posted on March 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

earth to kilbey earth to kilbey

in 1986 not content with all the other malarkey i was involved in

i release a book of poetry and an album of music by the name of earthed

earthed is an ambitious conceit and its a hodgepodge of styles

like i had the idea of doing this book/record thing

but i kept running out of real creative steam and

was sometimes doing it a bit by numbers

yet it does have good stuff too

firstly the book

well its called poetry but its really just a series of

only just slightly connected things

theres some flashes of brilliance and theres some real awkward tripe

some big ideas that i didn’t have the wherewithal then to execute

but always its ultra steve kilbey and all that you’d expect from him

circa 1986

yeah greek myths drugs music religion magic ancient history

all that stuff its dripping in it

and weird little vignettes and that kinda thing

its all mixed up

my life was a dream of pot and travel and music

it was like a living dream and some of that is transferred to the book

some of the book was taken from my previous book the crowd invisible

which only existed as a dozen or so copies photocopied and clipped together

so i nicked the best of that

and the rest i just wrote over a few months

later on in a second edition i added nineveh and the ephemeron

the former a series of poems revolving around the biblical city nineveh

the latter is about Erskine the magician in a series of prose poems

both are quite different from earthed and from each other too

however as i can’t write books and review them with any honesty

i don’t really know know how good  any of it is but at least its trying

trying too hard sometimes but it aint all just nothing

somethings coming through at least i hope so

the music contained on the earthed album is all over the shop

theres everything all of it instrumental

pianos howl sadly

cellos crunch

guitars scream in the surf

orchestras like a toy soldier band

grinding squirming basslines

its good its bad but its not that bad

theres shuddering drug like experiences

pristine little bits

noisy emotional things

some lovely sad melodies too

i did it all myself so there you go

the good and the bad that go along with one geezer

doing everything himself

eventually karmic hit released a version of earthed

with 8 extra tracks with me reading selected poems (gee)

i have a very limited number of these cds available

each one will include a new cd sized piece of art

and a (customized) signature

15 aust dollars including postage to SKP people

25 aust Dollars including postage for non SKP people

only about 25 or so left be quick if you like on the paypal

also coming within next 2 months earthed plus collected other poems

in updated book with a foreword by graham nunn

stay tuned !

love me



mr d rundle had this to say on the matter of earthed


Read your comments on Earthed on the web (ps I’ve got about 5 different versions of it at least so I don’t need it again) –but can I just say you have way undersold it.


The first copy I got of this was an vinyl picked up second hand at rice’s book shop in newcastle – I was sort of just just becoming  a fan of the church, I’d bought and sold Heyday whilst at uni 3 or 4 times to and from the same shop (poor school student) . But it took me a long time (3or4 trade in’s) to realise how much I liked it and then eventually loved it!  After Heyday I’d gone through the back catalogue etc. Earthed came out  whilst I was at uni and I knew about it sort of wanted it but couldn’t get to sydney and didn’t have the pocket money for a new one but then it popped up at rice’s second hand like a gift from the gods probably not that long after it was released. At this stage I’d never seen the Church live (first time was the I think just pre release of starfish tour in Newcastle possibly 87 or 88 another story)


Anyway back to Earthed – this record sealed the deal for me – it made me a real fan of Steve Kilbey the musician not the rock star. The flow the sounds the instrumentation on that record just blows me away – it was like nothing else I’d heard before and nothing else I’d heard since. I was even more entrenched in how you played and recorded everything yourself in bedroom studio’s. It’s was so arty it’s what I call ‘Alternative’. It’s a journey from start to finish little excerpts that flow perfectly to the next song all sorts of weird subtle little noises – for me this album changed everything and I began collecting every thing you ever did from then on– began hanging out for the new stuff as soon as I could get it. Began annoying all my mates about how good a musician you were. Sold sealed and delivered that album is historically significant and an absolute masterpiece – it’s one of your best ever in my opinion and one of the most listened to – the only one’s I would have played more often is probably Priest and Remindlessness which are probably my all time favourite albums. I’ve loved everything you’ve ever done but earthed is definitely one of the special ones.



