The Church - C or D/S&D/CB&TT

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So one of Oz's greatest bands up there with the go-betweens and the saints, or vacant druggie fucks. Metropolis - acoustic version - beautiful evocation or druggie fuck?

Geoff, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Up until Starfish (their utter pinacle, the quintessinal "Church" sound, combining psychedelic jangley 60s guitars with lush synth textures) they were untouchable. The early garage-psych jangle of "Of Skins and Hearts" and the lush soundscapes of "Seance", the warm perfection of "Blurred Crusade" and "Remote Luxury". They truly were one of the most criminally underrated bands of the 80s. Classic and retro, yet at the same time totally of their time and strangely forward looking. They reached their pinacle with "Starfish" (the sublime "Under The Milky Way") and then sort of faded away. "Gold Afternoon Fix" was just patchy, and then the band suffered from personal conflicts and revolving door membership.

I must, however, say, that Marty Willson-Piper is probably one of the most pretentious human beings ever to have lived. But you can't blame that on the Australians, as he's from Liverpool anyway. You get the feeling he'd have been much happier in Echo and the Bunneymen.

exile on krumkill rd, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I always felt bad for them, because the Cure ripped "Under the Milky Way", added a moronic Casio riffette and Smith's ghastly punchable whine, titled it "Love Song" and cleaned up. Bastards.

dave q, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Their last proper album, Hologram Of Baal was my favourite rock album from '98, so, yeah, classic. What I really like about The Church is the fact that they can do the psyche-out texturology thing to perfection while still making great songs (see also the Kitchens Of Distinction). In fact I'm hard-pressed to think of many better *produced* rock albums than Hologram of Baal. Also Kilbey does the whole pretentious lyricism thing but in a thankfully quite understated way - usually.

Search: Heyday, Starfish, Priest=Aura, and Hologram Of Baal are the four pivotal albums IMHO, though I've never heard Seance which everybody seems to rate highly.

Tim, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Ugh, no, sorry, Heyday is a terrible album. It's like they set out to write a Great Album Of The 80s and then ruined it with all those horns. No, no, no, no. Bad Church. Oh, but the pretention of the lyrics is half of the point. Steve Kilbey is best known for some of the worst puns in rock. "Constant In Opal" oh, stop it. "Trance Ending" just cut it out. You get the feeling that he's one of those people who stares at doors for hours at a time, and if you go over and ask him why, he will turn to you with a blank expression and claim "but it says 'ENTRANCE' on it. I was being entranced."

exile on krumkill rd, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

You know, the connection between "Lovesong" and "Under The Milky Way" never struck me before. Upon reflection, there are similarities in tone, but the underlying chords are sufficiently different that it sounds to me like two songwriters with similar ears wrote similar- sounding songs.

Now, "Dreams Even Here" -> "Inbetween Days" or "Just Like Heaven" - > "All The Way" is much more blatant (although probably also coincidental).

Dan Perry, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hmmm. I paid some kind of attention to The Church from the debut up to Heyday, after which I gave up. I'd rate them as perennial Div 3 material - the odd engaging track, nothing dire, but ultimately not worth the effort.

The big drawback for me is that on the earlier albums, (I can't comment post-Heyday, except to say that the later albums are in every bargain bin I've ever rummaged through), they're pretty half-hearted in everything they do - never really rocking, never really letting rip on the psyche influences, just kind of chugging along....hoping. The productions do them no favours - Blurred Crusade, and particularly Seance sound muted and dull. The debut does have energy, and Remote Luxury has the best choons.

Biggest drawback of all is the drummer, Richard Ploog. You just can't pull off what (I think) they're attempting with such a wooden, plodding beat. Ploog has no feel and no drive and plays like he's holding a cricket bat in each hand.

Dr. C, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"Seance" is just beautiful, a real undiscovered gem. I like "Heydey" too, even the horns. I saw them on that tour, and was surprised how much they rocked. In the grand scheme of things, they may be a slight band, but I'll always pull those records out now and again. Ok, classic.

Sean, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I disagree with all of you. ;-) I've pretty much cornered the market on Church reviews in the AMG, so you can find more detailed thoughts there, but in brief: Heyday is great and the horns just make me think of the Teardrops anyway, not a bad thing, Ploog wasn't that bad but was replaced for some bizarre reason at points by bad drum machines on some earlier albums, The Blurred Crusade has so much energy to it at its best that I'm convinced Dr. C is on crack but hey ;-), Starfish succeeds much better as an encounter between LA studio boffins and the band's own bent than anyone might have guessed, and the recent albums have had plenty of highlights while the covers album A Box of Birds is flat out great. Oh yeah, and they can still blast through everything live and then some, Koppes in particular being the underrated guitar god. So yeah.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Two people in one day to accuse me of being on crack - first Nick Dastoor and now YOU, Ned! It must be true then.

