Liam Finn & Eliza-Jane Barnes with Jason Lytle
The Crocodile, 10.25.09
Liam Finn and Eliza-Jane Barnes played a fantastic set at the end of October, at Seattle’s iconic venue The Crocodile. It was a cold and drizzly Sunday night, at the time of year when it may seem more tempting to have a night in with a fluffy blanket and a good movie, but a good-sized contingent turned out to make some noise. The crowd warmed to opening act Jason Lytle; known for his work with Granddaddy and an accomplished artist in his own right.
The Aussie pair made for a humourous duo; whose antics included going to great lengths to imbibe while observing The Crocodile’s “No drinks onstage” rule. Descendants of Anzac rock royalty (Neil Finn and Jimmy Barnes respectively), it comes as no surprise that Liam and EJ are also tremendously talented musicians. The setlist included material from both Finn’s first solo album, 2007’s I’ll Be Lightning, and the new EP Champagne in Seashells, where he shares the bill with Eliza-Jane. Both of these releases are excellent, but the studio recordings really do no justice to their amazing energy, stage presence, and innovative use of looping, drum machines, and rolling around the stage in true rock-n-roll fashion. “Second Chance” is always blistering live, and this was no exception – it really is hard to believe that this much noise can be created by just two people. “Plane Crash” and “Long Way To Go” were welcome inclusions from the new EP, and a testament to how well the pair work together.
The pair made an appearance on the Letterman show last year (although I noted he didn’t even say EJ’s name when he was standing right next to her – harsh!), and have been supporting Wilco on tour in the last couple of months. They are a staple of the NZ/Australian alt. music scene and it was really great to see an American crowd really get into their music – they are a duo to keep an eye on.
You can see more photos from the gig here.
By Nicky Andrews