David Rundle

74 Responses to “earthed plus etc etc”

  1. avatar
    verdelay | 12 March 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Earthed (particularly the book) and Remindlessness are the two (written) works of yours that I rate most highly. It’s the high concept, the resonant vibe, that mix of existential post-post modernist metaphysics, Ballardian sci-fi, and a grandiose mythopoeic sweep that connects ancient Illyria with cold war Berlin and a sort of Reagan-era LA that stands in for the future. I always found this aspect of your work the most compelling; it permeated The Church from the very beginning but reaches its apogee in these two works in particular (I should probably add Narcosis to that, but that comes from a much darker place). Nineveh and The Ephemeron stand up very well with the best of Earthed, and the latter work especially links it with Remindlessness, creating a semi-coherent body of work.

    The style seems to me to be one of “augmented autobiography” where the actual events of your life are blended with the things you had been reading and then taken to their illogical conclusions. For me it brought back to life the sleeping world of the ancients and made uncanny sense (!) of the swirling present, and I owe you a debt of gratitude for this alone.

    I am still looking forward to the TITANICA, though I may of course have to write this myself!


  2. avatar
    Boriah | 12 March 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Bought it a couple of years after it´s first release. Have my copy on vinyl. Love the artwork. That mask on the sand. The sharp nose. My fav song is “The dawn poems”. You used the music and added some lyrics afterwards for a song in “The slow crack”. But the instrumental version is ten thousand times better than the one with vocals.

    Earth yourself, now.

  3. avatar
    colette | 12 March 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    All part of the process, has to be gone through… should be more experimentation. I don’t mean on your part, I mean widely. Please keep me a copy, I’ll pay asap because I’m trying to be good, nice and more importantly, sincere – I hope you noticed, so I’ll also dutifully say I love you 🙂

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 March 2012 at 6:08 am #

      then we love you too!

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 13 March 2012 at 2:09 pm #

        Do you want to know??? Re:Earthed I listened to u & another sing & play 1 evening in 2007. & my thoughts were wouldn’t it be nice to have this music without the words. Nxt day I head to valley to c if there is an item I can pick up thinking yr a cash strapped musician. & behold I grab this CD & yr book. Which I love. But as always God provided before I even asked. Beleive if I held u to it u would also have to pay my mortgage, somewhere after my purchase I read your words that if I bought the book and the CD you would pay my mortgage. Probably in your old blog site. Beleive u were in the valley markets as we crossed paths missing each other. Who was the man waiting for me as if expecting me. Or was he one of the Heavenly Fathers angels.
        Have blessed year in everything.

  4. avatar
    Ryan | 12 March 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    There’s some really good stuff in Earthed. I found an old copy on ebay years ago, and ordered the karmic hit rerelease for the extra tracks of you reading the poems – a lotta poets are terrible at reading their work. You seem to be one of those few who can read just about anything and make it sound cool.

    Ninevah is some of your best IMO. It makes me want to travel. It was those kind of images that first spoke to me in Destination, Hotel Womb, etc when I first heard you guys. Ninevah is better than archaeology. It brought those worlds to life, their decadence, the sadness that always speaks through fragile flesh, the inevitable end, and those long slow centuries of drifting sand.

    What ever happened to the crowd invisible? got any kicking around?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 March 2012 at 6:07 am #

      crowd invisibles are all gone long gone im afraid….

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 15 March 2012 at 11:58 pm #

        I searched for this for 8 years after it was mentioned as being ‘forthcoming’ in a 1982 Kerrang article – they called it ‘The Crowded Visible’! Only found out in 1990 that it’d never come out. Didn’t it vanish after some former manager nicked off with the roughs and lost em?