Look, I've no idea what happened after Heyday, but on the evidence of the first 4 or 5 albums these guys are also rans, for f~@cks sake!

"The Blurred Crusade has so much energy".....

.....Then we mean different things by energy, Ned. Not that all music needs energy, but if you're attempting a kinda upbeat guitar pop- rock/psyche thing you'll be needing some. Yes indeed. Not on every track, but you'd better have some gas in the tank when needed. Some examples : "In Shreds" "This Perfect Day", "Reward", "Crocodiles". These have what I mean by energy. And decent drummers.

Dr. C, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

What, and you're saying "The Unguarded Moment" and "You Took" don't, to name two examples? ;-) I think this in part has a lot to do with Kilbey's singing style, which in its way makes things seem less immediately active than they really are. Strange but true. As for Ploog, I'm not saying he's a god among men, but he's not just sitting there.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Have you seen the video for... erm... I think it's "You Took" where all the band are playing in the middle of a forest, and Ploog is playing drums with two LOGS? I wonder if that was an underhanded comment on his playing style... (Though I do have to say, The Church were never a good band for videos. In fact, some of their most beautiful songs have been *ruined* for me by images of women in bathing suits and cloaks stalking through cartoon castles.)

Live, the Church RAWKED. This was always such a surprise, considering the gentle, textured, multi-layers of their albums. But when playing live, they became monster rock gods with blinding guitar solos. But when they ditched Richard Ploog for Jay Dee Daugherty, they didn't rock so much, so Ploog, in all his stoner glory, clearly was contributing something.

They're one of those weird bands who have had far more importance in my life, and on my friends' lives than they really should have.

exile on krumkill rd, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Ned - look at my first post - I said that the debut does have energy. I had "Unguarded Moment" in mind.

Where the f@ck do you see Church videos, exile?

Dr. Crack, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

They put out a video compliation! It's called... "Jokes, Magic, Souveniers" or something like that. I just found a copy while clearing out my record collection at my mum's house, so it's quite funny that this thread popped up at the same time. Back in the 80s, when I first saw many of the videos, they were ordered specially from Australia, and then we had to have a friend with the correct zone VCR dub them to a watchable format, so I was glad when the comp was finally released (around the time of Gold Afternoon Fix) in the US. Though I warn you, the videos truly are dire. Many bands of the same era had fantastic videos (The Cure, Love & Rockets spring to mind) but The Church just never quite got the hang of it.

exile on krumkill rd, Monday, 10 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

two years pass...
Two years later, time to revive this thread! (There have actually been a couple of other threads since.) Mainly doing this because I've just finished listening to a leak of the newest album, Forget Yourself. Last year's After Everything Now This was a very fine album and the tour with it equally great, but this, man, this is good. In fact I think this could just be their best since Priest = Aura, and I'm not saying this lightly. I'll need to give it a second listen to be sure on the point, but in terms of the band now perfectly adjusting to their mode of careful exploration and restrained power rather than letting all blast free, I think they've damn well nailed it. Really something, the tour should be grand.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 05:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Super! I didn't even know a new one was on the horizon. Be sure to come back with more details after listening a little longer.

(this leak -- was it via p2p?)

Andrew Frye (paul cox), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 05:33 (nineteen years ago) link

I'd be willing to check them out again. I still stick with my asessment of them as being slight, but a lot of life's pleasures are relatively slight.

Sean (Sean), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 06:09 (nineteen years ago) link

I had the pleasure of seeing the Church a dozen or so times during their ... heydey. Purely due to geographical advantages, being from Sydney. And of the many bands I was into when I first started seeing live performances they still pay repeated listening, and god bless them, are still performing. Marty Wilson Piper recently did a residency at the Sandringham (Sando) in which is a dog kennel sized pub in Newtown, Sydney.

mentalist (mentalist), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 08:55 (nineteen years ago) link

From their website:

"It has been confirmed that the album will be released in Australia on Cooking Vinyl through Shock Records in mid October. FY release date elsewhere is January 2004 in the USA (Spinart ) and UK/Europe (Cooking Vinyl), both special edition most likely with bonus disc, the delay being due to an error in the mastering/ manufacturing process. Australia won't miss out on the international special edition as there will be a unique re issue to coincide.....more to come.The Australian tour will start early November (stay tuned for venues and dates), and Europe and USA will be early 2004. HANG ON !!!!!Great things come slow !!!!!!"

