As far as I’m concerned, the video for this song should be nothing but footage of flying over Sydney Harbour.
I don’t remember when I first played it on a flight into Sydney – I must have had my iPod on shuffle, and it was one of those serendipitous moments the world throws up every so often – but now every time I fly into Sydney I have to put this song on as we get over the northern suburbs and I watch the city of my birth roll under me, recognising suburbs and landmarks as we go (“that’ll be Jen’s place down there, now it’s Chatswood, and North Sydney, it’s Balmain and the bridge, and if I dropped something out the window now it would land on Alex’s [old] roof…”). It’s an instant nostalgic moment, and one I want to crawl inside of and never leave every single time.
My Mum’s probably thinking “yeah, so you haven’t played it much then…” right now.
They were such a great band, and Michael Hutchence was just a perfect front man: not a great voice, to be fair, but good enough when it was backed up by that extravagent confidence and his effortless louchness. They don’t make them like that anymore. I’m not sure what is my favourite INXS song (The Gift is tremendous, and Elegantly Wasted, but it’s probably something like Original Sin), but I always have a special place in my heart for this and Johnson’s Aeroplane and all those beautiful old tracks, so vibrant and alive, before they started making hits and the rest of the world caught up to Australia.
I saw them live in Centennial Park, along with the rest of Sydney and all the top bands in the country, for the Victor Chang memorial gig (Crowded House were the support, and when they played Weather With You it started to rain, so they played Four Seasons in One Day and the sun came back!) and they were incredible, coming back after breaking the erst of the world and showing us what they’d learned, and Hutchence had the whole place in the palm of his hand.
It was just wretched to hear of his death and everything that followed, but I still have a fond place in my heart for those nights in Milan when Bira and I would watch Rock Star: INXS as they looked for a new singer while we drank wine and argued about who was the best choice for them (Bira was always a Marty fan, and Trees was a great track, but I still think Mig was the right choice, as proven after JD won and was later kicked out, although Jordis was amazing too).
But none of that matters: this song is perfect and, although I realise it’s probably a subconscious plea for Sydney to be exactly as it was when I left every time I return, which is impossible and unthinkable, I can’t imagine ever returning to Sydney without it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNV0Y0EKKnA