Live at the Marquee: Full house glee at Crowded House

As opposed to needing to win over the audience Neil Finn and Crowded House already had them in the palm of their hands as the band walked on stage.
Live at the Marquee: Full house glee at Crowded House

Liam Finn, Neil Finn and Nick Seymour of Crowded House playing at the Marquee on Monday night. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

AS CORK had so much changeable weather over the weekend it was apt to see a band who had a hit with Four Seasons In One Day — released exactly 30 years ago this month — take to the stage at a packed Live At The Marquee.

Neil Finn, the founder and principal songwriter of Crowded House, was dressed in an all-white suit and his son Liam, who plays guitar in the band (and was also the opening act performing material from his own solo career), was resplendent in all red suit. It was noted that perhaps it was a subtle nod to the Cork colours!

David Cleaver, Pam Soltan, Stephen McCarthy and Eilish Cleaver from Cobh at Crowded House at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
David Cleaver, Pam Soltan, Stephen McCarthy and Eilish Cleaver from Cobh at Crowded House at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

There were many more direct references to being in Cork throughout the gig as Neil mentioned they were heading to Kilmallock to visit family connections over the next few days ‘via Clonakility and Ballydehob’, a road trip that would be high on scenery but also quite a detour. Later on Neil and Paul Seymour, the band’s bassist, reminisced on stage about spending time in Goleen and Schull and swimming there during the summer, so their Rebel County Bona Fides are proven.

As opposed to needing to win over the audience Neil Finn and Crowded House already had them in the palm of their hands as the band walked on stage. They kept that energy throughout, long before any of the ‘big hits’ had kicked in. Songs as beloved as Weather With Yo’, Don’t Dream It’s Over, It’s Only Natural and Fall At Your Feet had the crowd singing along with gusto.

Neil Finn of Crowded House playing at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Neil Finn of Crowded House playing at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Neil remarked that “Cork is in fine voice tonight”. That was reinforced by the fact it wasn’t just the singles that Crowded House had audience assistance from, lesser-known album tracks also had bursts of accompaniment from the venue.

Indeed Neil said that the Live At The Marquee had been “one of the best audiences of the whole tour. I don’t say that lightly, I don’t say that every time”. Having played a very well-received set at the Glastonbury Festival to a crowd several times bigger than was in front of him here and which was televised worldwide, that was quite a compliment. Later he added it was “the best fun I’ve had on a Monday in years!” and that he was looking forward to meeting some friends from Doneraile later in the evening.

Linda Nicholson, Glasheen and Derval Glavin, Wilton at Crowded House at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare
Linda Nicholson, Glasheen and Derval Glavin, Wilton at Crowded House at the Marquee. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

I counted at least four ovations in the seated area by the end of the concert. As Neil Finn-ished the entire gig with a rendition of Better Be Home Soon which the audience sang right back to him, it’s fair to say most people left the Marquee thinking that Crowded House better be back soon.

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