c.houser posted:

How much are the ticket prices?  As a yank, I've not sought tickets yet.

£65 each !

Neil's been learning from the Mac

It's £50->£70 at my nearest venue - which is a dreadful all seater place with crap sightlines. Given I paid around £20 at the start of the year to see Neil + Kids in a small room which was nowhere near sold out - playing probably not a massively dissimilar set - it's really hard not to be cynical about why this time around it's under the Crowded House name despite it being band made up of a majority of the same musicians.

And about the set. The joy about seeing a Neil solo set is that it does open up the full catalogue, whereas playing as Crowded House necessitates a more (and artifically) restricted set of songs to pull from. The trade-off was always that it was Crowded House - a particular set of musicans and not just Neil + a few hired guns and that, to me  - as someone who got into the band around Together Alone - is Nick and Mark as much as it is Neil, and so I'll be giving this tour a pass.

 

I am enjoying this debate and I think that being able to share and debate helps to articulate feelings on something we are/have passionate about for a very long time. I like coming here because we all get it!  

Of course, it is Neil's and Nick's band? I think that I would have been happier with a new line up from left field as I know it would have brought Neil in a completely different direction and us too. Having seen the direction the boys got on in Lightsleeper( a few sparks but no fire) it makes me hesitate with the idea of them being in CH. I love the word homogenized to frame this feeling too. I love Liam's early stuff but I don't think that Liam and Neil working together bring out their best. Won't it be great if I am proved wrong! 

I’ve thought some more about this. I originally posted that it felt wrong having Liam in Crowded House. For me, that was because Liam has his own identity and his own music and I couldn’t reconcile that with Crowded House. I’ve always seen them as two separate things.

The more I think about though, Crowded House is part of Liam (and vice versa) like no other. He was 3 when the band formed. By the time he was 5, he was already playing drums and singing along to Temple of Low Men songs. He was 13 when they broke up. He literally spent his entire childhood in and around Crowded House. 

I think he has spent years fighting his natural ability to write hooky pop (every now and again it comes out) and has actively tried to make music that doesn’t sound like Crowded House (as has Neil).

I think/hope this new look Crowded House is going to take the band back to its original essence and gives both Neil and Liam a platform for what they do best. As much as I love Mark (and I still wish he was in), I think this current band could produce the album we have been waiting a long time for. I am certain it will not be Lightsleeper Mk2 (I still really enjoy the album, but Crowded House, it ain’t!).

For me, CH 2007-2016 wasn’t quite right. The best I heard them during this period was in 2016 when they were doing the old songs. I thought they nailed it live. Time on Earth was always a Neil Finn solo album converted at the last moment, and I never felt Intriguer quite worked. For me, Crowded House shouldn't have Neil at a piano, keyboard or Korg (on the album or for a large part of the show).  He is front and center with a guitar! When Neil sits down at a keyboard, the energy drops and the band loses its frontman. It is fine and encouraged at solo shows, but it doesn’t suit CH in my mind. I felt they jumped the shark when TIYL went from being guitar driven to piano driven (as were many of the Intriguer songs). 

The more I think about it, the more I believe Neil, Nick, Mitchell, Liam and Elroy can produce the Crowded House album I have been waiting for. It is an amazing combination of musicians. I love that Mitchell Froom is back in the fold. I now think Liam could be the dark horse, and Elroy - well, I just really rate him really highly as a drummer and he has a wonderful understated humour.

Im now going to descend into my way out there on a limb speculation (and random stream of consciousness) but it could be that Liam was actually a central part of the original CH - That CH was as much to do with Neil making music with his young son as it was with Nick and Paul. I still can’t get over the video of Liam drumming and singing to I’ll Be Possessed at age 4 or 5. He had clearly learned that song and it sounded like he knew others too (his comment - “I start this one”). Neil took it pretty seriously too - he made him finish the song after hitting his finger! They clearly played new CH songs together and Liam was around when these songs were being written. Later he (unknowingly) provided lyrics to Pineapple Head. The Burglar Song was his own composition and Neil played it live. Crowded House WAS a closet Family Band whether we like it or not! Perhaps now, having Liam in the band fulfills what Crowded House has always meant to Neil.

