Crowded House – Live Review – The Piece Hall, Halifax

Crowded House - Live review - The Piece Hall Halifax

By Steve Crabtree, June 2024

We’ve been walking round the room singing ‘Stormy Weather’ in Halifax lately. Downpour, downpour, thunder, more downpour.

But, at the risk of the cheesiest and most obvious intro to a review ever – Crowded House always take the weather with them… and at the latest show to grace the Piece Hall, we enjoyed a fantastic sun-swept evening courtesy of the long-standing New Zealand pop-rock outfit.

With this being my fourth gig here in the last couple of weeks, the courtyard is getting busier and busier with each show. And, in my 6 years of enjoying music at The Piece Hall, I can’t recall the place being so rammed. Nor have the queues been so long.  They certainly draw an audience, Crowded House.

Crowded House Live Review Piece Hall Halifax

“Unique Crowded House sound”

With a really good mix of hits and slightly less commercial tunes, Crowded House delivered a really good show that the sell-out crowd absolutely loved. We had a slightly earlier start than usual, and ‘World Where You Live’ was a stunning opener that just oozed that very unique Crowded House sound that you always forget they’ve got until you hear them.

When the album Woodface came out, I was around 13 years of age, and I owned it. I also bought a Crowded House t-shirt with the same album cover on the front. We had a supply geography teacher taking the mick out of me for that on a non-uniform day, saying I shouldn’t be wearing it because I wasn’t a middle-aged man, driving through country lanes at 25mph on a Sunday afternoon in a Ford Granada. No-one liked that guy, so I took no notice (honestly, even though the remark has stayed with me!) and didn’t care. I still liked them.

Today, I look back and perhaps it was an early appreciation of all forms of music that let me enjoy that album. Crowded House played a number of tunes from that record here in Halifax, including ‘Fall At Your Feet’ which was beautiful, and the stunning ‘Four Seasons In One Day’. Album opener ‘Chocolate Cake’ was slipped into the encore, a track I wasn’t expecting at all, but that was brilliant too. My only heartbreak was that there was no sign of ‘It’s Only Natural’ which is perhaps my favourite Crowded House song. I was yearning for that track, but it wasn’t to be.

Crowded House Live Review Piece Hall Halifax

“Appreciative and mellow affair”

The vibe at the Piece Hall was quite the appreciative and mellow affair. This is a band who don’t need too much volume, don’t need lights to make a show, and certainly don’t have any gimmicks up their sleeve. It was pure talent, good music, and good quality humour up there on the stage. Bassist Nick Seymour made us smile with his shenanigans with the fantastic BSL interpreter.

Neil Finn showed respect to the beautiful surroundings he was in, but didn’t over indulge. In fact, repeatedly reading a sign referring to it’s abundance of “independent stores on every floor” in a voice over style worthy of using on a shopping centre commercial in the States.

Other favourites tracks amongst the Halifax crowd included ‘Pineapple Head’, ‘Show Me The Way’ and 2024 single ‘Teenage Summer’. ‘When You Come’ went down well with us Yorkshire folk, as did ‘All That I Can Ever Own’.

In all, we had around 21/22 tracks including a large encore.  Fair play to Crowded House for starting earlier instead of making the setlist more compact.

As the night wound down, the main set ended with ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’. And that was before Finn encouraged the packed crowd to join in with ‘Weather With You’.

Crowded House Live Review Piece Hall Halifax

“Musical icons”

A four song encore meant we had a whole two hours worth of Crowded House. And we took in and enjoyed every single note. Rest assured, we’d had another wonderful evening and a special mention goes to the staff at Loafers, who swiftly worked their way through the queue so we could enjoy their refreshing beverages!

So, when I was 13 did I think I’d be watching them in my hometown 33 years after being mocked for wearing that t-shirt? Nah, I couldn’t imagine being a gig-goer at 46 back then! But, here we are – and what a really enjoyable show. Another great performance from another big name in music.

Now… anyone got a spare set of keys for a Ford Granada…?

Images: Cuffe & Taylor 


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