posted on January 23, 2007 at 11:53 pm

i tried fiendss
i checked into mo-tels n ho-tels
do you have the internet?
ah..we do..but its not working right now
jesus h christ australia
even the smallest ma n pa place in the states
had the internet…most of em hi-speed wireless
yet ya stay at a good hotel here…..nothin’!
i tried at airports
i tried backstage
most backstages in the states have wireless internet
i mean c’mon…
anuway enuff grizzling and excuses
(perhaps the real reason was i couldnt be bothered!?)
(but thats not true)
anyway i left you in the new modernized adelaide hairport
where they do have free internet…very enlightened
but then what we ya expect of a state that decriminalized pot
we fly to melby-welby
uh oh rain rain rain
we rush strate to ye olde giggle thru the rain
its about an hour outta melby
we turn up n its sloshville, muddy n slightly rainy still
people appear n disappear in the porta -loos
i am amazed to see olde friends sammy s n donny b there
gee i meet ed kuepper n peter oxley
everybodies talking about some folk guy who was the bees knees
theyve moved the gig into a tin shed..its too wet outdoors
indeed its bucketing down now
we go on after ed k who has the crowd going wild
we immediately encounter problems
the bass cuts in n out
everything sounds weird n wrong
the crowd
who have been waiting patiently in this huge tin barn
are natchally disappointed
more delays
my banter falls on mostly flat ears
we play but its a struggle
we never take off let alone transcend
the crowd begin to leave bit by bit
the festival is way over time
it is a black teeming night outside
and many have kids..
after milky way most of em go
leaving a cuppla hundred true cherch fanss
who cheer us on
we do an ill-advised encore
afterwards i stand in the dressing room
which is really some sort of cricket club
glumly sipping red wine n smoking spliffs
i chat to ss n db n the lil lord who has turned up
but my hearts not in it
for whatever reason we were completely underwhelming tonight
we coulda kicked a goal but we got sent off the field
the ride back thru the black cold rainy nite
(hey melby..what happened to summer?)
i sit at the back of the bus
ah its a real kilbey moment
dog tired…half tipsy from the vino
stoned from the pot
our minibus glides thru wet avenues
people in the cabin talk softly
i can hear them thru my ipod playing something amby
i see the lights on the drivers control panel
beautiful little red n green points
i forget the gig
and let my mind drift abroad
im so happy for the drive into melb
cos im not there at all
and thats where i like to be
a rude shock to arrive at hotel
and have to pile out
unload suitcases n etcs
my room is ok but its got no windows(!?)
i naively check to see if theres any internet…ha ha
i fall asleep heavy black dreamless
the next morning i get up
have a toasted tomato sandbo n a pumpkin soup at cafe next door
we fly to coolangatta brissy for 2 hours n im nervous the whole way
have been listnin very much to john foxx /harold budd records
but its calming tones cant cut over the engines roar
we arrive in coolangatta(think florida)
i feel depressed n empty
its hot
its vacuous
we are a support groop at a huge unfeeling venue
i go to hotel do yoga n have a swim in the warm pacific
i walk thru the vines n lianas of greenmount
back to gig
a long tedious soundcheck
mwp n pk fucking round with their amps etc
no dinner
just a cuppla cold veggie sausages
we go on and…..
we slay em
suddenly im transformed into joe rockstar
i ponce all over the stage posing bumping n grinding
i make a loada mistakes but no one cares
tim n marty are laffing their heads off at my antics
the crowd really seem to like us
i play the humble card
“gee folks…i didnt think you was gonna like us…”
we really play well
block is a scorcher
and we get an encore killed only by the house lights coming up
afterwards we meet martin from pretenders
and then la hynde herself appears shaking our hands
and being very nice
ah ha this has been good night
the next morning i do my qigong n yoga n my room overlooking the sea
i go n have swim
i meet others n have hash browns, baked beans, avocado, tomato
spinach on turkish bread plus a watermelon pineapple n ginger juice
a bumpy flight home but ya cant have everything
my family are pleased to see weary olde daddy-boy home
bumper jumps up into my arms and wont get down for ages
nk n i have a romantic night but overindulge in everything
today im feeling well hung over
i think i need to go back to bed actually
but i hadda write sumpthing 1st
to ya all
cos im a responsible person
and i have a duty
the blogge must go on
so there you go
adelaide =6
harvest = 4
coolangatta = 8 n a half
tomorrow i fly off to ho-bart
in tas-mania
see ya later

60 Responses to “absent without leaves”

  1. avatar
    damien | 24 January 2007 at 12:50 am #

    Great to hear from you again, chief!

