I intend to write a full review of tonight's Neil Finn concert at the Jazz Cafe and post it to my About Last Night website, but for now, I thought I would post here the email to other Finn fans that I composed on my phone on the way home. I'll clarify and/or correct anything in the morning!
Well, as I missed my train by two minutes as I was foolishly yet understandably too weak to leave the Jazz Cafe while Neil Finn was singing Don't Dream It's Over, I might as well post the set list as I sit in this darkened station until midnight when I might execute a Plan B (or Z) for getting home. Add to that general worry the painful knowledge that I might as well have stayed in the Camden club rather than rush out and possibly miss another song. If he sang more, please tell me in a really convincing way that it was awful. [I understand now I missed nothing else.]
Off the top of my head:-
-Highlights: Neil joined on stage first by son & birthday boy (21!) Elroy, then Johnny Marr. And of course Neil's singing and rapport with the audience. And he was thankfully 'tache-less.
--Low points: standing for over three hours before Neil even appeared, as the same 10 photos of Q award nominees flashed on the screens in front of us over and over and over to insipid music, which makes me never want to see Q magazine again. Though we must perhaps appreciate them as Neil did say that he was in London was not just to celebrate Elroy's birthday and to play this (Q-organised) gig, but to attend the Q awards tomorrow, where apparently he's up for an award, or a catalogue of his and/or his brother's work is, though Tim wasn't with him.....we shall see.
The songs Neil played:-
1. Only Talking Sense (Neil on electric guitar for the next few songs)
2. I Got You (fantastic, but then everything was)
3. Driving Me Mad
4. Private Universe, (which then morphed into:-)
5. Black & White Boy (with some high-pitched Revolution-style screaming at one point)
6. Faster Than Light (on grand piano now)
7. Tired Eyes (That's a total guess at the title; Neil said it was one of the first songs he wrote, aged 15, after getting high & seriously drunk for the first time and listening to Vaughan Williams on a theme of Thomas Tallis; I could hear the influence of the former, not the latter. It was lovely, contemplative). This followed a chat about how he'd always thought brother Tim was awesome and had encouraged young Neil, though Tim recently revealed in an interview it had been a psychological scheme to dominate him
8. Message to My Girl (to constant sound of loud glass clinking etc from the bar, which prompted Neil, when he finished, to ask the staff if they needed a hand with the glasses as they were making a meal of it, so they quietened a bit at last)
9. Into the Sunset (marvellous)
10. Wherever You Are
11.Last Day of June (requested by audience members then and earlier. How many stunning ballads have Finns brought into this world?!) During this song, a girl up front fainted and I thought many others would follow, but she got up shortly afterwards and I hope was okay. Neil was singing with his eyes closed at the far edge of the stage on the piano so wasn't aware.
12. Rocket Man (kinda. One possibly confused man shouted for it repeatedly, even after Neil pointed out later that he'd obliged with half the song, despite needing us to feed him the lyrics. Neil later said he played Elton John when he [Neil] was younger as he [Elton] did write some good tunes, and said Elton had sent loads of Dom Perignon to Crowded House's first LA gig after Don't Dream It's Over became a big hit). Later requests came for Bowie's Heroes, which Neil said might be an idea for a future gig, and Stairway To Heaven (which caught Neil out as he said 'Which one?' scrutinising his set list for that tune).
13. Try Whistling This (he was going to do something else I didn't catch--sounded like 'Call to My God!"--'til this was requested)
14. Gentle Hum (audience knew their part and hummed the chorus beautifully)
15. Silent House (son Elroy on acoustic guitar and harmonies, Neil back on electric guitar--after we sang happy birthday to Elroy, and Neil said he had hours of home movies of Elroy as a babe that he could show us. Neil also said he and wife Sharon used to turn his baby monitor on & off quickly to make a tune from Elroy's screaming, which he might release one day...I'll skip the talk of 'seeding Lady Gaga').
16.Anytime (still with Elroy)
17. Sinner (after which Elroy left to be replaced by Johnny Marr!)
18. Distant Sun (Neil on small acoustic guitar, Johnny on electric with the---chorus?--accidentally switched on the guitar so he later joked they should do it again. The audience was shouting along with this as though it was the biggest hit ever)
19. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (only Neil singing--apart from audience. Grand!)
20. She Will Have Her Way
Johnny Marr left after both launched some extreme (deserved) praise about each other's genius.
Neil then pointed out the tricky logistics in leaving before an encore at the Jazz Cafe (stairs, platforms, long walks still visible to the audience...) so just stayed. He said he'd considered lying down instead.
21.Something So Strong (with a slightly different arrangement and slow, sweet, thoughtful tempo and delivery to the chorus [like part of Last Day in June], which he said was this song's original form, though he indulged the audience at the end with the chorus they love to shout along to)
22. Fall at Your Feet
23. One Step Ahead (bliss!)
24.Don't Dream It's Over ('that Susan Boyle song' someone kidded when requesting it')
....& then sadly some of us fled as it was past 11pm on a Sunday night, and public transport is usually off to bed about then. I'll elaborate on the above and correct things once I decipher my scribbled notes on my list, and will put the review and some more awful photos on my website shortly. But that's the set at least, and everything was outstanding (it just would have been boring if I wrote that after every song) and the audience was great (and patient!)
Many thanks to Patrick for the ticket; they were hard to get.