  5. avatar
    . | 12 March 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Earthed is definitely a must have. I like to listen to it when the afternoon light is just right and times and places long passed seem to materialize in my mind’s eye. Neuman and Atlantis will take you somewhere else…

  6. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 12 March 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    I most definitely would like one of the 25 or so that are gonna fly out of your hands fast. I’m gonna b leaving for the hospital in a matter of hours and will be off the ‘radar’ for well over 100 hours ( ur blog site will be a friendly companion during the many hours) , can u please please please save and put one on the side for me and we can work out the details asap ????????. I am not well, as u know. But, I believe your holding medicine in ur hand in and I’m Gonna Need It Bad !!!
    I am so nervous about today, if my pain specialist is a mm off Target, it can be a complete gamechanger/lifechanger.
    So, what do you think of the ‘warmer’ ? Have or are u using or tried it out? Did ur sweet angels like their shirts? I hope Scarlets fits well , and she likes the color yellow as much as my K.

    I’m really really nervous today , its early am on Monday here in Chicago. I can’t remember the last time I slept. Am I doing the right thing SK???? Or , or, ….I don’t know….
    Please- say a prayer for me, and hold one of those treasures on the side for me.

    Thank you,
    Darrin JK as…Dazzman (“*”)

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 12 March 2012 at 11:45 pm #

      Your hair looks great in todays pic !!!!


      • avatar
        Once | 16 March 2012 at 10:34 am #

        Daz – I was just thinking the same think…that unruly lock over the forehead takes 20 years off…gorgeousity!!

        Sending up prayers for your well-being, mate!


    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 March 2012 at 6:06 am #

      we hope you get much better
      holding a record aside for ya!

    • avatar
      Anonymous | 13 March 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      May God the Heavenly Father do all that is best for you in this situation. His Kingdom come His will be done in this situation as He knows what is best and what is needed in all things. May you also be blessed with quick and full recovery. I ask this in Jesus name amen. Thank you Lord.

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 13 March 2012 at 5:45 pm #

        Thank you so much, that was very kind.
        May blessed almighty shine down upon thee and
        Keep and you cherish safely in thy arms.

        That was very special to read , today was a very difficult day.
        Complications a plenty, but now I must be still and rest for
        My body to heal thyself (hopefully quickly- pretty please…)


  7. avatar
    betty | 13 March 2012 at 12:19 am #

    I still have my copy of Earthed, I’ve always especially loved the untitled piece that begins, “I am creating a room for you…”

    • avatar
      verdelay | 13 March 2012 at 7:41 pm #

      dear betty, I still have my copy of Earthed, too.

      I have just re-read the piece you mentioned, the one that starts “I am creating a room for you”. City of Women was playing in the background while I read it in my dining room on this drab grey morning in early spring, too early for blossom, but the earth is brimming with possibilities. It is early in the twenty first century, and I am now nearing forty.

      Of course, I once knew all about this room, having read and re-read the passage innumerable times in the past. I read about it in on a friend’s verandah in Brisbane early one morning after a party when I was a teenager; I read about it late at night in my garret room in North Melbourne at the turn of the century; I read about it as the storms broke over a sweating Houston summer some seven years ago. But this morning it was like discovering that room for the first time.

      I wonder how many rooms and spaces are like this? Eternal, ever-present, forgotten…?

      It is a reminder that another world can be found in the very next room, on the very next page, in the very next words to fall from the singer’s mouth.

      Sorry, must end this now…The Reality Generators Malfunctioned


      • avatar
        thetimebeing | 14 March 2012 at 6:43 am #

        lovely stuff harry!

      • avatar
        betty | 26 March 2012 at 9:34 am #

        Beautifully said…it’s a reminder of how different my life is now from 20 years ago…feeling nostalgic, and a little sad…

  8. avatar
    Estelle M | 13 March 2012 at 1:50 am #

    I will have to purchase a copy once it is released.

  9. avatar
    Estelle M | 13 March 2012 at 2:50 am #

    …and by that I mean Earthed +
    ^_^ looking forward to it.

  10. avatar
    hippy | 13 March 2012 at 3:21 am #

    I bought it in ’88 when it came out on Rykodisc. It cost an arm and a leg and was worth every penny.

    PS: Re: March Hair–I thought you had the best hair in rock esp the Heyday album cover photo.

