Russell Crowe reveals how friend Michael Parkinson inspired his live music show Indoor Garden Party

19 April 2024, 12:28

Russell Crowe speaks to Smooth Radio
Russell Crowe speaks to Smooth Radio. Picture: Smooth/Global

By Tom Eames

Russell Crowe is one of the most successful and acclaimed actors of his generation, but he's also an incredibly passionate singer and musician.

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Russell is bringing his Indoor Garden Party show to the UK and Ireland - as well as a show at this year's Glastonbury Festival - where his band the Gentlemen Barbers and singer Lorraine O'Reilly will be performing their unique blend of rock, blues and folk.

Ahead of the tour in July, Russell caught up with Smooth's Jenni Falconer to chat about his love of music, how important it has been for him over the years and how the whole idea began in the first place.

Explaining how his friendship with the late Michael Parkinson sparked the idea back in 2009, he said: "Well, I was mates with Michael Parkinson, and he had this pub, and I was shooting the movie Robin Hood.

"We brought together these guys as the Merry Men. And just because it's naturally our band, we were just singing a lot of songs and everything. So we just decided to put on a little show for Michael at his pub. Ended up like hundreds of people turned out, the cast from Master and Commander and stuff like that.

"And it just went around the room, this idea that you have a central act on stage, but from any point in the room, something special can happen. And that's basically the idea for Indoor Garden Party."

On how music can be meditative for him as a break from acting, he explained: "There's a reset value to it. The example I use quite often is that talking on the set when I worked with Anthony Hopkins way back in the day, he'd just come off Silence of the Lambs.

"We were doing a little Australian independent film together, and he was going to go and do a season, I think, of King Lear. For him, that was the reset to get out of the type of film discipline and back into the theatre discipline, where every night you're running the beginning, middle, and end of a story, and you have to have the arc of the character in place.

Russell Crowe, Indoor Garden Party - Let Your Light Shine ft. Marcia Hines

"To me, you see, back when I started out, the first thing I did on my pursuit of a career in entertainment was walk out on the stage with a guitar and sing a song. There's an anarchic quality to a live concert where regardless of the set's planned or whatever, you never really know how each audience is going to respond and what might happen at the night, what stories might come up or whatever.

"Yeah, there's absolutely, for me, there's a reset part of that where it's like you drop all the pretence of playing characters and costumes and all that stuff, and you just walk out and face the music, so to speak, and see how you go."

Russell Crowe's Indoor Garden Party 2024 UK and Ireland dates are:


1 – Dublin, Gaiety Theatre

4 – Warrington, Parr Hall

6 – Paris La Cigale (France)

24 – London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

25 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

26 – Inverness, Eden Court