Stranger than Fiction, Larger Than Life: the Finn Brothers song-by-song discussion thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Yes, Jo Jo Zep is definitely a pseudonym for Joe Camilleri - JJZ and the Falcons were really popular and when they broke up he continued to use the name. Wilbur Wilde was in Jo Jo Zep also. In fact Joe Camilleri features in a lot of places in Australian bands. For instance Pelaco Brothers, The Black Sorrows. But also he filled in on saxophone for Icehouse during the Sidewalk era. He's the everywhere man and still producing a lot of music.

    I remember thinking when Escapade was released that Tim had assembled a really great set of musicians. If they are on the live recording then it explains why it sounds so great.
  2. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Many thanks Stefan!
    StefanWq, HitAndRun and Lance LaSalle like this.
  3. Paul H

    Paul H The fool on the hill

    Nottingham, UK
    I think you may be right. Perhaps it was One Nil era.
    Left Hand and HitAndRun like this.
  4. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Well a subsequent post shows me I’m wrong…I did hear it though, once upon a time.
    HitAndRun likes this.
  5. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    I haven't seen the performances except what I've seen on YouTube. I was guessing that Neil had appeared multiple times. However, Hessie's Shed, according to IMDB, ran from 1998 until 1999, and One Nil was released in 2001. I looked further as Wikipedia can easily be wrong.

    Sorry if I'm being annoyingly pedantic.

    I'd just like to say that thinking about Hessie, I remembered that 'Wanted to Say' is my favourite Paul Hester song of all I have heard, and I really wish that there had been a Crowded House version of it.

    And, courtesy of YouTube's auto-play, here is a track featuring Paul from before he joined Split Enz. 'Black Rum' by Sea Horses. As far as I remember, I've never heard of this before.
    BeSteVenn, StefanWq and Lance LaSalle like this.
  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Well wait what was the Paul show the Finn brothers did in 2004? Was that something else? It was!! “Max”, or something?
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Nice song. Sounds a little like his 2000s stuff.

    Edit: oh it is one of those. I got confused by the Sea Horses thing.
    Left Hand, HitAndRun and StefanWq like this.
  8. HitAndRun

    HitAndRun Forum Resident

    I made an error. The song that I said was by 'Sea Horses' is by 'Sea Monsters'.
    StefanWq and Lance LaSalle like this.
  9. Left Hand

    Left Hand Forum Resident

    Hello, to help out... here is the 'max' one (done in 2004). Paul with Neil and Tim.

    (Hopefully can be seen in your country)

    Paul and Nick also joined Neil when he was promoting One Nil 'Cold Live at the Chapel' (2001) but I think they only joined with Neil on Crowded House clips.

    Below is Distant Sun (with Jim Moginie completing the lineup)

    (The Hessie Shed 1998 one I can remember well (I taped it back then). The people in the audience cheered for a long time when Neil came on stage... then Nick was invited a few songs later... audience.... yay!!!!!)
    KangaMom, jimbutsu, HitAndRun and 2 others like this.
  10. Michael Rofkar

    Michael Rofkar Forum Resident

    Santa Rosa, CA
    Where can one hear the CBGB show?
    HitAndRun likes this.
  11. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    That Is the oneI’ve heard!
    KangaMom, HitAndRun and Left Hand like this.
  12. Left Hand

    Left Hand Forum Resident

    Glad I could help :).

    Full concert (well what Channel 10 showed between the ads)... yup, Paul and Nick joined on only the Crowded House songs.

    KangaMom, jimbutsu, HitAndRun and 3 others like this.
  13. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Live Bootleg 1983 (Escapade)
    I definitely recall hearing about this gig way back in 1983. Extremely envious of anyone who actually went to it. I guess based on how the recording was made, it is surprisingly good. Now that I am thinking about it, I'm wondering if it was played on radio at some point in Melbourne (probably EON FM or similar)? Because I am sure I have heard this concert previously.