  11. avatar
    SecondSightMusic | 13 March 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Thanks for the info on this amazing album. I always thought that the fact that it was instrumental work but with a book included is what made it so cool and artistic.

  12. avatar | 13 March 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Nice to hear your insight on this. I remember buying it as soon as it came out…many years ago. And getting the book autographed by you; twice!

  13. avatar
    Tanya | 13 March 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Yes, have that in vinyl & book. I remember being so intrigued by both. Been carrying around that little book for years. Not the album though…a bit cumbersome to cart around especially without a record player. it sits in a box for now. I even had my artistic sister pencil a rendition of your album cover for me – wanted to see how’d it turn out. Thanks for prompting up some great memories Mr. Kilbey. Adore your ambitious conceit & your hodgepodge musings!

  14. avatar
    Boriah | 13 March 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Tried to buy the Isidore new stuff through Amazon but apparently there´s been another delay: now the release date is 19 March.
    As for the improved “Earthed” album, can I paid by credit card? I dont have that fucking paypal shit.

    Stay hungry.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 March 2012 at 6:31 am #

      dont have credit card thingys YET…..

      • avatar
        Boriah | 13 March 2012 at 6:40 am #

        ok, I´ll wait then.

        • avatar
          eekie | 13 March 2012 at 7:51 am #

          You can use a credit card through PayPal. It just works as a credit card processor in that situation (you don’t need a PayPal account).

          • avatar
            thetimebeing | 13 March 2012 at 9:01 am #

            did you see that boriah?

          • avatar
            Boriah | 13 March 2012 at 7:42 pm #

            Thanks Eekie. For the painting, I remember I contacted Holly and she sent me a paypal site so I could use my credit card. Then, for the album, who do I have to write to to purchase it?

            Steve, in this sense, the page isnt so friendly cause I sometimes want to buy things but dont know how to do it or who do I have to write to. Any guidance here would be so much appreciated.


  15. avatar
    eekie | 13 March 2012 at 6:18 am #

    “eventually karmic hit released a version of earthed
    with 8 extra tracks with me reading selected poems (gee)”

    I bought this specifically for those 8 tracks.
    Well worth it I thought as hearing them read by someone good at that (not all are) brings a new and often better feel to the pieces.

    “also coming within next 2 months earthed plus collected other poems
    in updated book with a foreword by graham nunn”

    Exciting news!!

  16. Kraig
    Kraig | 13 March 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Hey Steve…i’m definately sending you the money your way, so keep a lookout. I bought this CD way back probably in 88 or so…but didn’t give it much listen at the time. It rubbed off on me and i enjoyed it later a lot more!

    I’m a SKP’er, so with the 15 AUD are you saying that the fifteen includes shipping or do you need extra shipping included? Thanks & Cheers! Looking forward to Earthed with the bonus material!


  17. avatar
    Stewart | 13 March 2012 at 8:24 am #


  18. avatar
    andy | 13 March 2012 at 9:14 am #

    got the karmic hit version of earthed yonks ago…..
    picked-up a signed copy of the book at the infamous ‘chairgate’ gig!

    • avatar
      Anonymous | 14 March 2012 at 1:57 am #

      You said ‘Chairgate’! No, no, we don’t say this Chairgate! It’ll be ‘who the fuck is Rick Maymi?!’ next. Then The Wag. Then Veleska’s attributes. Then Barry. Then…aargh…So please, Neptune drood, cease mitt der Chairgate!

  19. avatar
    Jesiah6 | 13 March 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Picked up a copy awhile back at Karmic Hit. Interesting to hear the instrumental track that became “Favorite Pack of Lies”. Loved reading the Earthed/nineveh and the ephemeron too, like a fever induced book of dreams.

  20. avatar
    Admin | 13 March 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Re-released Earthed/Nineveh/Ephemeron book will include a new painted cover by Master K, and will also feature never before seen pics, PLUS his book Fruit Machine and other collected works. Lets just say – no one has this beauty!