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 12:57 am #

    It must have been those good quality Tweed heads that got you cranked Professor! Great road trip journal, your slavish responsibility towards your blog and Daily Readers is much appreciated and we salute you, even if we’re not allowed to wave our Australian flag…

  3. avatar
    Richard | 24 January 2007 at 12:58 am #

    Saw you at the Annie’s Lane gig.

    My fears of a washout continued right up to last moment… I swear the sun came out just as you hit the stage.

    Loved it all.

    Metropolis was a hoot. Reptile and Two places at once (songs that had never really grabbed me before) were fantastic.

    It’s been a long while since I’ve seen you live, but I’m sure I’ve never seen you have so much fun.

    Seeing you alongside the Pretenders brought home something I don’t think I’d quite put my finger on before.

    You hinted at it in your blog on Sunday.

    I’m not big on the Pretenders but they WERE incredibly polished. Not a missed note or technical glitch. No occasion for ‘banter’ such as you managed in the pregnant pause before UTMW.

    I think I recognised all but one of their songs. In fact, the songs were pretty much indistinguishable from what I’d heard on the radio or at nightclubs twenty or so years ago.

    They were basically a really, really, good Pretenders tribute band.

    You blokes, on the other hand, were a bunch of really good musicians doing inventive and imaginative covers of your own songs.

    I knew all the songs you played back to front but there were several I didn’t recognise until a few bars in.

    My wife, who organised the whole trip as a christmas present, is not a big Church fan (which partly explains her choice of gigs). She is more happily challenged by a book than a song. There was no conversion at Annies Lane – but she was mightily impressed by how MUCH (compared to the others) you four put into your songs.

    You are always out to transcend.

    Which (sort of) brings me to EMS – which I bought at Annies Lane.

    Gave it a few runs on the hire car’s stereo and thought it was pretty good. Now have it on the NAD at home (on lap three) and it’s just fucking great!

    Two duets(!). A Triffids cover (if you’re thinking of a follow up – “Trick of the light” maybe?). Electric lash with real drums. NSEW sounding brand new. A toe tapping reptile (sssssss!!!). Tant-ric-talised. Two Places sublime.

    Newbies growing on me quickly.

    Looking forward to not immediately recoginising “Song in the afternoon” next time I see you.

    Here we go!

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 12:59 am #


    I was starting to break into a cold sweat ’cause it’s been so long since your last blog.

    Have a good rest. I appreciate your sense of duty to your blog and us daily readers.

    – Matt

  5. avatar
    Melquiades | 24 January 2007 at 1:03 am #

    you must’ve heard me making a purchase at cherchmerch. like Vishnu gifts you appear right after. good to see your words. listening to Dabble right now. love this.

  6. avatar
    ambnt1 | 24 January 2007 at 1:05 am #

    Joe Rockstar,

    I bet Chrissy want to join your groop now.


    n.p. Redshift, “Toll” (outer space sequencer freakout fest)

  7. avatar
    Melquiades | 24 January 2007 at 1:07 am #

    now listening to track Mystic Western.

  8. avatar
    Melquiades | 24 January 2007 at 1:17 am #

    drifting in the back of the bus. heavy black dreamless sleep.

    mmmmm……sounds delicious.

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 1:20 am #


    hello hello hello!!!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    so good to hear from you again. yeah, i had imagined that was why you were so quiet~~it’s not like you. no way to connect to us fiendss. but we were patient. we knew that you would return soon and we’re just as happy to hear from you as your family was to see you.

    **ewww** so much rain. well, don’t worry~~you may be wet but you will NEVER be washed up, heh heh heh.

    enjoy your brief time off with your loving family.

    lotza love……

  10. avatar
    Imber | 24 January 2007 at 1:30 am #

    Hey SK!

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to your show. Sounds like it was quite a night!

    Hope you make it to Bris sometime this year.

    I also have to say that I love “Bordello”. I think it’s one of the best songs you’ve done.


  11. avatar
    CSTCoach | 24 January 2007 at 1:36 am #

    howdy time being!

    good to see ya back from what sounded like the edges of civilization. No wireless!!!??!! i’ve stayed in $2 hotels in nicaragua that had wireless, AND a bleeding dog. Ok, not wireless, just the bleeding dog.

    the last gig sounds sublime. happy to hear that you were fully on.

    hope you make it back to north am this year!


