Sunday, April 03, 2011

Crowded House

Crowded House is an Australian rock band that was formed in the middle of the eighties in New Zealand. The two former members are the lead singer and guitarist Neil Finn and the drummer Paul Hester. Other guys that every now and then played with the group include: Liam Finn, Craig Hooper, Peter Jones, Eddie Rayner and also Tim Finn (Neil Finn’s brother, who actually joined the band at the beginning of the nineties). The Crowdies, as they are called by their Australian fans, have split up in 1996 because Neil Finn wanted to start a solo career. In 2005, after Paul Hester’s death, Neil Finn reformed Crowded House, with him being the only former member. The band is currently made up of Neil Finn, Mark Hart, Nick Seymour and Matt Sherrod.

Neil Finn was influenced by different artists when he wrote his songs. The first is the new wave band Splitz End, in which his brother played for a long time. The second is his mother, a pianist who encouraged him to discover plenty of musical genres, including Irish folk, Māori music (a kind of music originally performed by the Australian Aborigines). We can describe Crowded House’s musical style as alternative rock: this is a rock style which includes a wide variety of subgenres and which derives from the independent music (usually abbreviated to indie).

They have had great commercial success, especially during the late eighties. It first started in Australia but they rapidly gained popularity in Europe and in the USA. Their famous songs “Don’t Dream, It’s Over” and “Something So Strong” conquered the radio waves all over the world. Other hits are for instance: “Fall at Your Feet”, “Weather with You”, “Distant Sun” and “Not the Girl You Think You Are”.

On 26 March 2005, Paul Hester was so depressed that he committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree near his house in Melbourne. A bit later, Neil Finn asked one of his friends, the bassist Nick Seymour, to play on his brand new solo album. As two other musicians (the drummer Matt Sherrod and the guitarist Mark Hart) got in touch with them, they even took the decision to bring this album out under the name Crowded House. They went on stage again for a private concert (with family and friends) more or less one year before their official come back, which took place in February 2007. After the official announcement of their reformation, one of their first public appearances took place at the Australian Live Earth concert (an environmental-friendly gig).

“Intriguer”, their latest album released in 2010, has also kown great success. They made use of marketing techniques to promote it around the world. Nowadays, they have a website on which their fans have the possibility to get in contact with them. They have even created pages on Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. Their latest tour’s shows have been made available on USB flash drives and some of their live tracks can be downloaded freely on the internet.

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