  21. avatar
    danny | 13 March 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Earthed was a very ambitious project…I have it on vinyl as well…unearthed too…brings back vivid memories of youth…simpler times…lost loves

  22. avatar
    Narelle | 13 March 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    please save me a copy…will check in again later today
    PS first shop I walked into in Canberra last friday…playing Destination…your old home place stills loves you Steve
    came within minutes of not arriving at my destination that day
    the funny thing was the flight took two hours from Sydney…we came so, so close of returning to Sydney due to fog in Canberra…over two hours of going nowhere we were only then, in the nick of time, given the clearance to land in Canberra

  23. avatar
    danny | 13 March 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    SK…of all the people you toured with over the years…who were the biggest assholes?…the coolest?

  24. avatar
    Chaotic Embrace*+* | 13 March 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Iv been educating a professor/solid friend of mine of all things SK (all medias baby…how schizophrenic is that – my fellow child of almighty)
    I forwarded todays blog entry to him and asked for feedback. With in 20 minutes he responded and texted “yep-hez brilliant , now what???”
    “A unique self descrption of a time long past but still present, shy+ witty,
    requires no need for declaration though gently asks for it. I should have just
    believed you in our first conversation. And lunch is on me”

    Another being converted for the trip onward and up>^

    Embrace ‘*-*’ ¡!¡

  25. avatar
    M E M | 14 March 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Personally, I believe you have a novel in you, if not several..

  26. avatar
    Once | 14 March 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Hi SK! And friends. Been awhile, been getting all artistic and shit, redecorating.

    Memory of my only copy of Earthed. Got it from a discount store and was hanging out with my best bud. We were working at a Domino’s Pizza at the time, he had the CD on ‘im…took out garbage and accidentally dumped the CD. So I go ballistic – and I’m like, “get the CD!!!” He has to dig thru the nastiest dumpster EVER and get this thing. Always had fragments of garbage attached to it. Not concurrent with the quality, of course.

    I’ve never given it a proper listen (cuz I wasn’t proper back then), but dug the poetry (pages stuck together)…I think that “Earthed” is the greatest SK composition EVER, so I’ve gotta give this one a spin…

    UN – earthed? Sounds enticing.


  27. avatar
    Once | 14 March 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Oh, sorry – had that backwards! Just found Earthed (it still kinda smells bad, but that’s our fault)…giving it a spin. Thank you, SK – for even doing this in the first place. Wow!

  28. avatar
    Once | 14 March 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Oh, holy shit…dawn chorus…omg…yes, I remember, but that memory hits me with more impact now…


    Damn, you are a fucking GENIUS! This, from an American 47-year-old liberal-minded nice person…I truly love you…the tour de dumpster did quite a jobbie on it…skipped to track 4…a-fucking-amazing.

    Ok, I shall revel in person now. Night, all. 🙂

  29. avatar
    Admin | 14 March 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    We’ve had a few enquiries as to how to order your Earthed copy. All you need to do is paypal Steven to his paypal account address – with your correct payment. $15 for SKPers, $25 if not a member.

    If you do not have paypal, you can still use their services but choose the option of a credit card payment.

    Please then email me at with your preferred shipping address and we will get your copy out to you pronto. Hope this helps!

    p.s. We will have the shop and cart system up and running soon, we’re currently organising stock availabilities so we have some lovely new additions to offer our friends.

    p.p.s For those SKP folk still awaiting their Isidore – we should have new stock in the coming week. Please check in with me if you are still waiting and I will make sure to include you in the next mailout. Or if you’re not an SKPer and would like to purchase a copy, please also email me and I will get you sorted.

    • avatar
      Boriah | 14 March 2012 at 6:15 pm #

      I´ll send you an e-mail today Sam. Thanks for the help.

  30. avatar
    Michel | 14 March 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Earthed is the center of an extraordinary musical journey immersing you out of this world until you reach Starling Street.
    “The woman who was married to love” is the highlight for me, a kind of perfect merry-go-round, an endless spiral I love to dive in.