What makes Crowded House, Crowded House to Neil and Nick (and Paul when he was still with us) is/was probably quite different to what makes Crowded House, Crowded House to us fans. I do believe that Neil has reformed it for the right reasons and not as a cynical money making ploy. If that was the case he would be pandering to the fan base and the general public. It would have been easier to keep Mark in than firing him and bringing in Froom. Neil would have known there would be backlash and accusations of nepotism with his sons as members now too. Liam would have also expected backlash and accusations. It certainly wasn’t the easy option!

If it was about making money then they would have just done a greatest hits world tour with Mark in the band and Elroy and Liam as paid touring band members (but not credited as full members and keeping a low profile). It would keep the fans happy, the general public happy, the venues full, and the money coming in.

I think this will be very different to the other incarnations of the Finn Family Band that we have seen, because in the past they were consciously not trying to be Crowded House (which is why a lot of people were ambivalent to the music). I am hoping that this will be Crowded House on steroids thanks to Liam’s involvement and Neil no longer caring about other people’s perceptions of having family as a visible part of the band.

I will continue to watch with interest....

(sorry for the long rambling post - Am sick in bed with a fever listening to CH thinking about all this stuff and thought I’d share!).

Whysus posted:

...it could be that Liam was actually a central part of the original CH - That CH was as much to do with Neil making music with his young son as it was with Nick and Paul. I still can’t get over the video of Liam drumming and singing to I’ll Be Possessed at age 4 or 5... Neil took it pretty seriously too...

Crowded House WAS a closet Family Band whether we like it or not!

I love this post, and agree with your wonderful perspective on the future of the band.

I think your analysis is closer to the true intentions behind Neil’s recent decisions, than the rest of us so far.

 

I agree that Liam has a lot to offer to Crowded House. On their recent tour Liam & Neil played a couple of Crowded House numbers, and I have never heard a better live version of these harmonies.  I've been going to Neil/ Tim/ Liam concerts in the Netherlands since 1998, so I've gotten plenty of exposure.  If Liam was to write within "parameters" of Crowded house, it will probably work. A song like "We know what it means" could be a top-notch CH song with some trimming. It is very interesting to see what this will bring. 

On the other hand... I much prefer to see Neil or Liam or Tim live without the bagage of the band name and concept. There are so many great songs without the label CH. And lots of these songs could exist within that concept. Songs like Dive-bomber, Twisty bass, Where's is my room, Hiding place, Lights of NY, Game we love to play. These songs are what make NF such an interesting artist for me. 

And there are so many possibilities live. Remember when Neil took Johnny Marr on tour? Or Sebastian Steinberg, or Tim with Brett Adams, Liam with EJ, Liam with excellent band. 

Anyway: CH will probably make another excellent album, and will be great live.

I can handle Liam and Elroy being in the band.  They are solid, professional instrumentalists.  I don't think Elroy is anywhere near the level of Matt or Paul as a drummer, but he'll do fine.  Liam is good as well.

What I couldn't handle is Crowded House becoming a showcase for his sons' songwriting.  To be blunt, I just don't like Liam as an artist.  I don't like his voice, his songwriting or his stage presence.  He has this placid confidence that feels strangely off-putting and unearned.  The band configuration is one thing, but when I try to distinguish Crowded House from all Neil's other guises, it seems chiefly like a vehicle for Neil Finn's most classic, direct form of pop songwriting.  At least on record.  Live, it was just as much about the chemistry of the band members' personalities.  With Paul's passing and Mark gone, that component is pretty much gone and in my opinion nearly impossible to replace.

Others clearly disagree, but that's all I want from Crowded House...a sympathetic band playing catchy Neil Finn pop songs with clever, straightforward arrangements a la Mitchell Froom.  Anything else, at least under the banner of Crowded House, just doesn't interest me.

"To be blunt, I just don't like Liam as an artist.  I don't like his voice, his songwriting or his stage presence.  He has this placid confidence that feels strangely off-putting and unearned".

 

Sorry, I realise we all have a right to opinions, but really - criticising a band line up because one fan takes personal dislike to a member's 'placid confidence that feels strangely off-putting and unearned" says more about the writer and has no part of a reasoned and objective critique. Disliking confidence...really!? 

