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Just saw a new live release on Apple Music, possibly also on Spotify. Neil live at the Seymour centre. Haven't listened to all track but sounds like it is all solo. Some interesting rarities on the setlist:

  1. Only talking sense
  2. Spirit of the stairs
  3. One step ahead
  4. Hello Sandy Allen
  5. Try whistling this
  6. Wherever you are
  7. Last day of june
  8. Gentle hum
  9. Faster than light
  10. Message to my girl
  11. Into the sunset
  12. Anytime
  13. Love is all that remains
  14. Something so strong
  15. She will have her way
  16. Fall at your feet
  17. Don't dream


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Remarkable that there's a bootleg of this same show where the taper managed to hit record before the start of the concert! "Only Talking Sense (excerpt)" on an official release? Really?? The sound quality sounds really good in the previews though the artwork positively screams bootleg, and namechecks the sound engineer. This is not the first curious release to have cropped up like this - without any mention from official channels. Is this legit? Who exactly are "Black Box Records"? It doesn't seem like something Neil would be giving a priority to currently, yet is indicates copyright Neil Finn 2020? 
If I'm barking up the wrong tree, all I can say is standards have dropped!

More information here:


The tapes are straight out of the mixing desk and made by a member of the road crew. In this case it was by Angus Davidson who did front-of-house sound for Neil Finn and Crowded House.

The series was created by ARCA to raise funds and resources for Support Act’s Roadies Fund to provide financial, health, counselling and well being services for crews.

The tapes are released on the association’s Black Box Records through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.

Thanx for the cover artwork by Nprint, the mastering by Phil Dracoulis, and Neil Finn for his support of crew.

"ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honor for us to be able to present these memories to all."

This release was approved by Neil to benefit Support Act’s Roadies Fund, as mentioned above. ARCA and I edited the recording to fit it all into a good listening experience, aiming for a single CD if such a release happens further down the track. All the songs are there, but some of the dialogue was trimmed.

The beginning of "Only Talking Sense" wasn't recorded, unfortunately, but it's such an important opener for the concert that we decided to leave it in. 

The look of the cover art is tied to their series. It is busier than Neil's core catalogue artwork, but less so than the original design they submitted.

I will say that opening the release with a half-recorded track is a terrible idea. It makes the release sound like a bad bootleg. And it's ironic considering that the cover art goes out of the way to credit the sound engineer (even if that person isn't responsible for hitting the record button).

Otherwise it's a splendid release and I'm happy to support the cause. But they needed to let "Only Talking Sense" go. 

It was a tricky decision about "Only Talking Sense". Yes, it will confuse or frustrate some people, but hopefully the remainder of the concert will set minds at rest. Leaving the song off would have meant starting the concert with "Spirit of the Stairs" which we felt wouldn't work as a concert opener, and I didn't want to shuffle the song order.

It's possible that the first verse of the song was missed due to other technical problems rather than forgetting to press record.

You can keep all Finn fans happy most of the time, but it's impossible to keep all happy all of the time! personally I would rather have an incomplete recording than none, and if so inclined, one could graft the awesome solo version of Only Talking Sense from Neil's Auckland 2015 aired on RNZ. I don;'t think it's on RNZ anymore but it's around and not too hard to find.

I was fortunate to see Neil in 2011 do a similar sort of show - it was amazing and unforgettable. He did a lot of these little shows around that time.

I've hoped for a release of one of those shows for a long time. This is more than worth the wait. I understand the issue of Only Talking Sense being partially recorded but think even partially being there is a better starting track perhaps. Maybe a clean full version from another show could be shared at some point?

I think its a super gesture for those support workers, sound engineers and road crew who are missing work any where due to COVID.


Very happy to pay again for an official CD or Vinyl of this should one of these be released too. I think this show was the 17th November 2010 - was the show on the 18th recorded as well - would be happy to buy that too!!


It was a a super treat to see that on iTunes yesterday morning and the biggest thanks to Neil, Jaff and all those involved in letting  /making this release happen :-)








I like that is is as it was and I am so so in love with the fact that this has been released.. We begged and begged at the time as knew these shows were just magical and special  (I know Neil is always that but these really were). One of my favorite all time gigs and now I can hear it over and over. Jaffaman you mean there is no soundboard recording like the 1st night or you havent located it?

If there is a soundboard recording of the second night and its allowed to be released as well, I'd be more than happy to pay for a second night - its all going to a good cause... and the more that could be raised for the road crew the better... :-)

The 1st night is a wonderful show - I think the second night (looking at the setlist site) has quite a different set of songs.

This is still getting very heavy listening from me - it really is an absolute gem. Is there any chance as to a release of the second night or anything similar from this era (especially that has a full version of Only Talking Sense).

I seem to be battering YouTube for live versions of this from the years around 2010. Lots of decent phone based video recordings out there but does a soundboard version of the track in full exist anywhere?

Pleeeease :-)

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