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Tim Finn & The Escapade Band LIVE at The Venue St Kilda 1983 tape to be released on February 1st.

TIM FINN and the Escapade Band Live at The Venue St Kilda 1983, is the 22nd release of the Australian Road Crew Association’s (ARCA) Desk Tape Series.

Tim Finn and The Escapade Band are the 22nd act to throw their support behind ARCA and Support Act’s Roadies Fund, via the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA)’s Desk Tape Series.

The Series was created by ARCA to raise funds to provide financial, health, counselling and well being services for roadies and crew in crisis.

The live recordings are made off the sound desk by a crew member – in this case sound engineer Richard Bilinski – and released on ARCA’s Black Box Records through MGM Distribution and on all major streaming services.

Thanx to Grant Matthews for the cover photo, Greg Noakes for other photos, Nprint for the cover artwork, Richard Bilinski for the recording, Phil Dracoulis for the mastering and Tim Finn and The Escapade Band for their incredible support for roadies and crew.  

TIM FINN and the Escapade Band Live at The Venue St Kilda 1983 live tape and all the ARCA Desk Tape Series recordings are available through Black Box Records – ARCA ( and the following: (Please paste into browser if it fails to work)

Apple Music / iTunes
Black Box Records
YouTube Music

Tim Finn put The Escapade Band together after the success of his first solo album Escapade.

It came together after Split Enz went on an extensive break after four years on the road.

Tim thought it was time for a solo album with some leftover tunes. Some like ‘Fraction Too Much Friction’ hadn’t fitted the Enz sound.


Tim Finn –             primary vocals, backing vocals

Ricky Fataar –       drummer, music director

Joe Creighton –     bass and backing vocals

Mark Punch –        guitar and backing vocals

Alan Mansfield –     keyboard/guitar

Sam McNally –       keyboards

Venetta Fields –     vocals and backing vocals

Mark Williams –     vocals and backing vocals

Wilbur Wilde –       saxophone

Joe Camilleri –       vocals, backing vocals, saxophone

Sunil Da Silva –     percussion


Simon Zaicz –        Production / Tour Manager

Richard Bilinski –    Front Of House

Monitors –             John Farrelly

Lighting –     Trogg

Stage –        Wayne (Bear) Rafferty & Colin Skals

Promoter:    Enz Productions

Artist Managers:                      Nathan D. Brenner & Simon Zaicz

Office Manager / Marketing:      Dave Ettleson

Office Coordinator:                   Fiona Rourke

After hectic Global touring in support of their hit albums, Split Enz took a break. 

Tim coalesced his new found freedom with a group of talented musicians and friends in Sydney, at a mansion owned by ex Beach Boys/Bonnie Raitt drummer Ricky Fataar and his wife Fashion model elite, Penelope Tree. What eventuated was an ongoing relationship that produced Escapade with guitarist Mark Moffatt. 

No one thought it would do as well as it did.

But it had too many great songs as ‘Fraction Too Much Friction’, ‘Made My Day’, ‘Through The Years’, ‘Staring At the Embers’ and ‘In A Minor Key’ which resonated with fans.

Released on Mushroom Records, Escapade went to #1 in New Zealand #8 in Australia.

At the 1983 Countdown Awards it took home Best Australian Album and “Fraction Too Much Friction” won Best Video.

Having dedicated a decade entirely to the Enz, Finn thought making the solo album as “really like having an affair.”

Tim explained: “It was exciting and sneaky and I just went off and did it – and it was a little bit naughty as well.

“But then I got caught! It became more successful than I thought it would and there was pressure to follow it up.”

Tim Finn and The Escapade Band Live At The Venue, St. Kilda 1983, came from two Melbourne shows at the Melbourne music venue.

The only other dates on the tour were two in Sydney. All four sold out instantly.

“We could have done more shows and made a lot of money,” Enz’s manager at the time, Nathan Brenner, says.

“But it was never about the money, it was always a labour of love.”

For Finn, the album was about making music with a whole bunch of new people.

The four dates extended the concept more.

He used some of those musicians on the album.

In the core studio band were Fataar who also played drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals; one time Stylus member Sam McNally on synthesizers, and US born singer Venetta Fields (Boz Scaggs, Tina Turner, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Humble Pie) on backing vocals.

Ricky Fataar  
Sam McNally
      Venetta Fields

Wilbur Wilde and Joe Camilleri of Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons had also made guest appearances.

The rest of the band included guitarist Mark Punch (Peter Blakeley, Mother Earth), bassist Joe Creighton (Billy T, The Revelators), Alan Mansfield (Dragon) on keyboards and guitar, Mark Williams (Dragon) on congas and backup vocals, and Sunil Da Silva (Marcia Hines, Renee Geyer) on percussion.

Remembers sound engineer Richard Bilinski, “The band had really great players, Ricky Fataar was a fantastic drummer, solid and snappy, and Tim was sounding really well and reaching those high notes.

“When it’s already sounding good, you just have to make it louder!

“The live tape captures the show, it’s got a great live feel and you’re really there in front, you can hear everything clearly.

“There were a couple of mistakes, I didn’t get the first song of the night, so it comes in as a fade.

“But the band and the audience were having a great time, and that comes across.”

