posted on December 17, 2007 at 4:20 am

flew into melbo on a dreary sat afternoon
raining dark and cold
weather in sydney: perfect
and yet
melbos denizens had always embraced us more warmly
than sydneys golden children
right from the word glow
when we were beginning
they could more easily dig our trip…
the forum is big old ballroom or something
a warren of corridors backstage
leading into mysterious darknesses
that i did not care to check out for myself
when i arrive at soundcheck
the divs are playing
they certainly “rock”
the church played their s/check with en-rikko mi-ami
on drums
hed also filled in on bass when i was absent with dying ears
(its ok ma, theyre dead now)
him and jorden brebach our soundmixer
could probably replicate anything we ever did
when these guys offer some advice we listen
wheres tim?
my more astute fiendss are asking theirselves
well my little pigs
timmy-bouy was dubble booked
appearing at the spiegeltent
with iota
an important and prestigious gig
booked before the divs thing came about
he finished there
fifteen minutes after we were s’posed to s’tart
he leapt off stage at the tent
ran down the main drag of melbo
carrying his cymbals
one moment hes playing in the s/tent
have you heard iota fiendss
a cat with an amazing voice
currently doing well in the musical circuit too
and i can see why
rocky horror
hedwig and angry inch
and now
a ballet thingy
you can imagine the tent
and the crowd there
tim playing his gig
(and he loves this gig as much as the church, i’d say
much less stress)
then the gig ends
not really sitting back and relaxing
and getting over the sheer physicality of playing (drums)
he runs off stage hot and sweaty
grabs his cymbals etc
and legs it down this lovely boulevarde
past museums and galleries
some street comic busking a gig spots ‘im
hey runaway drummer hes stolen those drums !!!
tim runs past flinders station
and down that street to forum
(lucky these gigs were in running distance)
its a clammy wet warm night
people drift pass
its surrealistic
if you just jumped offstage
how many of you have ever trodden the boards?
you dont think doing yer thing up on a stage
while people watch and clap and cheer
is an addictive hit?
a gnawing nagging desire for more
you get clean of the feeling
you dont play for a year
2 or 3 gigs
you start getting the hankering again the yearning
anyway tim pushes through saturday nights people
through another door
then everything changes
hes entered a world
of 2000 people in a big room
drinking and laughing
me and the other 2 standing round
anxiously waiting for timbo to show
suddenly he appears
we gonna leave out a song to compensate the lateness
ricki runs out and starts playing his rogini
an artificial indian drone
the band mosey on out
church fans scream out
and divvy fans remain impassive
whats it like
walking out on stage
well its always different
sometimes im nervous
sometimes im calm
sometimes im tense and shivering and shaking
sometimes im so fuckin’ blase its a joke
tonight i stride on confidently
all i eaten today is a mini-strony
i am eating very little food at the moment
i dont think its necessary for us olde guys to eat too much
a bowl of soup
a good smoothie
maybe some toast
thatll do me for a day
i aint gonna grow any taller
i dont believe my energy is all generated by food
you may sneer at that
but im a bit like a prius high-brid
half running on the olde badde stuff
half on clean energy
thats why i have more energy than one could believe
particularly given my advancing years…
do you think if i was scoffing meat n potatoes
and gallons of plonk n booze
that i’d be able to keep it up?
(sorry to be a bore)
but the yoga and swimmy swimmy and chi gong
and meditation and the beach and the great ozzie bush weed
and the happy herbal highs
have transformed me
i stride onstage a proud old battlescarred warrior
no longer the snotty arrogant poseur of yore
which was good for yore
but not now
who am i?
what the fuck am i doing up here?
as i begin to spit out all my words
as i begin to pull notes out of my most beautiful fen-dah
as i start to heat up and sweat
as the music starts to work its mojo on my doo-dah
the guitars are like orchestras
the sound during some songs is so intense
so concentrated
focussed in so tight
im playing much better than syd
the crowd is bigger n better
the venue ditto
the thing begins to levitate
we dont wanna make you dance or whistle
or tap your foot or nod and say this is nice
as i stand onstage
i want to obliterate the audiences mind
i want to replace it with churchworld
where its all angular and pulsating
its loud and urgent and confusing
my bass now weighs nothing
my voice effortlessly projects
i can push it out or withdraw it back in
tim pounds the kit
already warmed up with iotas gig
fit and ready to punish those drums
the bass and bass drum lock in
playing in and around each other
when they sync up to a groove
you just hold on and it glides of its own accord
the audience is just a mix of individuals
the only thing they have in common
is they are in this room tonight
i look down into em from my vantage point
all ages
all types
all in varying degrees of like or dislike for the church
yes there are those who aint that fussed
despite myself i am amazed that they bother resisting us
if we played this gig in london or new york
they would go beserk
but these children of the vast suburbs
these sons n daughters of the eighties
these products of their times
they aint interested in our jive
they came to see chrissie
and they dont need anybody else
quite frankly its fine by me
they stand n listen politely enuff
they dont loathe us
but neither will they let themselves be drawn in
they cannot be bothered expending the thought n faith
i know we were quite good that night
and most of em there liked it
strangely enough
the following night is very much a repeat of night one
we walk on
and we hammer at em
till we walk off exhausted
i have a long cold shower
people tell me chrissie talks about us onstage
about the time she screamed at us cos marty said hello
gee tempermental types them showbiz types or what?
i come off drenched in sweat
i generate heat when i meditate too
i heat up incredibly
what is this heating process?
i am nothing like me
from 20 years ago
that one had more youthful dash, i grant you
but somehow
the most artificial boy whoever rocked
became the real man
i surrender to the music
i let it take me
and all those other cliches
i laughed at when i was a groovy fop
i have stripped myself back
no more frills n bullshit
i am so real its unbelievable
sorry to rave on about myself again
but i have changed and it feels so strange
the bass reveals more of itself
my voice grows in all directions
my face morphs into its original angular configuration
the energy available onstage seems limitless
my words in my mouth still feel good
they still throw up new interpretations even to me
there have been better wordsmiths than i, no doubt
but not too many
i have tried to bring a fresh intelligence to rock
yes i rock and i’m smart
they are not mutually exclusive
the words are hardly ever just tossed out or off
i put so much love and life in them
but i will not dumb it down
so a fair chunk of crowd does not really grokk us
they dont know what space rock is
and they dont really really wanna find out
they want their cars and girls and fightin’ and drinkin’ songs
they want their love songs but they dont care much for space
i know we were good
if i’d seen it
i woulda liked it
lean n hungry like the wolf (mother)
a good collision of all the good bits i could think of
a good time had by all
maybe made some new converts
ah who cares?

