In town to play the annual St Kilda Festival, Tim Finn took to the stage of The Corner Hotel in a warm up show of sorts. With a handful of new tracks up his sleeve, and of course all the classics we've grown to love, those in attendance were surely to be treated to something special.
Perth's The Chemist opened up proceedings for the evening and immediately looked a little light. Two members light to be precise. With Elliot and Hamish back home, it was left to vocalist/guitarist Ben Witt and keyboardist James Ireland (who took up kick drum duties for the night) to put on the show and to be honest; I wasn't quite sure they could pull it off.
Starting off the set a little uneasy the duo soon found their rhythm. Playing tracks from their recent EP Lullabies, they slowly but surely won over the crowd amassing at The Corner, despite playing their set on the smaller side stage. With songs featuring a childlike, almost playschool inspired sounding piano, to others that included an accordion and were very reminiscent of Patrick Watson, The Chemist showed the diversity of material they are capable of.
Announcing the end of their set fifteen minutes early only to be told by the sound guy they could keep going, Ben launched into a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman" while Elliot was left to figure out whether or not they could do any more songs without the rest of the band. They could, and they finished off the set by playing an older song of theirs I'm unfamiliar with.
When it came time for Tim Finn to hit the stage it was a sigh of relief for the slightly older crowd, who by the looks of them would have enjoyed a night in equally as much. Opening the set with new track "People Like Us" Tim let us know that, even after almost 40 years, he can still write an excellent song.
Playing with a four piece backing band, Tim played a set showcasing his entire career. From his beginnings in Split Enz through to his most recent solo effort in 2008's The Conversation. Unfortunately it seemed a lot in attendance were there only to see material from Tim's time in Split Enz; and although he played a handful of songs from that era, one of the highlights of the evening came when he played Crowded House classic Chocolate Cake, to which he shares co-writing credits with younger brother Neil.
Seeming like he didn't really want to stop playing, Tim Finn and band broke their 60 minute allotted playing time and finished off the main set with "Fraction Too Much Friction" off his debut solo album Escapade. Playing a more toned down version of the song inspired quite the singalong by members of the audience, and when Tim forgot his lyrics he took cues from the crowd and quickly regained his pace.
Coming back for the inevitable encore I really didn't know what Tim could do to further impress me, but he did by introducing Andy White who happened to be in attendance. They played their song "Many's The Time (In Dublin)". With that, Tim ended the night with Split Enz's "Charlie" while a very satisfied crowd screamed for more. A fantastic performance by a fantastic songwriter.