 

 

sinner62 posted:

Sorry, I realise we all have a right to opinions, but really - criticising a band line up because one fan takes personal dislike to a member's 'placid confidence that feels strangely off-putting and unearned" says more about the writer and has no part of a reasoned and objective critique. Disliking confidence...really!? 

Confidence is usually a good thing and does not bother me in general, though I readily admit to having my own insecurities.  That's not what this is about.  I just don't buy it with Liam, probably because of the prior reasons I mentioned, not being into his voice or songwriting.  As for "objective critique," I'm capable of holding two thoughts in my head at the same time.  I can stand back and deconstruct things using my logical mind (my first post in this thread) but I can also admit to just not liking Liam.  I think as long as things stay respectful it's all fair game.

Last edited by slowpogo

I like the long post by Wysus. I was essentially saying this but this includes specific proof that Liam is connected to the      Crowded house in a deeper sense. And I do like when Wysus said about Liam possibly trying too hard to be different from Crowded house writing and maybe now he can be himself and write or help write some great stuff for those version of the band, 

My $0.02 though I doubt I will have anything original to say...

I am basically reserving judgement. I am very interested to hear what the new material will be like. When I finally heard the original demos from before the first album it gave me an idea about how much work went on in the studio with the band and Froom. 

I doubt that the guy who sets up fangradio to play music for fans around the world is cynically setting up a new album and tour just to maximize profit. I mean wouldn't it have been more of a sure bet to maintain the same lineup?

So my suspicion is more that Neil wanted to work with Froom and (ok I don't know why about this part) have him in the band, and that put him in a bind because as someone mentioned it wouldn't leave Mark much to do, and that led to relegating Mark. Which is very sad and I respect everyone who is upset about that.

For me the image of the band cemented in my head somewhere around Temple of Low Men / Woodface as Neil, Nick, and Paul. I know that is utterly unfair to Mark after 30 years but there it is.

It would hurt a lot less if the band makeup had actually changed often. Another musician I listen to, Mike Scott, has changed the lineup of his band The Waterboys every few albums. The fact that the main lineup has been the same for 3 albums is pretty much unprecedented.

One final thought is that Neil has released music under his own name, as Pajama Club, and as CH. (I'm probably forgetting other projects.) But P.C. is sort of focused on him and Sharon, and he may want to maintain full control over stuff he releases under his own name, thus producing it himself. Should he really start another project to work with Mitchell? That's a little nuts. Unfortunately that leads to the idea of making a CH album, particularly when there is so much early CH music that Froom was involved in making. 

I ABSOLUTELY agree with what you said Chris and how you said it. 

Some people around here seem to think Crowded House would never have happened with Mark Hart, forgetting that the guy who is in charge of the band is the guy who wrote 99.9% of the songs. 

People keep harping on about Mark joining for Together Alone, maybe he was important to that record but I'd think that this was Neil's direction; he changed producer, picked a new location to produce...... and he wrote all the songs. 

Monsieur Nick posted:

I ABSOLUTELY agree with what you said Chris and how you said it. 

Some people around here seem to think Crowded House would never have happened with Mark Hart, forgetting that the guy who is in charge of the band is the guy who wrote 99.9% of the songs. 

People keep harping on about Mark joining for Together Alone, maybe he was important to that record but I'd think that this was Neil's direction; he changed producer, picked a new location to produce...... and he wrote all the songs. 

It’s nothing to do with thinking the band wouldn’t have happened without Mark ! I haven’t read one post that has insinuated this . He was in the band in some guise for around 30 years , and I agree with the person that said that after the founder members , he was the most important member of Crowded House . He also Absolutley had a big part in how Together Alone sounded . To say otherwise would in my opinion be very disengenuous towards Mark . 30 years service to a band that’s existed for 35 years should surely afford this man some respect .

Last edited by stuartjb

Neil said in yesterday's radio show that he, Liam, and Elroy performed at Largo with Mitchell Froom a year ago and they sensed something special at the time.  Neil had asked Mitchell many times in the past to join Crowded House, but the timing was never right.  Neil asked him again and Mitchell accepted this time. My sense is that Neil sees this as a fresh start with the original "4th member" of the band, and not a money grab opportunity. In fact, it would have been more of a money grab to continue the same line-up and not ruffle any feathers.