  12. avatar
    MarkM | 24 January 2007 at 1:44 am #

    Nice to have you back SK….I was missing my daily hit of your wit and prose.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 1:59 am #

    El Momento Siguiente ***** as usual

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:04 am #

    come back to the states. Soon!!! I’ve go a pad near DC that’s all yours..

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:05 am #

    does this mean you’ll be in the states soon. just to blog away..

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:22 am #

    this is your mother!!!! did you water the lilies?!!!!!

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:28 am #

    Thanks for the update! We really do care…


  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:31 am #

    so who played with you guys at me Harvest Fest???

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 2:49 am #

    welcome back sk!

  20. avatar
    Melbourne Girl | 24 January 2007 at 2:57 am #

    The Church shit on The Pretenders. Four times over! I didn’t go to this concert in Melbourne just cause of Chrissie. She was a C*** of a thing on stage a couple of years ago. I hope she is nicer now.

  21. avatar
    captainmission | 24 January 2007 at 2:58 am #

    yeah its good to have ya back, the ‘stone’ brother and sister may be the folk band you talk of, they hail from my neck o the woods, apparently they are the bees knees although i have never heard them play.
    anyway hope yr refreshed and happy.

  22. avatar
    JJ | 24 January 2007 at 3:08 am #

    “Coolangatta”,,,,,sounds exotic, Tasmania too. Glad the ship took flight there on aural wings. Your breakfast description sounded yummy, now I’m hungry. Nice to find those places on the road – little pleasures add so much.

    So, what did Ms. Chrissy have to say?

    I keep checking the letterbox for El Mo Seg. Anticipation runs high within my hut. Have some fresh Appalatian ready to celebrate it’s arrival.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 3:14 am #

    Hi Steve,

    thanks for today’ blogge – if I wasn’t looking forward to the sandalford gig I am now!!!!!!!


  24. avatar
    Cita | 24 January 2007 at 3:14 am #

    How cool is it that you are still playing after all these years. When I thought about it..Wow… what a wonderful thing it is to still be able to hear you play. We are all blessed by the sweet sounds of the eternal space rockers.

  25. avatar
    the dean | 24 January 2007 at 3:24 am #

    I’m enjoying the new album.
    wide open road is an inspired choice but after everything is sublime, says it all.

  26. avatar
    Andromeda7 | 24 January 2007 at 3:47 am #

    rok on jimmy dean

  27. avatar
    fergal | 24 January 2007 at 3:49 am #

    good one sk … glad u space-rocked suuny queensland in style yet again …


  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 3:56 am #

    hmmm, 8.5 ay. i wonder what you’d rate yourself at shows i’ve been to. i’d love a dvd of something you rated a 9.5 or 10. but as you know, it would be like looking at a picture of a fire or sunset…you gotta had shoulda been there….no smokey smells and crackling hissing popping wood, no warmth.

    you are truly dazzling live!

  29. avatar
    stealthblue | 24 January 2007 at 4:25 am #

    Glad it all worked out, man. Sounds like over all it was a pretty cool time…you know you love it, even with all the ups and downs. 😉 It truly is a great existence you have, mate. Plus, it is just brilliant to get home after doing what you gotta do, and feel all loved by your snuggly little family, isn’t it?! Anyway, thanks for thinking of us and letting us “tag along.” I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving so much to the world. Much peace and love to the Kilbeys, and all you other space rockers out there. Puff, puff, give, Yo…
    Ben V.

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 5:16 am #

    Now, you know I’m not one to give unwanted advice…


    If you are at Moorilla Estate and you like the red wine then you must have some of their pinot noir. Trust me, it’s good gear…I wouldn’t lie to you on this. Have a great show.


  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 5:22 am #


    Pleshigiine ande-kiniin.



  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 5:32 am #

    Hmmm…the 8.5 show you do without dinner, then go wild on stage…seems like the same thing happened last August in Chicago if I recall correctly. You um, skipped dinner, imbibed quite a bit and were just wild, wildly funny and entertaining…haha…anyway, glad to hear from you. I’m insanely jealous of anyone that gets to see/hear ya in the pouring rain, blinding sun, transcending or not.

    Thanks for checking in, with all the ups and downs. Must be nice to know that your family, friends and fiends here at the TB love ya no matter what.

  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 5:51 am #

    so, do tell. has chrissie H had a face lift?

  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 7:03 am #

    glamorous life in the fast lane. you lucky bastard. must be nice. good read this time of course. vivid vicarious life for me. keep up the good work. sk the perfekt role-model. life as art. art as life. a modern greek-god of sorts. sk the man with golden wings. plus you are 10,000 miles away from gw bush who certainly is the anti-christ.

