The Pajama Club – Corner Hotel, 15th of June

Neil Finn is not exactly a man with a lot to prove. For almost 30 years the New Zealander has sat at the top of the Australian music industry as a member of Split Enz and as the leader of the hugely successful Crowded House. One would think that with such an impressive body of work behind him, he might consider slowing down. But with the Pajama Club Neil Finn proves that his best work may not yet be behind him.The Pajama Club are far from Crowded House mark II, as they seemed very eager to prove right from the beginning. The crowd at The Corner Hotel on Wednesday night were greeted with a pulsing drum beat, dirty synth bass and the clicks and beeps of a sampler to begin the Pajama Club’s first Melbourne gig. The band then launched into music which sailed closer to dance than the singer/songwriter records most of Neil Finn’s contemporaries are producing in their semi-retirement.”Lost in the slumber of the years” Finn sang during their opening song, whether it was about himself or not it only further emphasised that the Pajama Club sound fresher than Finn has sounded in years. In fact, if you had wandered into the Corner Hotel on Wednesday night you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a much younger band.The band played through an entire set worth of diverse new material (with the exception of one Finn Brother song that they “figured we can play, so we will play”) that rested heavily on bass and synth driven numbers. While Finn’s songwriting talent can’t help but shine through, it is only part of what makes the Pajama Club memorable, what really stood out was an infectious sense of fun. From loud guitars with huge drums to drum samples and synth bass the Pajama Club are making music that is as fun to listen to as it seems to be for them to play. Not content to fade away, The Pajama Club show that Neil Finn is far from the end of his already more than impressive musical journey. “This is a song of our last record” Finn jokes before the band play their final song, and if Wednesday night is anything to go by, I hope there are many more.- James Clark

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