Found myself reading matt sherrod bio on wiki which makes interesting reading in light of elroy’s selection to replace him.

what attracted neil to matt originally was his lack of familiarity with the band and its history. Compare that with whats being said about how the boys grew up around the band and it was such a natural fit.

Proves u can spin it whichever way u want but yr always at risk of getting caught out contradicting yrself.

“Finn has stated in interviews that he selected Sherrod based both on his musical ability, but also based on not being too familiar with the band, their history or their music, as this would bring a new angle to the band.[2] In another interview, Finn stated "Matt is his own man. I think that was what we like about him and he actually didn't know a lot about Crowded House but he responded to the songs. And it felt very exciting for us. The choice was kind of obvious in the end."[3]

 

 

 

silent stream posted:

Found myself reading matt sherrod bio on wiki which makes interesting reading in light of elroy’s selection to replace him.

what attracted neil to matt originally was his lack of familiarity with the band and its history. Compare that with whats being said about how the boys grew up around the band and it was such a natural fit.

Proves u can spin it whichever way u want but yr always at risk of getting caught out contradicting yrself.

“Finn has stated in interviews that he selected Sherrod based both on his musical ability, but also based on not being too familiar with the band, their history or their music, as this would bring a new angle to the band.[2] In another interview, Finn stated "Matt is his own man. I think that was what we like about him and he actually didn't know a lot about Crowded House but he responded to the songs. And it felt very exciting for us. The choice was kind of obvious in the end."[3]

 

 

 

Very good point . Changes his tune a lot does our Neil .

I cannot believe that Neil Finn seems to have contradicted something he said/did years ago, appears to change his mind on things, sees this situation differently. Good job he is not a politician or we might be posting "weak", "flip flopper" etc etc etc...

Am I curious? Sure. Turn out he is human and does not owe me explanations or justifications

It's another new time - I will miss Mark. The new line up might really thrive. I truly hope Liam does not care whever a message board "likes" him or not.

Perhaps the next move could be to go to the concerts with banner's "where is?..." Or where Mask's of former band members and stand at the front...or don't go and don't buy the new music.

In this world where cynicism is easy currency (and can often be my way) on this occasion I am overtly opting for positivity and wish the band (past, present and future)and all here -Happy Holidays.

Cheers

 

stuartjb posted:
silent stream posted:

Found myself reading matt sherrod bio on wiki which makes interesting reading in light of elroy’s selection to replace him.

what attracted neil to matt originally was his lack of familiarity with the band and its history. Compare that with whats being said about how the boys grew up around the band and it was such a natural fit.

Proves u can spin it whichever way u want but yr always at risk of getting caught out contradicting yrself.

“Finn has stated in interviews that he selected Sherrod based both on his musical ability, but also based on not being too familiar with the band, their history or their music, as this would bring a new angle to the band.[2] In another interview, Finn stated "Matt is his own man. I think that was what we like about him and he actually didn't know a lot about Crowded House but he responded to the songs. And it felt very exciting for us. The choice was kind of obvious in the end."[3]

 

 

 

Very good point . Changes his tune a lot does our Neil .

"Proves u can spin it whichever way u want".

Indeed.

So now the Mark Hart angle has been exhausted, it's come to searching the internet to find quotes on a Wikipedia page to somehow "call Neil out' for his outrageous decision not to use the drummer.

Dare I bring in a little history as a frame to consider the now:

1986 -1996

Band exists, then breaks up after Paul's death.

Mark involved in one of four albums. Their best. 

2007-2010

11 years later band is reformed with a new line up, including Mark, and a new drummer.

2019

For the previous 9 years Crowded House has not existed as a functioning band. Neil collaborates with many musicians. 

Then 9 years on - he reforms Crowded House with a different line up...33 years after the band existed.

I would say a more relevant quote from Neil was one to the effect that the band was like a car up on blocks, and every now and then they might take her out for a ride.

This is  a band that has existed in numerous line ups over a non continuous span of 33 years.

It's not that big a deal not to call the drummer you had for 3 of those years , to be part of a new line, 33 years on from when the journey began.

