ''when we started going out, there was no funny business for the first few weeks because Sharon's mother told her I was a musician and couldn't be trusted''.

Of course, now she is one too. And what's more, continuing a grand, though not always happy, tradition of couples off stage and on.

''We are entering an arena that has some pretty goosey stuff. Fleetwood Mac, Richard and Linda Thompson,'' Neil says, rattling off a few musical relationships which ended unpleasantly. ''Which would be great for you guys [in the media] but we've been through all of our angst … '' Sharon finishes the sentence: '' … in the last 30 years''.

What's in this for her though? It's not as if she hasn't had a pretty full and varied creative life before this.

''I always wondered what it would be like up there, you know, when they have those magic moments,'' she says.

''I've been watching it for a long time.'' Has she had a magic moment yet during the small number of gigs they did earlier this year?

''No,'' she giggles. ''I've been too scared.'' The scary bits haven't been overwhelming because, as with the decision to release the album on a tiny, independent label, the gigs have deliberately been kept low-key - playing at Sydney's small Oxford Art Factory in June for example rather than, say, the State Theatre. ''We don't want to run before we can walk,'' he says.

Still, we're not talking rank novices, not even Sharon. One thing she has, which can't be taught, is groove. It's what bass is about but it's not a given: there are a lot of plodding bass players out there.

''There are,'' Neil says. ''And a lot of bass players who play too many notes. Sharon doesn't play a lot of notes but you don't need to. It's the feel that's important and that's really, really good.''

The Pajama Club is out on September 9 through Lester Records.

Read more:

4.5 out of 5

Pajama Club
Pajama Club
Lester Records
The first and most important thing to say about Pajama Club is that they are not Crowded House. Nor should they be seen as simply another vehicle in which Neil Finn might practice his songwriting mastery. Rather, they are a band in their own right, Finn being joined by Auckland songwriter Sean Donnelly, drummer Alana Skyring (ex-The Grates) and his better half Sharon Finn, whose contributions here, both on bass and vocally, combine to ground the project (as they undoubtedly have her husband’s career) while lending it a dark, sultry edge.

Opener ‘Tell Me What You Want’ sets the score in this regard, Sharon singing “tell me what you want / show me how to do it / tell me what you need / I can do anything” in a breathy mantra over an oh-so-smooth bassline. Indeed, Pajama Club is a surprisingly bass-heavy listen; the punchy power-pop chorus of ‘Daylight’ is reached via a verse punctuated with deep and menacing eruptions, with a sense of earthing also true of the simmering ‘Dead Leg’ or ‘TNT For Two’.

Finn has obviously gotten a kick out of experimenting with his friends – everything is coloured with sampled sounds and electronic ornament. That said, it is the stripped-back acoustic ‘Golden Child’ that forms the record’s emotional core, dealing with touching eloquence on the pains of letting one’s offspring go. The album highlight, it is also the odd one out, being more reminiscent of Ghost Of A Saber-Tooth Tiger’s Acoustic Sessions, Sean Lennon’s serially underrated project with Charlotte Muhl, than the night-life flavours of the rest.

Pajama Club provides an equally invigorating and oddball answer to the question of what to do when one’s excessively hirsute offspring flies the coop…

Oliver Downes

Posted: August 29th, 2011 under Album Reviews, Brag 426 (August 22), Music.
Tags: Oliver Downes, Pajama Club, The Brag
MOJO magazine, Oct 2011 edition:


Neil Finn and wife's off-off-off Broadway side project

What to do? The kids are grown up, you've had Number 1 hits around the world, the wine cellar's well stocked and Johnny Marr is coming for dinner. Well, there's always the studio equipment in the garage . . . . What began as a series of lo-fi jams with Neil Finn on drums and wife Sharon on bass have been shaped on Pajama Club into groove-based guitar and electronica tunes with the help of fellow Kiwi Sean Donnelly (aka one-man band SJD). Those disturbed by any perceived lack of songwriting craft, however, need only persevere with the bump'n'grind of Tell Me What You Want and From A Friend To A Friend, and pulsating Can't Put It Down Until It Ends and Go Kart (both featuring Marr) to realise that this is possibly the most remarkable album Finn has been involved with in a decade. He should get out less more often. (Andy Fyfe)

**** (out of 5)

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