But Ned, how did you manage to snag a listen? I thought "After Everything" was much better than I thought it would be, so I'm really looking forward to this one. And a tour, too? So cool.

Erick H (Erick H), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 17:11 (nineteen years ago) link

Connections, that's all I can say (and it wasn't p2p).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 17:23 (nineteen years ago) link

i think every woman that i know got a mix tape in 8th grade from some weenie boy with "under the milky way" on it, a concept that was so dud it was classic.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 17:40 (nineteen years ago) link

My favorite Church song is "No Explanation" off Remote Luxury ... once of those blissful happy sounding songs with completely despondent heartbroken lyrics.

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 18:56 (nineteen years ago) link

i found "Unearthed" in an old shoebox a few nights back. 1987hmmm did he split from the band or something? i get the feeling people hate this album . i like it more than i imagined.

kephm, Wednesday, 10 September 2003 22:59 (nineteen years ago) link

I think 1987 is when all the members started putting out solo recordings. Koppes' albums usually came out on top.

Andrew Frye (paul cox), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 23:09 (nineteen years ago) link

I think the band did an intentional temporary hiatus around that time, because Kilbey, Willson-Piper and Koppes all released solo debuts at that point. I like the album myself.


Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 23:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Actually, wait, you liked Koppes' the best? Wow, that's a minority opinion! Willson-Piper's are generally my fave.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 23:15 (nineteen years ago) link

(just put it on again) tyrant and judgement day have george w all over them

kephm, Wednesday, 10 September 2003 23:37 (nineteen years ago) link

The Church has a new song out? My childhood calls, and I'm praying it doesn't scream "rehash of warmed-over synths"

Nichole Graham (Nichole Graham), Wednesday, 10 September 2003 23:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Willson-Piper's songs within the confines of The Church are usually great, but left to his own devices I find he loses focus. Koppes is more restrained both with the band and solo and that makes repeated listening an easier task.

Kilbey's somewhere in the middle.

Andrew Frye (paul cox), Thursday, 11 September 2003 00:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah, "After Everything" was their best album since "Priest=Aura", so I'm interested to hear the new one. The title track was in my Top 5 of 2002.

blutroniq (blutroniq), Thursday, 11 September 2003 01:18 (nineteen years ago) link

They are one of the most consistently good bands I can think of, so I bet it will be a pretty great album.

As for S&D I actually (contradicting my above statement a bit) Don't like Starfish nearly as much as Heyday or also Remote Luxury (which I feel are the 2 best). This was one of the first bands I got into when I started listening to music. They have such a nostalgia for me, and thier sound only encourages this.

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 11 September 2003 01:35 (nineteen years ago) link

I've been listening to Forget Yourself for the past week and I can't think of many other bands (maybe The Cure) that 20 years into their career puts out an album as inscrutable as this. No one track has grabbed me in the same way that "Numbers" did, but as a whole the album is one big sprawling splat of brooding ruminations. Can't listen to it as a collection of songs, but as a linear piece. It reminds me more of T.Rex than anything else and I mean that in the best possible ways.

Best since Priest = Aura. And P=A is my fave album of theirs.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 11 September 2003 03:08 (nineteen years ago) link

Chris and Ned are taunting us, and I don't like it one bit.

Andrew Frye (paul cox), Thursday, 11 September 2003 03:38 (nineteen years ago) link

These guys are my brother's favorite band. I think they're like a wannabe Chameleons and pretty boring. Their only album I've heard of 4 or 5, that I think is more than so-so is Starfish- but their best of "Almost Yesterday" is 1/2 decent and 1/2 absolutely classic. Well, thanks because this is good stuff to pass on to him.

sucka (sucka), Thursday, 11 September 2003 04:36 (nineteen years ago) link

a wannabe Chameleons

As a Chameleons hyperfanatic, I see the point of comparison, but really I think they're two different bands with a slew of shared core influences in common, nothing more.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 September 2003 04:59 (nineteen years ago) link

Most of the Church's pre-Starfish albums are their best. Starfish is more or less where the rest of the world discovered them courteousy of Under The Milky Way. The Blurred Crusade is my personal fave, one of those rare beasts that you can play from woe to gowithout pressing the skip button once.

mentalist (mentalist), Thursday, 11 September 2003 05:00 (nineteen years ago) link

This isn't usually the case, but The Church's most popular album, Starfish, is actually my favorite. I usually dig it out every October and listen to it habitually for a couple weeks. At first, this practice was just a cyclic coincidence, but has since become a planned ritual...I may start early this year.

