Watching Crowded House.

Last Saturday night, Crowded House performed live on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

Unfortunately, we missed it, but the concert was televised ABC TV on Sunday night and we were all parked in front of the TV reminiscing with Neil Finn and the band. Indeed, they were playing in our very own lounge room. Weren’t we lucky!!


Neil Finn

In case you haven’t heard of Crowded House, it’s an Australian rock band. It was formed in 1985 by  New Zealander Neil Finn and Australians Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. They were later joined by Neil’s older brother, Tim Finn. Both Neil and Tim Finn hailed from Split Enz.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a band person and there have never been any bands I’ve hero worshipped, longing for their next album. However, there were favourite songs, which I’ll never forget, but you probably need to be 40 something or over to know any of these.That said, I can mention Electric Blue by Icehouse without embarrassing myself.

Anyway, getting back to Crowded House…

I got quite a rush hearing many of the old Crowded House songs again. Not that I could’ve picked them as Crowded House. Yet, the songs were very familiar like running into an old friend. Crowded House was always there.

Actually, I’m quite grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to reconnect with Crowded House now and intend to buy their CD. Well, at least a CD. No doubt, they’ve put out more than one. It will be joining me in the car. I do a lot of driving!

So, having confessed that I’m anything but a Crowded House expert, I’m obviously breaking the most fundamental rule of writing… writing about something I know very little about. While I understand that this could be my undoing given there are  obsessive fans who know each and every hair on their heads.


Tim & Neil Finn

However, there can also be a different kind of story. More of a getting to know you, dipping my little toe into the waters and sharing the journey kind of story. Moreover, while many people would be interested in pulling their music apart , I found myself watching and absorbing the band as people.There was something intangible about each of them which really touched me.  They all came across as really interesting, warm and genuine people with a very strong sense of something like a cross between empathy and compassion. I’d really like to sit on a beach watching the moon rise listening to these guys talk. Not about the band, being in a band or being a star but to hear their philosophical observations of life. I could sense wisdom, which isn’t a trait I usually attribute to band members but it was there. I know it was there.

So I wasn’t really surprised when I came across these quotes from Neil Finn:

“I try to put myself into unusual and difficult situations as often as I can in order to capture the element of struggle in the music.”

-Neil Finn

“So I think rather than being attracted so much now to working with my heroes, I’m sort of more attracted to working with completely unlikely strangers because it’s more exciting really.”

-Neil Finn


Tim Finn…you could really tell he was having a blast!

There were also some poignant quotes from his older brother, Tim Finn:

“True contentment comes with empathy.”

Tim Finn

“Weave me a rope that will pull me through these impossible times.”

Tim Finn

“I’m a live performer and I love playing live.”

Tim Finn

Anyway, on that note I’ll leave you with a few songs:



Crowded House: Don’t Dream It’s Over.

Do you have a favourite Crowded House song? What is it?
I find it hard to pick out of these three.
xx Rowena

The End.

14 thoughts on “Watching Crowded House.

  1. Glenys

    Am a fan of crowded house and going way back…split enz! Those Finn brothers have got something special about them and seem very genuine don’t they? My 21 year old daughter thought she didn’t know who they were until I started singing (very badly) “don’t dream it’s over” then even she knew crowded house. Cheers.

  2. Rowena Post author

    I feel I knew Split Enz better than Crowded House, although once I was watching the song I knew all the songs and it was just a superficial thing but a deep memory which was also rekindled. I love your story about your daughter. Kids often seem to add another dimension to things, don’tt they!!

  3. Glenys

    Thanks Rowena yes to our family I think songs also bring back memories of places we’ve been and what was playing at the time etc…

  4. Rowena Post author

    That’s so true, Glenys. I am back to trying to write about my time in Paris in 1992 and the memories are very sketchy but I do remember celebrating my birthday there and we played Men At Work’s “Down Under”. It was both out of context and a jubilant national anthem as we were staying with Italians in Paris and eating authentic Spaghetti Bolognese. It was during the Summer Olympics too I think. We were on fire.

  5. fresnodad

    Thanks for the recap and the images. Would’ve paid dearly to be at that show. So many great songs that still hold up well today, including ‘Something So Strong,’ ‘Weather with You,” and many, many more.

  6. Rowena Post author

    I only found out about it when it was too late but I did love wanting them on TV. Not only were their songs amazing but also the guys as people. I sensed a deep compassion. Would love to chat with them into the wee hours. It would be mind and soul blowing I’m sure!

  7. Minuscule Moments

    Can I have another piece of chocolate cake Rowena? I went to see them play back in the nineties at the Opera House steps, truly an awesome live concert. At my wedding, my nephew was only fifteen at the time, he played My Private Universe on his guitar, so you could say I am a huge fan. Wished I had seen the TV presentation I missed it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Definitely. Plenty of chocolate cake to spare. Kath, can’t believe you were at their 90s concert on the Opera House steps. That’s become epic.
    I just read through the lyrics of My Private Universe and they’re great and I could see you liking those.
    Do you have catch up TV? You might be able to see the concert there. It was on ABC.
    Pleased you at least managed to catch a few glimpses from this. I intend to get a CD. They’re brilliant!
    Obviously, you’d also like to chat to them on the beach in front of a campfire too. It was blow us away.
    Hope you and the family have a Happy New Year.
    xx Ro

  9. Minuscule Moments

    Spent it on the beach at Bermagui Rowena in the misty rain, therefore we were the only people on the beach. It was wonderful we laughed and played and walked. For us crowds aren’t good because of our son’s intolerance to kids screaming in the surf. So for us it was a blessing.

  10. Rowena Post author

    Bermagui sounds beautiful. Friends of mine used to go fishing down there. I’m pleased you found something that accommodated your son’s needs.
    I hope you and the family have a wonderful New Year!
    xx Ro

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