    Through the Years
    This is a bit more jaunty than even the recorded version, a bit more keyboard driven. Tim's vocal is great and the backing vocals are pretty terrific. I guess in retrospect this is one of my favorite Escapade songs so not surprising that it really is fantastic live. I like the extended outro - that's quite splendid.

    Below the Belt

    OK, so I actually like this song a lot better in its live incarnation. It's got a bit more warmth to it, I guess more emotional resonance than the recorded version. Tim's vocal is really very good on this. Nice sax work by Wilbur Wilde.

    Grand Adventure
    Ahhh, I love this song! I was actually quite interested to hear what this sounded like live. I've always liked it's driving percussive beat and so it should translate really well live....and it does. A very high energy piece of music which I never get tired of listening to.

    Growing Pains
    Well, I think the song is a bit naff in retrospect but there's no denying that this is a good rendition of it and Tim's vocal is very good and the backing vocals are deployed as expected. I don't know that it's much of an advance on the recorded version (whereas all the preceding tracks have brought something a bit different to the live versions).

    Shape I'm In
    Well, actually this is one of my favorite Jo Jo Zep songs. But this really is a splendid version of it and Venetta's backing vocal and the organ work really brings a much added dimension to it. It's just a very cool song...and I love this version of it.

    I Only Want to Know
    This is another song that is improved live...a bit funkier, slightly reggae'ish with the sax, a bit cooler than the recorded version. Still with the spikiness that I like on the recorded version. Dang, those high notes in the vocal...terrific stuff.

    Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay
    OK, I definitely heard this at the time which almost certainly means that it was played at some point on one of the Melbourne FM stations (I can't imagine how else I would have heard it). I think Tim does a great version of this song - terrific vocal, along with Mark Williams - and yes, it was absolutely the song that made me seek out more Otis Redding at the time. The Otis Redding version is one of my favorite songs just for its atmosphere.

    Fraction too much Friction
    Well I've always liked this song - its rolling piano rhythm, with the harmony vocals. It's pretty faithful to the recorded version and has really good energy. Terrific vocals all round.

    In a Minor Key
    I surprised myself a little bit while listening to this song... I found it really captivating. There's a lot of charisma that comes through on this recording - you would think that this song would kill the vibe of the concert (after Fraction) but actually I found myself really immersed in this song.

    Ain't that News
    Venetta Fields, well she is terrific. I've always wondered why she didn't release any solo stuff. For a while, right around this period, though she did seem to be backing vocalist of choice for a lot of bands/artists. I was surprised to read fairly recently that she actually mentored (of all people) Cody Simpson.

    Staring at the Embers
    Good energy on this song. I don't know that it's a huge variation on the recorded version but it is a good live version. Mind you I do love the outro...I've always loved the vocal part there.

    Made My Day
    I've always liked this bouncy, joyous song. This live version is terrific...

    Well, what I know about listening to this concert is that I would have given almost anything to be at this concert (never mind that I was vastly underaged). The band was really tight and the Tim's vocals were really fantastic (as were Mark Williams and Venetta Fields). So glad to revisit Escapade!

  14. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Vallentuna, Sweden
    Live at CBGB

    I am very happy that this fan club was released, both because it documents a Crowded House live performance from late 1986 and as an acoustic trio, before the success of "Don't Dream It's Over" and before the debut album had taken off in the States. I was lucky enough to experience a Crowded House gig this way, at Hard Rock Café in Stockholm two months before the CBGB gig. According to the list of Crowded House gigs in the fan club book Ghost Cars on the Freeway, the gig in Stockholm was the band's third-ever gig outside Australia/New Zealand. I remember the gig in Stockholm in September 1986 like it was yesterday. The band was the unannounced support act to a Swedish hard rock group called Dalton who had been signed to EMI (who distributed Capitol's records here) and at that time had just released their debut single. It was a Tuesday and Dalton weren't that well-known so there weren't many people there. Crowded House's gig had actually been set up the very same day (the debut album was released in Europe the day before, September 22, 1986) and I think there were exactly five persons who were there for Crowded House - the representative from EMI Sweden, a well-known music journalist, a trainee from a radio show, my father and me. And apart from us five, there were maybe 20 persons who were either there having dinner anyway and/or there to see Dalton's gig. Inside the venue, there were a few Crowded House posters (the photo that was used on the Australian "Mean To Me" 7" cover). On the tiny stage, Dalton had set up their drum kit, amplifiers and guitars so there was not much room left for Crowded House.
    Just before they started, a poor guitar technician was sweating and looking stressed as he tried to tune Neil's guitar and eventually Neil, Paul and Nick got on stage. Neil took over and tuned his guitar in five seconds.
    Neil, Paul and Nick were standing very close next to each other at the front of the stage, Neil with an acoustic guitar only and Paul with a single drum stand-up kit (much like the one he used to have when he came up front for "Sister Madly" and "This Is Massive" on 1987 gigs, for instance).