    A regret : “Atlantis” should have been a “real” song, I mean it probably deserved the same fate as “The dawn poems”. Personal point of view though…

    I won’t order it as I already have three copies (Vinyl, Red Eye Records cd, Monsters n Mirages one). That guarantees a lifetime of listens !

  31. avatar
    eekie | 14 March 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I always get a kick out of the word malarkey.
    Conjures up quite an image.

  32. avatar
    Ingrid | 14 March 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi SK, I’d love to get a copy of this (and hopefully you will have a copy left by the time I organise my Paypal). Anyway just have to go to bank and transfer some funds but this may not be until Friday.

  33. avatar
    JJO | 15 March 2012 at 3:23 am #

    We played Uninvited Like The Clouds at my Nana’s wake on repeat. That wonderful music made total sense on that day. Thanks . great to have a national treasure in the Church.

  34. avatar
    . | 15 March 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I found my vinyl copy and gave it a good long spin
    Looking further, I found my second copy, almost in mint condition
    Still in the original rykodisc packaging, it seemed to glisten
    Amidst all this chatter about the past work of the time being
    I couldn’t help but resuscitate those memories with a fine listen
    And though my CD copy is nice, watching vinyl turn is distinctive
    As it spins slowly on the record player, I’m taken to another dimension
    Where Neuman walks beyond the horizon and paints with precision
    A picture of his Aurora and other ancient inventions

  35. avatar
    Once | 15 March 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Had a lovely evening last night, re-living the glory that is Earthed. I still think that Unearthed (wait…gotta make sure I got this straight…earthed, unearthed – I’m like a dog who doesn’t whether to bury or roll) is the best SK ever, but Earthed is just…well…”charmed” in some way. It carries an aura. Not equal to priest. LOL!!

    Again – thank you so much for this incredible record!!

  36. avatar
    Once | 15 March 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    …and i have to say, i love it when you offer personal commentary on previous works (whether your own, or with others); it gives them life (even tho they stand alone as fabulous) and makes them even more accessible to others…well done, mate!! Looking forward to more…


  37. avatar
    Steven Krut | 15 March 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Mr. Rundle’s words swayed me.

  38. avatar
    colette | 16 March 2012 at 3:03 am #

    I meant to say re your photo, you look like a sweet, humble, slightly reluctant, possibly long suffering schoolboy about to do show and tell 🙂

    • avatar
      Once | 16 March 2012 at 10:21 am #

      LIKE. It’s a lovely photo – no malice whatsoever. I hate to use the word, “hot”, but…well, it’s appealing.

      That is all.


      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 17 March 2012 at 10:26 am #

        I love the word : confiscated
        It is so exact and direct without excuse…”guess what ??? , the stuffs not yours (ours) anymore”.
        “It’s really gone for good this time….”
        ” it’ s been confiscated !!!! ”

        { dim lights …its over }


  39. avatar
    colette | 16 March 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    (Or expo-say as mature folk say).

  40. avatar
    shawn_el | 16 March 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    I always loved the Earthed record. I got my copy in 1999 in the course of snatching up everything I could find by […] Loved that it came with a companion poetry book.

    Atlantis, The Dawn Poems…so much of another world.

  41. avatar
    M | 17 March 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Seeing that CD immediately transported me back to 1988, Starfish tour…behind the Tower Theater, Philly.

    My friends flocked to MWP while I scanned the dark alley and found you, Earthed clutched in one hand, sharpie in the other. We spoke for a few minutes, but all I remember hearing was: “It means a lot to me…that you like my poetry.” You signed the book and shook my hand then a large group of fan boys approached overtook the situation. Fan boys aside, it was pretty magical.

  42. avatar
    Lenny Vegas | 17 March 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Hey man~ thems lefty rigs…

    • avatar
      Wayne | 17 March 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      Yeah, and the disc he’s flogging is Dehtrae by Yeblik Evets…

  43. avatar
    hellbound heart | 17 March 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I have a lovely lovely vinyl edition of Earthed but alas, I don’t have the book (yet)
    Earth takes me back to a time of a very different being….
    Love always…..

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