PERCHED high in the Gods in the Playhouse, we peer down on gleaming

pates and lived-in faces.

Time has weathered Crosby, Stills and Nash; as, undoubtedly, have the

drug-dabblings, fraternal feuds, jail terms, and those cruel winds of

musical fashion.

Some wags yell for Almost Cut My Hair. The balding, rotund David

Crosby seems nonplussed.

Perhaps, as his compadres put it later, ''he's having an acid


Twenty-odd years ago those Siamese-close harmonies and soft-rock soft

pedallings were the sound of the happy hippie anti-establishment.

Nowadays CSN seem best known for that song about a house on the

building society ad.

Erstwhile colleague Neil Young would turn in his grave. If he were


But he's not, and neither is CSN's wistful appeal. The voices still

stand tall, packed together on that Marrakesh Express, rubbing up close

in Our House.

These, and other tracks from later in their ill-starred, stop-start

career, such as Taken at All, fly swiftly on the chorus of voices and

unstressed acoustic guitars.

On Southern Cross things are more dense, a masterly overlay of those

keenly pitched vocals and lusty strummings.

And when Crosby does eventually sing Almost Cut My Hair, his voice has

a mighty fine stridency that spans the decades.

Tie-dyed-in-the-wool old hippies they may be, but with Crosby, Stills

and Nash soft-focus nostalia never sounded quite so sweet.

''We're gonna have a short break for 10 minutes while David goes for a

joint . . .'' Nash jokes.


Old habits die hard . . .