  35. avatar
    Krissythegroupie | 24 January 2007 at 7:11 am #

    Ed Kuepper?!? Wowww..that’s so effing cool.

  36. avatar
    limebeaver | 24 January 2007 at 7:20 am #

    I was at the Harvest gig, i thought you guys rocked, despite the crappy circumstances… thanks for giving it a good crack. I’m very glad to read you again, what a trooper. I’m off to brush my tail for the Rochford gig on Saturday.
    Loving your work, as ever.


  37. avatar
    don joe | 24 January 2007 at 9:00 am #

    fun fun fun!!! oh the want to be on the road again. the timelesness, the transience the feeling of not being held down by something unwanted.

    Thanks for the refresher Steve.

    don joe

  38. avatar
    fantasticandy | 24 January 2007 at 9:06 am #

    i agree with kissy, ed is one of the coolest aussies ever. steve, your readers are so well versed.
    love the way you keep it real!
    belfrank tells me EMS is an absoulute stormer!
    how come i’m not at all surprised?
    luv,andy L.

  39. avatar
    The Carrier of Fruit | 24 January 2007 at 9:24 am #

    Hey SK,

    Looking forward to seeing/listening to you and the lads on Sunday. Perth is supposed to be 38 degrees in the shade. Make sure you bring an appropriate hat, we all know you wear many.

  40. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 10:12 am #

    SK, looks like I’m going to let all these summer festivals pass me by, and hope that a quiet night in at Manchester Lane for the EMS launch is still a possibility??


  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 11:22 am #

    Tried to get tickets to the Coolangatta gig but all sold out.
    That Pissed me off

  42. avatar
    MAVE | 24 January 2007 at 11:34 am #

    Hey SK

    I stood among the rising anticipation of the crowd, that saturated day at Harvest.

    Jostled by the those who clearly indulged in hours of harvest vino… and continually jabbed in the arm by some a-hole’s cigarette, I wondered how much longer I’d be doing this “waiting for the guys to come on stage” stuff. Not just that night, but in the future in general.

    I mean, it’s been nearly 27 years. Since the old Village Green days (now that brings back nauseous memories!), there have been few Chruch gigs I’ve missed. Did I have the stamina to endure more obnoxious drunks and 7ft beefcakes pushing in front of me, while waiting for the show to start?

    But then that distinct bass line of “Unguarded” started. And doubts of my own longevity disappeared into the humidity.

    Even when your bass cut out. Even when things were sounding weird n wrong.

    I’ve been coming to your gigs all these years because you NEVER DISAPPOINT. Never. Not once.

    And while you say there are times when the transcendance aint been there for you… you still ALWAYS provide the transcendance for the punters who come along and listen.

    Thank you. Sincerely.

    As for those who left, bit by bit. Well… you’re right, the rain, the lateness, the kids. It would be safe to presume their departure had little to do with your actual performance. I was just relieved I didn’t bring my own kid (avid Chruch punter too) that day. Woulda been a right bummer if his endurance didn’t match the length of the gig.

    After an ethereal drive back to Melby (heightened by the odd scoob & some El Momento II) (BRILLIANT, by the way), I tiptoed into my house where my son (5yo), bleary-eyed, was waiting for me. “Did they play Easy, mama?”.

    If you’re playing at next year’s Harvest, I promised him he’s coming.

    Keep on keeping on, Steven.
    Seeya on Saturday night.

    p.s. I also saw Sam S. in the crowd on Sunday. Wanted to tell him I loved The Hive, but didnae have the guts. Next time you see him, tell him for me will ya? xx


  43. avatar
    matthew | 24 January 2007 at 12:59 pm #

    So great to hear the cool’n’gatta gig went so well! good stuff, you guys deserve it.

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 1:16 pm #

    Hope the rest of the tour goes well!

