Neil and Sharon Finn in Byron
WE DON’T know a lot about The Pajama Club, but what we do know is this band won’t be left in bed.
With the Finn name attached, we know we’re in for something special.
The Pajama Club is Neil and Sharon Finn, Alana Skyring and Sean Donnelly. The first song, from their upcoming debut, From A Friend To A Friend, the title track, is trademark Neil Finn – beautiful songwriting, simple production and an overwhelming sense that you’re lying in the wide world looking up into the night sky.
We’re lucky enough to have the band playing at The Northern in Byron Bay on Saturday next week. It’s one of only four gigs they’re playing in Australia and it’s the first gig they’ve played anywhere in the world.
Pulse speaks to Sharon while the band is rehearsing at home in New Zealand.
The album has been recorded, and won’t be released until August, but it’s not the first time she has featured on a record.
“I have been on albums, but not on the bass and drums,” she says. “I’ve always just been put on the bongos or tambourine for recordings, so it’s been really exciting for me.”
The name of the band and the way it all came about bear a striking resemblance, too.
“We were just playing music at night in our pyjamas and were having some fun in the music room and decided to tape it,” Sharon says. “Listening back we realised it was pretty good so we decided to take it further.”
And The Pajama Club was born.
Sean Donnelly, a well-known electronica, pop rock and soul musician in New Zealand, provided extra layering on the record and will be heading to Australia on tour as well.
Former The Grates drummer, Alana Skyring, also adds to the live act, acting as slippers on your feet, so to speak.
The last we heard of Skyring, however, she was leaving the music world for a life of baking, and that was only in January.
“We didn’t know anything about her with The Grates but she has finished her course – she finished with honours actually,” Sharon says. “But she came recommended. We saw her and she had a nice smile and then she sent through some of her stuff and we really liked it. She’s here now rehearsing. She’s a lovely girl, which is really important.”
You might think a family band could work for the Finns. Why even worry about getting in other musicians when your two sons, Liam and Elroy, are multi-instrumentalists?
“We have talked about (forming a family band), but everyone is so busy doing their own thing it’s just never happened,” Sharon says.
Liam is forging a successful solo career and is about to release his sophomore album, while his younger brother is touring with pop band Cut Off Your Hands on drums.
“It’s hard to get everyone together at the same time,” Sharon says. “When we are together we always jam, of course, but we’ve never recorded anything.”
As for playing the first gig, Sharon admits she’s a little nervous.
“I think all musicians – everyone – gets nervous, so of course we are,” she says. “But it’s going to be really good, we’re really excited.”
The Pajama Club play The Northern on Saturday, June 11.
Pulse has three double passes to giveaway to The Pajama Club's debut gig in Byron Bay. To win email firstname.lastname@example.org your name, address and contact details and tell us in 25 words or less why you deserve to share the Finns' first stage performance as The Pajama Club. Entries close June 9.