    This was three years before MTV Unplugged started, so doing unplugged gigs wasn't yet the thing to do for established artists. I had certainly never seen anything like it on TV and, based on the music journalist's article published a week or so later and the radio show trainee's interview broadcast later the same evening, they were both impressed with this. (And, according to Nick's memories of this particular gig as described in Chris Bourke's book, the few Dalton fans present were very impressed too - they were either seated at tables or standing behind me during the gig, so I don't know what their response was).

    It was an incredible performance in every way and hearing the Live at CBGB fan club CD reminds me of this wonderful evening. Neil is underrated as a guitarist by some people, I think, and I think the CBGB concert really shows how skilled he is. I love the obvious musical chemistry that you can hear on this fan club CD and how much they enjoyed playing together and winning the audience over. The banter is great too, it just sounds like it was spontaneous, in the moment, rather than something that they had rehearsed. The set list is a bit different to the gig in Stockholm (where there was no "One Step Ahead", "This Is Massive", "I Got You" or "Throw Your Arms Around Me", but we did get covers of Talking Heads' "Road To Nowhere" and Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away"). As in Stockholm, "Love You 'Til The Day I Die" and "Something So Strong" are highlights along with "Now We're Getting Somewhere" and "Don't Dream It's Over". It's also fascinating that "Better Be Home Soon" was included in set list in November 1986. This must have been one of the first times it was performed live.

    What an incredible performance by Crowded House at CBGB and what an amazing fan club CD!

    Paul H, HitAndRun, KangaMom and 5 others like this.
  15. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    I do think it's interesting that we all (so far) rate these live recordings very highly. Is it just that Lance has chosen well or is it just that the Finns (and the bands they are in) are just really incredible live musicians?

    I'm tending towards the latter - they just have an energy that leaps out of the speakers while still being very high quality (i.e. not just shouty and full of energy).
  16. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    The Finns are really incredible live musicians. IMHO.
  17. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Totally agree having seen them in the Enz era and as Crowded House. The only regret really is not seeing Tim on a solo tour...
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Not me. These are just fan club releases, so I think the band/Peter Green chose well.
    BeSteVenn, Paul H, brownie61 and 4 others like this.
  19. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Well I meant your impeccable taste in holding them up for discourse in this thread...:)
  20. DanP

    DanP Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    I loved that Cold Live at the Chapel gig. It came out before One Nil, so I got used to the arrangements on this show, then was very pleasantly surprised by how different the album sounded. I know One Nil didn't seem to be rated highly around these parts, but I still return to it often.

    Sidenote, I have recently re-connected with an old friend after 30 years. She was my first real teenage crush. Doomed of course, as she's now been in a same-sex relationship for the last 27 years. She's still divine, but I digress...