Andrew Frye (paul cox), Thursday, 11 September 2003 05:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Hologram of Baal is both my favourite of theirs and was, at the time at least, my favourite album from '98. But for some reason I never got the follow-up, as if one that album everything i wanted to get from The Church had been satiated. Was I mistaken? Will I like this new one if that's my point of reference? (I love Priest=Aura too).

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 11 September 2003 06:35 (nineteen years ago) link

Knowing your current loves, Tim, I'm of two minds -- you might find this mere frosting on the cake in some cases, but I honestly think this really is a particular step up, at least in terms of rearranging and reinterpreting their own passions and approach in a (for them) strong new way. Even if the follow up (I assume you mean After Everything rather than the covers album) didn't work for you as much, at least give this one a listen.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 September 2003 14:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Can't wait to hear this new one! Going to dig up Kilbey's "Remindlessness" tonite and play it.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Thursday, 11 September 2003 15:05 (nineteen years ago) link

[Box of Birds] is the sleeper in the Church catalog. Remedies both the energy crisis that slowly overtook them and their collective inability to write catachphrases.

Dock Miles (Dock Miles), Thursday, 11 September 2003 17:13 (nineteen years ago) link

six months pass...
Time to revive a bit, as the US tour is on and "Telepath" from Forget Yourself is so spectacularly good it hurts.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 02:50 (nineteen years ago) link

Search: "The Unguarded Moment", the GREATEST! INTRO! GUITAR! RIFF! EVER!!!!

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 02:56 (nineteen years ago) link

And wasn't it all mostly improvised off of jams?

I wasn't very impressed to see them live. I mean it was interesting and all but they were doing a partly acoustic set and the recordings are soo much better. Maybe if I see them do a full electric set it'll be better.

A Nairn (moretap), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 02:57 (nineteen years ago) link


A Nairn (moretap), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 02:57 (nineteen years ago) link

Was this recently, A? Because the last few times I've seen them it's all been electric to my knowledge. The report of the Saturday night show was megasprawling electric stoned weirdness, which I'm all for.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 03:00 (nineteen years ago) link

it was just after the release of after everything now this

A Nairn (moretap), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 03:03 (nineteen years ago) link

Blurred Crusade must be the greatest album released by any Australian band. Or maybe just the most influential.

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 04:04 (nineteen years ago) link

neither, but it's good

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 05:29 (nineteen years ago) link

for all his way with a tune, i have a low opinion of kilbey's lyrical "skills"

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 05:30 (nineteen years ago) link

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 12:03 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

Good interview with Peter here - gets into his final days with the band

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 22 January 2021 06:37 (two years ago) link

Great find, ET, thank you

Soz (Not Soz) (Vast Halo), Friday, 22 January 2021 09:18 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

best kilbey work in many a year imo

don't ask me why i posted this (electricsound), Saturday, 12 June 2021 13:54 (one year ago) link

Sounds good!

God, his solo catalog is massive. Could go for a guide or best-of or playlist.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 12 June 2021 15:01 (one year ago) link

I still rep for Unearthed and The Slow Crack. Narcosis is pretty excellent too, but I lost track sometime in the early 00s.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:44 (one year ago) link

I gotta break out Unearthed some time soon. Loved it.

Donald Duck Loved Walt Whitman (I M Losted), Saturday, 12 June 2021 22:32 (one year ago) link

Yes I loved that album! Earthed isn't bad but it's no Unearthed! "Judgement Day" is my favorite song featuring a drum machine. It was a mixtape staple back in the day because I didn't know anyone diehard enough to have solo Kilbey albums and it's such a good song :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 12 June 2021 23:43 (one year ago) link

Hard to believe it's contemporaneous with Starfish, the yin to that album's yang. "Nothing Inside" could have been a Church single I think, but "Othertime" might be the loveliest song he's written.

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 13 June 2021 04:52 (one year ago) link

I'll take this opportunity to strongly recommend Peter Koppes' latest project, Syncretism. The vocals and lead guitar are by Dave Scotland, who he first worked with in Baby Grande, SK's band prior to the formation of The Church!

