Neil Finn, gig review: 'He never really takes off
St James’s Church, London
Thursday 28 November 2013
“You can turn to page 54 and psalm 57,” the 55-year-old quips before his “whimsical” new track, “Recluse”, on which he maintains “It's people you lose when you become a recluse”. It's sort of part of the recluse deal, really.
“This is an extremely special occasion,” the Crowded House frontman informs us and the singer keeps on insisting there's no better place to be than in this church tonight. It's disputable. The first half of the set is devoted to his introspective new solo album, Dizzy Heights, on which he's assisted by a nine-piece ensemble. Finn's high falsetto (not dissimilar to Jimmy Nail's) delivery is overwrought but the lyrics, in the main, are rather banal and the tempo plodding, particular on “Impressions”.
The looser (“I don't know what I'm playing from here on in”) second half is an improvement with Finn demonstrating his nimble lyricism and knack for a melody (when he's at his best his recalls Glenn Tilbrook and Squeeze) on Crowded House gems “Into Temptation” and the evocative “Distant Sun”.
His adoring crowd, who yelp out requests and in one case belt out the first few notes of “Blue Hotel”, seem satisfied. But as splendid a musician as the New Zealander is, this experience never really takes off.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
North Korea threatens Britain over 'mud-slinging' Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons programme
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain