Going to see Crowded House play live has been a childhood dream of mine. From the opening bars of “Distant Sun” I was instantly transported back to 1993, reminiscent of warm hazy summers and stealing my older sisters copy of ‘Together Alone’ to play on my CD Walkman as I cycled about the park on my purple glittery bike.
I also remember fondly when I lived in Melbourne, how old dears on the tram into the CBD would proudly proclaim as soon as they heard my Scottish accent; ‘It’s four seasons in one day here love you need to take an umbrella with you even if you leave the house in the morning and it’s glorious sun’. The catchphrase four ‘seasons in one day’ will remain engrained in my memory as synonymous with Melbourne and good times. Crowded House playing live tonight only further cements the attachment I have in my mind as a band that deliver fun, frivolity and hilarious exchanges with their fans.
Neil Finn has after all carefully curated a line-up that includes founding members and his two sons Elroy on drums and Liam on guitar which lends the set an atmosphere of genuine gratitude, this is a band who know who they are and are confident in their ability to deliver exactly what their audience want.
To think of a Crowded House gig is to think of the set in almost two halves, the first half is comprised of old favourites like; “Nails in my Feet” and “To the Island” things really started to kick off when the band played 1991’s seminal hit “Fall at your Feet” which perfectly encapsulates what the band are known for – proper nostalgic indie guitar pop.
Bassist Nick Seymour and Neil have a fun moment with the crowd suggesting tonight’s show is a ‘warm up’ for Harry styles – who happens to be playing the following evening. They also joked with the audience about being worried that Del Amitri were also playing across town that night – but they needn’t be as the Hydro was packed to its formidable rafters.
There is a fun moment where Neil is poking fun at the security staff who are there to ‘protect than band’ which was ironic as the crowd was mainly composed of a very gentile audience who remained seated for the entire first half of the show. He then went on to improvise a song about High Vis vests which was a cheerful little ditty that pleased their audience.
‘Black and White Boy’ is another fan favourite, after which, some over excitable member of the crowd shouts ‘Lester’ which happens to also be a song that was penned about Neil’s family dog, the band oblige and play the track ‘Lester’ which is its first outing in 10 years, a real treat for the stalwart fans amongst the audience.
The second half of the set really kicks off after the band play “Private Universe” after this track the band play back to back hits, “It’s good to have you on your feet Glasgow!” announces Neil as the previously seated spectators are now galvanised into proper toe tapping action.
“Four Seasons in One Day” has the gargantuan crowd singing in acapella along with chorus which seems to delight the band as much as it did the fans. This is quickly followed by, “Weather With You” which was introduced with an interesting cover of Talking Heads.
A volley of hits follows with; “Something So Strong”, “Don’t Dream it’s Over”, “Whatever You Want” – which sees Neil pass the reins to his son Liam who plays virtuoso guitar impressively and in his own right is also a very capable singer. The closing song is, “It’s Only Natural” which by this point has the thousands of jubilant Glaswegian’s chanting along to.
After a brief interlude the crowd demand an encore, which the band happily provide with; “World Where You Live”, “Start of Something” and even a rendition of a track by Neil’s former band Split Enz. “I Got You” is a high paced punk number very different from what the band went on to producer as Crowded House.
The grand finale comes in the form of the romantic, 90’s dream pop of ‘Better Be Home Soon’ which confirm that Crowded House are a band that are unapologetically themselves, they love what they are doing and no matter what they guarantee a good time. Catch them on tour throughout summer for a good old dose of Australian sunshine and 90’s nostalgia.
Words: Angela Canavan
Photos: Angela Canavan