  45. avatar
    restaurant mark | 24 January 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    glad you had a great show after the not so good show…no matter how much you prepare and are ready to play, technical difficulties will get ya at some point. take care man…glad you’re back with us.

    i’ve only heard the new el momento tracks on myspace, but they sound great…love the sitar on tantalized, who played it…i picture you doing it

  46. avatar
    davem | 24 January 2007 at 1:53 pm #

    Welcome home gaffer.
    Glad you slayed ’em.
    I can’t wait for my copy of EMS to pop through my post box even though it won’t make up for missing the gigs. Come back to blighty soon.
    Love you more,

    Dave M

  47. avatar
    daniel 30, 13 | 24 January 2007 at 2:19 pm #

    Wonderful news:

    – April 20, 2007: heaven street seven opening for the church in Paradiso (Amsterdam)

  48. avatar
    (('{~_~}')) | 24 January 2007 at 2:35 pm #

    nk n i have a romantic night but overindulge in everything
    today im feeling well hung over
    i think i need to go back to bed actually
    but i hadda write sumpthing 1st
    to ya all
    cos im a responsible person
    and i have a duty
    the blogge must go on
    so there you go

    Hangovers. don’t they feel worse the older you become! I try to avoid them big-time now.

    What a devoted blogger and hubby you are. Pleasing both the wife and the fiends.

  49. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 24 January 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    i see the lights on the drivers control panel
    beautiful little red n green points
    i forget the gig
    and let my mind drift abroad
    im so happy for the drive into melb
    cos im not there at all
    and thats where i like to be

    Love that visual, mellow vibration.
    Thanks for making the TIME.

  50. avatar
    mandn | 24 January 2007 at 4:31 pm #

    Good to “see” you again Orpheus,

    Thougth I’d missed out on so much as I
    haven’t been available for the last few days
    myself. Nice to know I’m not the only one missing
    time and connections.

    Bogged down with far too many pictures
    of cars and potential projects to feel like
    an artist these days… :p

    Take care, take flight, and take em away

  51. avatar
    mandn | 24 January 2007 at 4:31 pm #

    Good to “see” you again Orpheus,

    Thougth I’d missed out on so much as I
    haven’t been available for the last few days
    myself. Nice to know I’m not the only one missing
    time and connections.

    Bogged down with far too many pictures
    of cars and potential projects to feel like
    an artist these days… :p

    Take care, take flight, and take em away

  52. avatar
    John Garratt | 24 January 2007 at 5:12 pm #

    If only I had a job where I could ‘slay’ people.


  53. avatar
    nic | 24 January 2007 at 6:25 pm #

    SK – you never cease to amaze… thank you for thinking of us fiends whilst on the road..the loyalty is reciprcated BIG time!
    SOOOOOOO happy to hear from you again !!! xxxxxx

    (I agree…lucky NK..lucky fiends!!!)

  54. avatar
    davem | 24 January 2007 at 7:15 pm #

    What’s this Amsterdam, April 20th date?
    Is this a European tour…please God?!!
    Nothing on the official site. Got it all crossed..prayer mat out as well. Where did I put my lucky pants?

  55. avatar
    davem | 24 January 2007 at 7:26 pm #

    It’s true. Amsterdam. April 20th. Here’s the link.

  56. avatar
    craig1.618 | 24 January 2007 at 7:38 pm #

    “I tiptoed into my house where my son (5yo), bleary-eyed, was waiting for me. “Did they play Easy, mama?”. “

    Hey Mave…..just thought I’d let ya know that when I read that line I felt my soul surge with joy for you two. Simply beautiful. What an adorable image. Thank you for sharing.

  57. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 8:35 pm #

    hey Mr. K.

    been missin’ ya… thx 4 sharing the experience – no further comments + yeah john foxx is kinda cool… the electric whatever in metamatic… hm

    luv’ etc etc etc

  58. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 January 2007 at 8:49 pm #

    Amsterdam – sob- a mere week before me birthday – sob – why am I stuck here in the States?????????? Yes I’m a greedy Yank – I want you here again, soon!

    Ok seriously, I knew there was something I forgot to write – they gave you a room with NO windows?? Is that common there? I guess I am claustrophobic and didn’t know it but that image just freaked me out. I’ve probably seen too many horror movies or I’ve read too much Poe or something because I know I’d lie there in bed thinking they were going to seal up my door and 75 years later someone would find my bones in bed. LOL! I am a sick puppy sometimes. Or I’d think about a fire. I’m a bit neurotic! Sorry SK, it’s true. Plus I have insomnia. 🙂
    love you with all my deepest midnight neuroses,

  59. avatar
    Samosanx | 24 January 2007 at 9:19 pm #

    well hello!
    thanks for the postcards!
    Tas will be fab

  60. avatar
    rubikon | 30 January 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    Hey, we guitarists like fucking about with our Amps n’ guitars n’ effects n’ stuff – it’s ok for you 4 string pluckers – you ain’t got so much to fuck about with – you haven’t even got as many strings as us 😉

    Wish I’d seen your Joe Rockstar bumping a grinding.

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