    She's always liked the hits of Crowded House, but I've been introducing her to the more complex side of Neil's songwriting, the arrangements, the subconscious lyrical imagery. She's really enjoying, but I am LOVING it. Being able to in some ways "re-hear" some of the songs through the (imagined) experience of another person is a really great thing to happen.
    JCo, HitAndRun, brownie61 and 5 others like this.
  21. KangaMom

    KangaMom Queen of the Quokkas

    Live at CBGB
    This is a great recording of (relatively) early Crowded House. As has already been noted by others upthread, it's a good snapshot of the band chemistry and also the obvious charms of their "busking" set.
    I like the banter and the flow of the set (even with the technical difficulties). It's a nice bonus to hear the Enz songs (and clearly some fans were also very enthused). As has been mentioned it sounds as if the whole setup was a bit shambolic and last minute, some diehard fans clearly are there, but there's obviously others who aren't sure who/what they have stumbled on to. Definitely shows how great CH were/are live.
  22. Djmover

    Djmover Forum Resident

    Hi Everyone,
    To those in Australia, Crowded House from the island is now available on Foxtel/Binge.

    It’s not bad but what is with the crowd ?
    It’s like the band are playing to an empty stadium.
    I’ve heard that crowds in NZ are pretty reserved but not asleep .
  23. BeSteVenn

    BeSteVenn little-known member

    I've always loved the Crowded House studio albums, but the first few live tracks that I heard on singles didn't really sound all that special to me back in the late 1980s. After seeing Crowded House in 1991, I came to understand that while the albums are special, live they are really something else. That opinion has been reinforced by hearing many fan club CDs, watching concerts and TV appearances live on YouTube, and a few audience recordings that float around out there. I think I didn't "get" the live songs because they were out of context.

    Live at CBGB 5/5 because despite the sound, this is an amazing performance.
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    This week, I'm going to hold up the album Citizen Band by the band Citizen Band.

    This is complicated.

    Citizen Band was a New Zealand band formed and led by Geoff Chunn, who sang lead, played lead guitar and wrote most of the songs; Geoff Chunn had played on Split Enz's first single (though wasn't a member of the band) and later formed After Hours with Neil Finn, which Neil left to join Split Enz.

    After his older brother, Split Enz co-founder and bassist Mike Chunn left Split enz, the pair formed The Citizen band with drummer Brent Eccles (a not too uncommon name; nevertheless, I reckon he was the father of Betchadupa/Tim Finn drummer Matt Eccles) and rhythm guitarist Greg Clark. Matt Eccles and Greg Clark had been in the earlier mentioned Space Waltz band with Eddie Rayner.

    The band released two studio albums:
    • Citizen Band (1978) (charted #27 in NZ)
    • Just Drove Through Town (1979) (#18)
    And one live album, CB Bootleg.

    Additionally, they released a compilation in 1993 called Rust In My Car.

    I have recently learned (thanks @StefanWq ) that Citizen Band, streams on Spotify, is available for purchase on iTunes, (and thus probably streams on Apple Music). I don't think it streamed there two years ago, so that's positive.

    The entire album streams on YouTube, starting here:(Just updated yesterday!)

    The track list is:
    1. Good Morning Citizen
    2. The Ladder Song
    3. Office Come Alive
    4. Dig That Tex
    5. I Feel Good
    6. Blue Lagoon
    7. Julia
    8. My Pohutakawa
    9. Heroe's Roll [sic]/Out in the World
    10. Counting The Regiments
    11. Tex Goes to the Cinema
    12. In A Lifetime
    13. Holy Julele

    Now for the complication:
    Their second album, Just Drove Through Town, does not stream nor does their live album or the compilation.

    NOTE: there is another album on these platforms that streams credited to Citizen Band -- but this seems to be a completely different band. I listened to about 15 seconds and it seems to be an American country band.

    So what I'm going to do is just hold up Citizen Band today.

    In two weeks, I will hold up the rest of their non-streaming catalogue (thus adding a week to my overall plan, which is loose anyway. Who knows, maybe someone will upload more songs to YouTube between now and then here; though it may be available in New Zealand already.)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
    jimbutsu, KangaMom, StefanWq and 2 others like this.
  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Next week:
    • Rock Arena - Crowded House (1986 performance, released on DVD-R in 2007)
    • Live On The Rooftop-- Crowded House (1987 performance, released on CD in 1997)

Share This Page