A musical take on the benefits of integration
Probably my favourite band over the last 30 years has been Crowded House. In lead singer and principal song writer Neil Finn, the Crowdies have a front man who at one turn can take you on a journey of emotional self discovery, and at another can simply extract the last possible ounce of pop from a foot tapping tune. With steadfast band members around him keeping his song writing honest, nothing about Neil Finn’s output is ever self indulgent, and the Crowded House back catalogue is a body of work of the highest order. Through the late 80s and early 90s, I had tickets for every Crowded House UK tour, plus festival events, and have also seen Neil Finn perform solo (supported by his wife and son) and as a duo with brother Tim. Always fantastic value for money.
Another band I’ve grown up loving is Fleetwood Mac, all through the various lineups and musical excursions. A soap opera of a band if ever there was one, the music is nevertheless captivating at all times. And if ever a band could prove that good things can come from adversity, then it’s surely Fleetwood Mac.
So I was intrigued to learn recently that Fleetwood Mac have parted company with singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Lyndsey Buckingham, with none other than Neil Finn stepping into the breach. A US tour has been announced to start in October, and my fingers are crossed that Fleetwood House will travel to the UK at some point. I’m already trying to imagine how the lineup will gel, which Fleetwood Mac songs they’ll do, whether there will be any Fleetwood Mac treatment of some Crowded House songs... It’s exciting stuff.
And why shouldn’t we be excited, when two products that are great in their own right are integrated to form something that has the potential to be even better. Of course when you want to hook up disparate systems you can be fearful of possible integration issues. But the benefits of tight integration are enormous, with the potential for improved performance and increased capability. And today, industry standards make integration easy, and it is often the route to exploiting the inherent capabilities of individual products which hitherto might have been unknown or unseen or simply too challenging to take advantage of. That’s as true in music as it is in automation. From a Fleetwood House tour point of view, for someone who’d definitely be looking to buy tickets, I can only hope that this musical integration project also helps to bring down the costs. Or is that where the analogy with automation ends?
Mark Simms Editor