We'll all get to know soon enough if this line up is a good one. I just think it's unfair to criticise line up changes in a band with a 33 year history, and cast aspersions on Neil's values and motivations as has been clearly done by some here.

 

 

 

Last edited by sinner62

Quite right Sinner62 - the part of me that thought 'it s a shame about Mark' was massively out weighed by the joy of a new Crowded House lineup and the new music and shows this will bring. 

2020 brings a new era of Crowded House - surely we can all be pleased and looking forward to that?

sinner62 posted:
stuartjb posted:
silent stream posted:

Found myself reading matt sherrod bio on wiki which makes interesting reading in light of elroy’s selection to replace him.

what attracted neil to matt originally was his lack of familiarity with the band and its history. Compare that with whats being said about how the boys grew up around the band and it was such a natural fit.

Proves u can spin it whichever way u want but yr always at risk of getting caught out contradicting yrself.

“Finn has stated in interviews that he selected Sherrod based both on his musical ability, but also based on not being too familiar with the band, their history or their music, as this would bring a new angle to the band.[2] In another interview, Finn stated "Matt is his own man. I think that was what we like about him and he actually didn't know a lot about Crowded House but he responded to the songs. And it felt very exciting for us. The choice was kind of obvious in the end."[3]

 

 

 

Very good point . Changes his tune a lot does our Neil .

"Proves u can spin it whichever way u want".

Indeed.

So now the Mark Hart angle has been exhausted, it's come to searching the internet to find quotes on a Wikipedia page to somehow "call Neil out' for his outrageous decision not to use the drummer.

Dare I bring in a little history as a frame to consider the now:

1986 -1996

Band exists, then breaks up after Paul's death.

Mark involved in one of four albums. Their best. 

2007-2010

11 years later band is reformed with a new line up, including Mark, and a new drummer.

2019

For the previous 9 years Crowded House has not existed as a functioning band. Neil collaborates with many musicians. 

Then 9 years on - he reforms Crowded House with a different line up...33 years after the band existed.

I would say a more relevant quote from Neil was one to the effect that the band was like a car up on blocks, and every now and then they might take her out for a ride.

This is  a band that has existed in numerous line ups over a non continuous span of 33 years.

It's not that big a deal not to call the drummer you had for 3 of those years , to be part of a new line, 33 years on from when the journey began.

We'll all get to know soon enough if this line up is a good one. I just think it's unfair to criticise line up changes in a band with a 33 year history, and cast aspersions on Neil's values and motivations as has been clearly done by some here.

 

 

 

Mark was part of the band in some form for 30 years . You may not care about that , but it’s a fact , and people are entitled to feel bad that’s he’s been removed . Neil can do what he likes . I have tickets for Glasgow but I’m really dissapointed about Mark , so no - it’s not been “ exhausted “ for me ...

I fully expect at least 2 people to be observed in the audience at every Crowded House gig min 2020 with "We want Pete" placards.  

sinner62 posted:

I fully expect at least 2 people to be observed in the audience at every Crowded House gig min 2020 with "We want Pete" placards.  

That’d be in pretty bad taste considering.

sinner62 posted:

I was actually referring to Pete Best..

You didn't hear it from me but rumour has it that Pete Best will be putting in an 8 hour+ shift at the TW Classic show in Belgium on June 21st where he will be filling in for Abe Laboriel Jr., Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and Elroy Finn, not Jr. plus any other drummer added to the bill, Jr. or not. Be careful what you wish for

I think the gigs may be fun. I can understand Neil wanting his sons playing with him. Not sure about making a new album with the line-up though. I thought the last 2 albums were not so good and I imagine the concerts will mostly be drawing on the earlier records.

I thought Intriguer was excellent . I now have a hard time listening to it , as I invested in Neil / Nick / Mark and Matt as Crowded House ...

I now have to accept that Crowded  House is essentially Neil and Nick , because Neil has basically confirmed it with this lineup . It’s makes Intriguer hard for me , along with the 2016 encore shows . 

I am however greatly looking forward to Glasgow in June , and I’m thrilled Crowded House still exist . 

For those who saw the gig in Queens Hall Edinburgh in January 2019 , they could observe that Nick Seymour appearing has conservatively doubled the price of the tickets !

Last edited by stuartjb

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