Two weeks ago I watched and listened to Crowded House along with 12,000 other fans at Auckland’s Spark Arena. Last night, I was fortunate enough to watch and listen to that same band with about 25 other fans in the cosy confines of Roundhead Studios.
As one of the movers and shakers at the 13th Floor, I often get asked, “why are you doing this?” Those who know us know that we make virtually no income posting tour announcements, concert reviews, Live video sessions and in-depth interviews – day in and day out.
Yet, ten years after we started this thing, here we are still here, still doing it.
The answer, while maybe a bit naïve, is simple… it’s all about the music (and films and theatre).
Ten Years After we are still cranking out stuff we are passionate about. In just this past week I’ve written about Be-Bop Deluxe, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Bob Dylan while local artists Adam Hattaway, Jennifer K. Austin and The RVMES spent time making music in my home studio.
There are worse ways to live.
Which brings me back to Crowded House.
The show at Spark was, as expected, very very good.
I’ve been to a few of these things before… usually they round up the local suspects, various music “journalists,” label and publicity folks and assorted hangers on… and we get a few beers and a chance to sit and listen to an album before everyone else.
So, of course I was there.
What I found when I got there exceeded any expectations.
The usual suspects were in attendance (about 20 or so of us) and there was a nice spread of food and drink. But as we were ushered into the listening room we all were very pleasantly surprised to discover Neil Finn sitting with his guitar welcoming us. Even better, the rest of the band (Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom, Liam and Elroy Finn) all appeared, ready to play.
Before I knew it, I found myself sitting a few feet from Neil, with Mitchell Froom’s keyboard at my back. Elroy was at the drum kit and Liam, guitar in hand, was brandishing a newly acquired vinyl copy of the new album.
With MC John Campbell at the ready, things got underway…Liam dropped the needle and the five musicians played along to the first track.
It sounded so sweet and so intimate. Looking around at the faces of us in the room, there was a glow. I don’t think anyone knew to expect this… yet here we all were… ”secretly” enjoying new music from one of New Zealand’s most iconic bands.
Afterwards we schmoozed a bit… Mitchell Froom was in particularly good spirits, Neil shook hands while Liam and Elroy were, themselves, glowing.
So, dear reader, you may ask why we do all this work for “nothing.” I hope this makes some sort of sense.
It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does (reviewing Reb Fountain or Troy Kingi, interviewing Brandy Clark or The Melvins or Wayne Coyne,) it all seems worth it.
Pre-Order the new Crowded House album, Dreamers Are Waiting, HERE:
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