Here's a couple of good reviews of the Liverpool and Nottingham gigs from BBC online:
The Finn Brothers @ Royal Concert Hall Nottingham
The Finn Brothers should be available on the NHS. Their sunny
melodies and cheery bonhomie would be enough to help even the
most ailing of patients make a full recovery.
A full and expectant crowd at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall was
testament to the on-going appeal of the two New Zealanders who
enchanted the world in 1993 with their work on Crowded House's
classic Woodface album.
But first we had the 50 minute 'audition' of Hollywood
star-turned angsty-songstress Minnie Driver - a pleasant surprise
for most of the assembled crowd and an intriguing spectacle for
those of us who knew she was going to be supporting.
But anyone expecting a Naomi Campbell-esque cringeworthy disaster
would have been well wrong. Minnie showcased a strong singing
voice and some pleasant if unspectacular tracks which would
probably work well at a dinner party for 30-something young media
professionals - although that's not necessarily a good thing.
The mock modesty between tracks didn�t really fool this reviewer
though and if anything her apparent lack of confidence undermined
her set - particularly the awkward way she moved around on stage.
After a short break it was time for our heroes to arrive. A short
9mm film showing the Finn family's home videos from the sixties
was a charming introduction before Neil and Tim ran on and
launched into a rousing version of Won't Give In, the first
single from the duo's new album 'Everyne Is Here'.
One of the things that makes Neil Finn concerts so special is his
easy-going and charming rapport with an audience. It was given an
added edge tonight with the presence of big brother Tim at his
side. With his silly dancing and sometimes bizarre ramblings, Tim
came across as a mad old uncle next to Neil's role as affable
nephew. It gave the concert a neat chemistry which worked
particularly well when the pair reminisced about their days
growing up together.
But back to the music - and boy were the pair in fine form this
evening. The audience were treated to a randomly-ordered
selection of work spanning their whole careers - from Split Enz,
through their solo efforts and of course a fair bundle of tunes
from the Crowded House glory years.
It was these in particular, perhaps inevitably, which emitted the
loudest reaction from the crowd - particularly the uplifting
Distant Sun and the ever-jaunty 'it's Only Natural'. It was
perhaps a shame that these classic slices of sunny pop cast a
huge shadow over some of the tracks from the Finn's latest
release. But then that's probably like comparing Let It Be to
Rubber Soul - the Finn Brothers can drop down a couple of gears
and still effortlessly blow most of their contemporaries out of
The hungry crowd demanded multiple encores and we were treated to
them. The first was memorable for the surprise appearance of
Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr who helped out on a cover of 'There
Is a Light That Never Goes Out' - the bittersweet classic,
transformed into something more optimistic and shining by Neil's
Then a moment of poignancy as Marr took to the front of the stage
for an impromptu cover of Teenage Kicks in honour of the late
John Peel - a man credited with doing more to help the Smiths
If I had one criticism of this gig it would perhaps be that Tim's
vocals at times ended up muffled to the point where you couldn't
hear the words - but that's a minor criticism. The Finn Brothers
are plain and simple, pure undiluted musical quality.
As they left the stage for the final time, you knew you'd seen
masters at work - masters with no sense of ego, arrogance or
cynicism. A beautiful night.
Finn Brothers @ Liverpool Empire
by Ian Kennedy
Ex -Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and ex-Spilt Enz brother Tim were at Liverpool's Empire theatre for a special concert, which included Johnny Marr and Minnie Driver.
Seeing one Finn brother in concert guarantees a wonderful musical experience, but getting two for the price of one almost borders on the realms of fantasy. But here we were with both Neil AND Tim Finn, satisfiying not only their own individual fans, but those of Crowded House AND Split Enz, and it doesn't come much better than that.
After a very interesting and well performed set from Minnie Driver as support, the Finns kicked off with "Won't Give In" from the new album "Everyone is Here", and then skipped neatly between the old and the new. Friends of the Enz will have lapped up, amongst others "History Never Repeats", and the rousing finale with "I Got You", while the Crowdies were more than looked after with "It's Only Natural" and of course "Weather With You", accompanied by some hearty "joining-in" from the audience, who seemed instinctively ready to take their cue. A nod to the first Finn album also hit the right note in the shape of "Angels Heap" and the gem that is "Only Talking Sense".
And as with all Finn concerts, the element of surprise, this time in the introduction of Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who provided excellent harmonica on "Four Seasons in One Day, and then, prompted by a shout from the stalls, burst into "Teenage Kicks", a fabulously impromptu moment, and a wonderful tribute to the late John Peel. And, with Johnny now on board, a Smith's classic "There is a light that Never Goes Out", which Neil Finn had covered on his recent "Seven Worlds Collide" album.
Being in Liverpool certainly wasn't lost on our Kiwi hosts either, with an excellent rendition of "Ferry Cross the Mersey" a song Tim Finn has remembered since HIS teenage days back in Te Awamutu.
The Finn Brothers have few peers as songwriters, are incredibly talented musicians, and are genuinely nice blokes. They left us wanting more, which is the best way to leave. But hopefully it won't be too long before the Finns are back. Superb.