New Zealand’s Liam Finn and Eliza Jane performed last month here in Portland. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect from this musical duo. We had read a few reviews on Liam’s debt album, I’ll Be Lightning, as well as listened to a few of his new tracks off his latest EP, Champagne in Seashells, and were excited to see him perform live.
Some background on Liam:
He was born in Melbourne, Australia but calls New Zealand his home as he moved there as a child. He is the eldest son of musician Neil Finn (of Split Enz and Crowded House) and Sharon Finn. A young Liam Finn learned to play many instruments in a very musically inclined family unit. One only needs to view the track listings on 2009’s 7 Worlds Collide, The Sun Came album to see that Mom, Dad, and uncle Tim (Neil’s brother who also played in Split Enz/Crowded House) and son, Elroy are all talented musicians.
Liam received alot of praise for his debut album I’ll be Lightening last year as well a featured musical guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday, February 28th, 2008, where he played “Second Chance”. Liam has also gone on to perform Second Chance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Later… with Jools Holland. In 2008 & 2009, Liam Finn opened for Eddie Vedder’s solo tour throughout America. Liam will also headline his first North American tour and head on the road with The Black Keys in November 2008 in the UK and Europe.
In December 2008 and January 2009, he participated on the recording sessions of the second album of 7 Worlds Collide. Since the reunion of the band Crowded House in early 2007, Finn has become part of its touring band, playing concerts such as Coachella Festival and Live Earth in Sydney.
It was clear by Liam’s performance, Liam comes alive on stage especially when he plays drums. He can sing and play guitar as good as anyone but he just goes off like a wild man drumming – it was mesmerizing. The passion and intent really show through in his eyes when he is performing. But as intense and aggressive as he is on his instruments, he is one of the nicest guys we have met off stage.
Eliza Jane compliments him perfectly in vocals and instrumentation. She played the autoharp in many of the songs they performed. Eliza-Jane also comes from a famous musical family. Her father, Jimmy Barnes is an Australian rock singer. He is famous both as a solo performer and as the lead vocalist with the rock band Cold Chisel. Combined he is one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. It was apparent that the apple did not fall far from the Finn and Barnes’ family trees.
Eliza-J and Liam Finn Podcast on Ampersand (a recent interview and 2 song set)