I first saw Liam Finn in 2008 while opening for Eddie Vedder and instantly knew that I liked his one-man gang style. Back in those days it was mostly just Liam, wailing out a loop on the drum kit then moving to the guitar and adding a layer to the loop, then bass and so on, creating dramatic and energetic songs by himself that sounded like a full blown band by the end of the song. I had never witnessed such mastery of looping and was instantly hooked to his DIY music.
Liam was born into the world of music, his dad being Neil Finn, legendary singer for bands such as Split Enz and Crowded House thus making sense that he plays every instrument you can imagine, and well. His first two full length albums, “I’ll Be Lightning” and “FOMO”, he pretty much wrote and performed every note on them.
Now, with a few wise years under his belt, Liam brings his “Murmuration” residency to Union Pool every Tuesday in March. This time he is backed by a full band fittingly called Liam Finn and the Salty Woman, including multi-instrumentalist and songbird, E.J. Barnes, who has been Liam’s musical partner for many years. His younger brother, Elroy Finn, provides a pounding groove behind the drum kit, while good friends Saint Cecilia on the keyboard and Matthew Jack Eccles on the bass fills out the group. This is a ridiculously talented band as everyone plays multiple instruments during the ever-changing live set.
Liam seems most at home while ripping up on his classic 67 Fender while effortlessly crooning into the mic like on the new song “Ocean” which instantly filled me with emotions. I’ve seen 7 shows of his now, each have been very different in a good way, the ever changing set-list and the instrument changes always provide a new experience and a sense of adventure because you just don’t know what will happen next.
I cant’ say enough good things about this band or the new songs so check it out yourself and be sure to catch Liam Finn at Union Pool on March 18th and the 25th, for only ten bucks it’s the best bargain going plus you can buy the band some whiskey, make it Jameson, a double. Keep an eye out for Liam’s new album called the Nihilist coming out next month on Yep Roc records, the new songs are righteous!
Article and photos by Shayne Hanley