I Advance Masked (Vast Halo), Monday, 14 June 2021 16:44 (one year ago) link

Ha, wow, there's some continuity!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 June 2021 16:54 (one year ago) link

More kilbey songs need drum machines, IMO.

Donald Duck Loved Walt Whitman (I M Losted), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:25 (one year ago) link

you're gonna *love* Remindlessness then

assert (matttkkkk), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 02:22 (one year ago) link


Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 17 June 2021 05:52 (one year ago) link

That album cover is very stoner rock, reminds me of 'The Black Code' by Wo Fat.

earlnash, Thursday, 17 June 2021 05:56 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Some good news on the reissue front. Intervention’s 2021 deluxe reissue of Starfish sounds beyond spectacular. If you're on the fence about it, just pull the trigger - it's that much of an improvement over what's been out there.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 01:46 (one year ago) link

Really. Very intrigued!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 01:56 (one year ago) link


assert (matttkkkk), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 05:18 (one year ago) link

I purchased the Intervention remaster on the basis of ET's recommendation above, and he's not wrong. Listening to it on my little-used SACD player, there's somehow much more of everything - which shouldn't be possible, but it underlines how superlative the engineering and mixing on Starfish was.

Vast Halo, Thursday, 21 October 2021 13:02 (one year ago) link

The EMI reissues were a great series, but the remastering on them was a little hot so... I'm in!

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Thursday, 21 October 2021 14:02 (one year ago) link

Yeah I prefer the original cd of priest=aura to the remaster for sure

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 21 October 2021 15:31 (one year ago) link

The original US Arista CDs in the late 1980s were remastered by Bill Inglot, one of the best folks doing such work at the time -- I specifically remember his prominent credit for doing that, a relative rarity then -- but I forget if he did the original issue of Starfish too but I wouldn't be surprised.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 October 2021 16:08 (one year ago) link

Starfish is guaranteed to sell pretty well, but the real get would be a remastered edition of the Remote Luxury/Persia/Sing Songs CD compilation

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Thursday, 21 October 2021 17:47 (one year ago) link

Mostly loving the remaster, it's cleared a bunch of the upper-mid congestion which made the tracks sound thick and unfocused - but not too much. The exception is UTMW for which someone has either EQ'd a mid bass hump or added something to goose the kick drum - it sounds like listening to the song while somebody thumps their foot along in time.
It's quite an odd sounding album in its way, I would like to hear these songs produced like Heyday was. Of course Wachtel ditching the band apart from Kilbey for UTMW doesn't help. I think Ploog was sidelined for a lot of it if I recall Kilbey's blog correctly.

assert (matttkkkk), Friday, 22 October 2021 23:18 (one year ago) link

Man that was an epic blog post

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Friday, 22 October 2021 23:45 (one year ago) link

If you thought Kilbey's was long ...
(only Ploog was ditched for UTMW apparently)

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 23 October 2021 00:05 (one year ago) link

and ther Kilbey one because it's hard to track down these days:

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 23 October 2021 00:16 (one year ago) link

just revisited Sometime Anywhere for the first time in a decade and was surprised how good it is compared to my recollection.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 23 October 2021 03:43 (one year ago) link

with some exceptions

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 23 October 2021 03:43 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Looks like Steve's going to do a big ol' catalog revisit:

Steve Kilbey's solo acoustic version / reinterpretation of The Church's 1981 album Of Skins and Heart, 41 years after its initial release.


'The first in a serious of acoustic reworkings of classic Church albums. Of Skins And Heart was The Church’s 1981 debut, and featured the band’s first major hit “The Unguarded Moment”. Steve Kilbey has reimagined the album for the 2020’s as a predominantly acoustic album. Steve’s unadorned guitar and vocals grab the listener from the outset and never let go until the final ringing notes of “Don’t Open The Door To Strangers”. These are brilliant performances of classic songs from a truly amazing songwriter.'

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 March 2022 02:55 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

"Back With Two Beasts" from 2009. It's really good! Missed it first time around.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 5 January 2023 20:35 (two months ago) link

Yep, solid stuff!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 January 2023 20:39 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I missed Television on their reunion tours, but I did get to see Verlaine once in late 1988: a solo acoustic set opening for The Church & Peter Murphy at the Hollywood Palladium. Verlaine joined for The Church’s encore of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer” and then The Church’s own “You Took.” A spectacular 3-guitar blowout. The Church were touring Starfish and just unstoppable live. Kilbey later writes in his book that Ploog was playing so fast because he wanted out of the band and therefore would finish the set as fast as possible.

