Live shows from long ago… Split Enz 1980 (Second Coming)

May 6, 2022
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Split Enz, Town Hall, Wellington, 1980

GARY STEEL wrote this review of the homecoming heroes’ second 1980 Welly gig in the first edition of In Touch magazine.

Okay, so the first Capital City Enz gig this season was a washout and the boys in the band need a severe reprimand for their infamous lack of rehearsals prior to the concert.

A chat with drummer Malcolm Greene revealed, as did other informed sources, that pre-tour rehearsals were somewhat lacking. Not only was the first concert under-rehearsed, but there was something intangibly amiss.

But their return-demand-concert quashed any doubts about our Enz. A truly great band put on a concert to match.

 

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Many of the more MOR-ish crowd had obviously returned for seconds, and from the beginning, everyone knew that this was THE GIG. This time, the band didn’t spurn the audience’s praise.

They lavished their most on the crowd. Tim Finn brought forth with the old discarded patter, and the band were out to have a good time too. Not to sweat and perform in agony, but to give out the good stuff amid pleasure.

The sound was right, the band was tight and seemingly inspired, audience alight (well, nearly. Someone let off a flare which stopped SE mid-track and got the authorities more than an iota worried).

And surprise! The song list was different. They performed seldom-heard numbers like ‘Horse To Water and ‘Twist And Shout’, plus the usual fare. And for the faithful, a modern-day classic that was criminally left out of the first gig’s programme: ‘Poor Boy’.

Eddie Rayner was the man of the night. He scuttled about between keyboards in dark glasses. The previous night (in Christchurch) he had taken sick and Finn and Crombie had depped in his absence. Under the weather or not, Raynor stole the show in his own inimitable way. The sound was his you see.

I can’t say much more without going overboard in true fan abandon. The night was magic and everyone (well, me anyway) went home in stoned eccentric ecstasy.

 

Note: This would appear to be a second date arranged later in the Trooping The Colours tour to promote True Colours, but I’m not sure. Maybe a dedicated Enz fan can provide the exact dates. My review of the first gig in Wellington.

Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

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