Monday, November 12, 2007

Time is on the table and the dinner's cold

Earlier this year when #1 and I heard that Crowded House were reforming for a concert tour we decided that we'd risk the dreaded 'old band getting back together and they might not be as good' syndrome that seems to be taking over the world and go see them anyway. I'm glad we did - yes it was a throwback to better times but it was also sincerely a magical night. Back in 1996 when CH had their farewell concert in Sydney, #1 and I conspired to go but since I had no car (or license for that matter) and there was no way in hell her beat up car would make it up the Hume Hwy - we had to miss out. Flying up was a no go, with both of us struggling with weekend jobs and a poor uni lifestyle. I sat on my living room couch and cried while watching it televised on the tele instead.

Years later when drummer Paul Hester tragically took his own life I had the same reaction. He was my favourite member - purely for the quirky humour he carried with him, in a public sense if not anywhere else. I remember being very young (about 9 or 10) and just adoring him. It's always the funny guys that get me where it counts. It broke my heart when he died. It still breaks my heart. I suspect that there may be a few differing opinions on this - and maybe some stories to the contrary (I don't want to know if there are) but all the good ones seem to go early.

So last week, leaving the bub behind #1 and I made our way through a perfect spring evening, no clouds hanging over the domain; yes only one season to contend with - and had a few emotional heart strings tugged by an otherwise forgotten favourite band. Who knew they could still do that? We were also serenaded by a drunk guy sitting in front of us but that's another story (I love freaks).

I think Crowded House will always hit an emotional chord with me. I remember feeling so excited by the song Sister Madly, which caused me to bounce around joyously from lounge chair pillow to pillow as a little one. I thought they were singing about me; after all I was a sister and sometimes I did step on bro's head, just like the lyrics mentioned. Not long after, I remember watching the video clip for one of their better known songs Better be Home Soon one morning on Video Hits and feeling the tears fall down my face. I still don't know why that happened but I remember it clearly, as if it was yesterday. One second I was watching the television and feeling normal and the next I was ambushed by a state of desperate sadness - the song was so true of things I didn't even know about yet - which sounds weird I know, but I understood the song on an emotional level even though I hadn't experienced that kind of longing Finn sang about yet. I remember arguing over the correct lyrics to Don't Dream it's Over on the phone with #1 (obviously this was before the internet and thus all the information we could ever want at our fingertips was in every household) and laughing like a maniac at the song Chocolate Cake - which I can't stand now but loved the ridiculousness of back then.

Nowadays it's these two songs that do not fail to give me goosebumps.

Four Seasons in One Day, for its sublime Melbourne references that you only understand if you live here and now forever Paul Hester's tribute (the Melbourne boy). For the little lump that catches in my throat every time I hear it and the gorgeous imagery in my head.

Four Seasons in One Day - Crowded House

Private Universe, which always starts with a tingle at the back of my neck, floating down my shoulders and finally settling in the pit of my stomach. This one, is really my song. I just get it.

Private Universe - Crowded House

It's funny how that works - when songs mean something to one person only and no matter how hard you try to make someone else feel the significance as deeply as you do, they can't because they simply aren't you.

(don't worry, I haven't forgotten Split Enz)

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