The award for Most Baffling Support Act goes to Minnie Driver, actress turned songstress, who is currently warming up the crowds for The Finn Brothers on their UK tour.
As we have been reminded in every bloody interview of late, Minnie has been singing forever and had a recording contract long before she ever made a movie. So we vowed not to write her off too quickly on Saturday night. She floated onto the stage to hopeful applause, reduced to a cloud of curls and a pair of levitating Hollywood teeth that gleamed like a halloween decoration under the dim blue lights. Rhi and I squinted to give her the once over.
"Wow, she looks just like a person."
"Except for her stomach. I'd buy her album if it came with a FREE stomach as flat as hers."
Her songs were… how can I put this nicely? Dull as dogshit. Her voice was husky sweet, the band was tight, she smiled and shuffled with lovely breasts that didn't move. But the songs had the uninspired "Woe is me, I'll cry into my cup of tea" depths of Dido.
This next one's about the end of a bad relationship. Of course I won't name names!
"Oh go on, Minnie! Name names!"
Now this is the title track from my album, 'Everything I've Got In My Pocket'.
"What has Minnie Driver got in her pocket?"
"A shredded photo of Matt Damon?"
Her set was mercifully brief.
"Well, nice one Minnie. That was pleasant enough."
"Yes. But if she wants fodder for a second album she'll need to shag someone more exciting than Matt Damon."
The Finns, on the other hand, were good value. Whether they're in Split Enz or Crowded House or solo or in their current brotherly incarnation, Neil and Tim in concert are the musical equivalent of coming home to your favourite comfy slippers and a cup of tea. They've never lost their charm or witty banter, and played an elegant mix of classics and new stuff.
Neil was youthful as ever, sporting a dodgy vest and bouffy hairdo that harked back to the early Crowdies days. Tim really stole the show for me, he looked a new man. Last time I saw him at the Opera House Farewell he looked truly haggard and struggled to hit the high notes. Eight years later he was all energy and crazy dancing with a floppy mass of silver hair. If he wasn't older than my dad I might say he was rather sexy.
I went bezerk with the camera, and here is a gallery of the least dodgy shots. I still haven't mastered the art of staying still, resulting in some freaky distortions. The happiest accident came during Dirty Creature. Tim danced round the stage being endearingly sinister while Neil strummed in the background – somehow it looks like he's about to rip his brother's head off.