No recording of the LA show exists but two other nights of the tour with Verlaine are here: (SLC sounds good)

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 30 January 2023 02:15 (two months ago) link

Ha, you have reminded me that I really should get that book.

Have heard an advance of the new album -- it's solid, I think maybe a grower, but I will be very interested to hear it live.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 January 2023 02:17 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

New one is good sounds to me more like a Steve Kilbey collaborating with (X,Y,Z) album than a Church album.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 24 February 2023 10:11 (one month ago) link

With both Willson-Piper and Koppes gone, we're deep into Ship of Theseus territory. SK is undoubtedly the wellspring of inspiration, but so much of the appeal of the classic Church era derives from their fantastic musicianship and sound.

Vast Halo, Friday, 24 February 2023 11:51 (one month ago) link

username checks out

assert (matttkkkk), Friday, 24 February 2023 21:34 (one month ago) link

Hey c’mon, he replaced them with the guitarists from two of the most boring bands of the ‘90s — that’s real value!

least said, sergio mendes (sic), Saturday, 25 February 2023 18:38 (one month ago) link

I missed Television on their reunion tours, but I did get to see Verlaine once in late 1988: a solo acoustic set opening for The Church & Peter Murphy at the Hollywood Palladium. Verlaine joined for The Church’s encore of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer” and then The Church’s own “You Took.” A spectacular 3-guitar blowout. The Church were touring Starfish and just unstoppable live. Kilbey later writes in his book that Ploog was playing so fast because he wanted out of the band and therefore would finish the set as fast as possible.

No recording of the LA show exists but two other nights of the tour with Verlaine are here: (SLC sounds good)

I saw the Denver date on August 18 of that year. It was a really good show.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Saturday, 25 February 2023 18:48 (one month ago) link


I will say that I think Ian Haug's style meshed really well with Koppes on Further/Deeper.

Vast Halo, Sunday, 26 February 2023 14:54 (one month ago) link

yeah I saw them on that tour and the band was dece tbf

least said, sergio mendes (sic), Sunday, 26 February 2023 18:57 (one month ago) link

Hey c’mon, he replaced them with the guitarists from two of the most boring bands of the ‘90s

Bores of the new Church

Man, I had a tape of a show from the Starfish tour — I think it was even a King Biscuit Flower Hour or some such, I taped it from the radio — it was fantastic and I've never found it on the internet.

I was a big fan but didn't really follow them in the later years. But then they came through my hometown a couple years ago (last tour with Koppes I think) playing Starfish and then lots of later stuff and I was totally blown away.

three of the doctor's valuable bats are now dead (broom air), Monday, 27 February 2023 17:28 (one month ago) link

I had a cassette of a Westwood One recording from that era, it was only about 40 mins long, as it was shared with another band (can't recall who), but it was fantastic.

MaresNest, Monday, 27 February 2023 17:45 (one month ago) link

Yes! That's the one I'm thinking of. Aside from its being great, I just remember that it was heavy on the Starfish cuts and ended with Hotel Womb. Would be great if it turned up somewhere.

three of the doctor's valuable bats are now dead (broom air), Monday, 27 February 2023 21:38 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

So delayed reaction here but The Hypnogogue has ended up sinking in with me -- it took a couple more plays but it's its own enjoyably moody listen. Meantime the show this past Tuesday was way better than I would have hoped for. Wrote up a lot of thoughts for the weekly Patreon:

Ned Raggett, Friday, 17 March 2023 18:22 (two weeks ago) link

Whoa, Steve Kilbey is 68? Looking at his bio, I guess he was already 27 when they released their first album.

I've made a mix of the songs they're playing on this tour to study up for my first time seeing them live, and it's really striking how consistent they are across the decades. The songs from The Hypnogogue sit quite comfortably next to the songs from Seance, with just a few 80's production signifiers to distinguish them.

enochroot, Friday, 17 March 2023 19:29 (two weeks ago) link

Whoa, Steve Kilbey is 68?

It's crazy to realize it but totally true! And you're correct about the consistency but it's not a flaw in the slightest, more just a real continuum, and you can sense the difference between eras easily enough -- the turn towards crypto-prog in the late 90s on was exactly what they needed.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 17 March 2023 19:32 (two weeks ago) link

I'm seeing the Denver show tomorrow. My first time. Super stoked!

I can't tell if he's trolling or not (ilxor), Monday, 20 March 2023 18:16 (one week ago) link

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