Richard Bilinski, John Farrelly and stage tech Colin Skals had worked with Split Enz on their True Colours run.

After playing bass at high school and helping mates set up amps for their bands, Richard worked with Melbourne bands Dove and Stylus, before landing a job with Ron Blackmore’s Artist Concert Tours working on Australian and NZ tours with local and international artists.

On the live tape, ‘Fraction Too Much Friction’ and ‘Grand Adventure’ display burnished beats and piano, while they work in the spaces of the experimental song structures of ‘I Only Want to Know’ ‘Staring At The Embers’, ‘Through The Years’ and the vaudevillian ‘Growing Pains’.

These are what Tim calls “definitely performance songs – a chance for me to get a little crazy and do a dance, do my thing, be a little theatrical.”

They nail the gospel ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and ‘Made My Day’ and embroider Tim’s instinct for a gorgeous pop hook on ‘Livin’ In A Minor Key’, ‘Below The Belt’ and ‘Wait And See’.

Finn does a song he’s always wanted to do – Otis Redding’s ‘Dock Of The Bay’ as a duet with Mark Williams, lets Joe Camilleri sing his ‘Shape I’m In’ while Venetta Fields does a breathtaking acapella gospel ‘Good News’.

Both audience and band have a ball. But for the road crew the Venue shows had their problems.

The Venue was on the second floor, which meant carrying the gear up flights of stairs.

The stage was around 5 feet high with the PA placed on the wings, the venue floor developed a bit of a bounce along with the PA system so we had to keep an eye on that as the crowd jumped up and down.

Venetta Field had a costume malfunction, and had to run to the side of the stage for Bear to hastily fix the issue.

Tim inadvertently forgot to mention Alan Mansfield’s name when thanking the band.

He was so angry with himself that he punched a hole in the wall.

For Tim Finn, Escapade opened a lot of doors.

Within a year he would quit the Enz and work on a number of projects.

The picture of himself as a 7-or 8-year old in the inner sleeve of Escapade seems to take his journey back to New Zealand where he was born on June 25 1952 as Brian Timothy Finn.

The Finns are rock royalty today, and in 1993, Tim and Neil were appointed Officers of the Order of British Empire, for services to music.

These days Neil and his family – sons Liam and Elroy, and wife Sharon – have greater presence.

Tim’s children with TV presenter wife Marie Azcona, are also making their mark.

Son Harper, 22, is a guitarist. Daughter Elliott, 17, is a guitarist and drummer.

But way back then, as Tim has said, “I was the first Finn to cross the territory.”

As a youngster Tim was the one practising piano in the family living room for hours on end, and playing the organ in church.

He played in bands at high school but he would be 19 before deciding to make a career in music.

While studying politics and philosophy at the University of Auckland, he met like-minded souls.

He dropped out and Split Ends formed in 1972 (the Enz change came in 1975, just before their move to Australia).

He was the spark in the Enz, writing hits as ‘Six Months In A Leaky Boat’, ‘My Mistake’, ‘I See Red’, ‘I Hope I Never’ and ‘Dirty Creature’. Later in the Crowded House he co-wrote ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’.

It was eight years until they broke through with ‘I Got You’ and True Colours. But he says the Enz always had deep belief in their success.

“It was a delirious feeling, but it was a long struggle before that. We found an audience and we could finally pay our crew a decent wage.”

After moving back to live in New Zealand in his 40s, he found inspiration again.

Aside from eight solo albums, Tim collaborates with Neil and Enz members (the latest Forenzics with Eddie Rayner) and pushes his creativity in different ways.

There were musicals as Ladies In Black, one-man shows like White Cloud about his New Zealand heritage, The Fiery Maze based on a collaboration with the late poet Dorothy Porter, and an opera production Star Navigator, about James Cook and the Tahitian navigator Tupaia who sailed together on the Endeavour in 1770.

He’s been in movies as La Donna della Luna (The Moon Woman), The Coca Cola Kid and indie NZ flick Predicament.

He said recently, “The movies seem to come along once every 20 years and that’s fine by me.”

ARCA would like to thank the following sponsors of The Desk Tape Series:-

Sponsor                 Industry Roles
Showtech                Rigging                            
CMI                        P.A and Production                      
Clearlight                Lighting                                     
DSE Trucks             Transport                                   
Scully Outdoors       Outdoor Production           
Gigpower                Crewing and Staging                             
Lock and Load         Crewing                           
Chameleon Touring  Production and Lighting                         
JPJ                          P.A and Lighting                                             
Novatech                 P.A and Lighting     
Phaseshift                Lighting                                     
Show FX Australia    Pyrotechnics                     
Event Personnel Australia   Crewing                           
Norwest                  P.A and Lighting Production
Nprint                     Artwork

Ian Peel and Adrian Anderson
ARCA Co-founders and Directors.

Note from founders:-

“ARCA and The Desk Tape Series is a small way we can help our mates get some self-worth and recognition for their contribution to the Aussie music industry and help if they are in crisis. It is a great honor for us to be able to present these memories to all.”

All Hail Roadies and Crew

“Looking after OUR OWN with FEELING and a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE”

All enquiries contact :

          Adrian Anderson     0409 789 440
          Ian Peel                     0415 667 221

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