29 Responses to “kilbo in melbo”

  1. avatar
    Melby Symon | 17 December 2007 at 10:15 am #

    Steve…sunday night was the best…simply awesome. You are so right. You and the Church did hammer till you walked off. The power of the set you did was fantastic….I could feel it in the crowd so I’m sure you knew that. How fucking good was it to have you back in Melby. You belong here….Melby fiends love you.

  2. avatar
    Melby Symon | 17 December 2007 at 10:18 am #

    PS…I did ask you how your ear (not your rear) was on sunday nite. We were a compassionate audience. Very funny and quick witted response from your goodself I must say !

  3. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 17 December 2007 at 10:31 am #

    eye care esskay, nice rhymes tonight, hope everything is alright…
    One Day

  4. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 17 December 2007 at 10:43 am #

    oh fuck i wish i was there to share in the magic…how anyone could be a part of your music and not be transported is beyond me…keep on working that alchemy…
    love always…

  5. avatar
    princey | 17 December 2007 at 11:19 am #

    Hi sk, you were fantastic last night, there’s no doubt The Church ARE the best band in the world, last night was proof of that!!! (Melby Symon would agree!).
    My eyes nearly popped out when you were yoga-ing with the bass between your legs, not missing a note, you weren’t kidding when you said yoga has done wonders for your body, I saw it in action!
    I stayed up front for a couple of the Divinyls songs (until the moshing started), and my heart sunk when I realised how ill Chrissy was, she could hardly move, just a few movements and a few shakes of the head, I just didn’t expect it, I really felt so sad for her (but gee she still has that loud, rockin’ voice though!).
    I didn’t get a chance to talk to you last night, so I want to say thanks for a fantastic show last night and hope to see you soon.
    Love Amanda

  6. avatar
    Phil | 17 December 2007 at 11:22 am #

    I want some exclusive church giggies so we can have you all to ourselves…please grant this our daily wish oh venerated and divine Killer who slays the biz with his acerbic wit and natural silk cut voice…to hear the delicate strains of Ionian blues or two places at once…divine sound magic here and now 2008 to come….

  7. avatar
    Sam Sejavka | 17 December 2007 at 12:02 pm #

    It was a notable church gig, Steve. though Simon scoffs as per usual, I thought the sound was great too. Sorry, I was a bit mute after; I’m stricken with pre-xmas dolour.

  8. avatar
    donna | 17 December 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi Steve,
    Just wanted to say a BIG thanks for a brilliant gig – the energy was amazing and Tim’s drumming is just mind blowing!!
    Hope to see you in Melbourne again very soon..
    (thanks for your generosity – it was very much appreciated!) XXDonna.

  9. avatar
    fantasticandy | 17 December 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    i played some churchy stuff to a guy at work this morning.
    after about fifteen mins he took the ‘phones off and said:
    ‘did you say 27 years?…how is it possible for me never to have heard a band THIS good until now?’

    a sobering thought.
    andy L.

  10. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 17 December 2007 at 12:55 pm #

    Hey yeah good one Churchies for Sunday night. I spared you my flu virus and stayed clear. The dort dug it too (thanks Peter). I think you were the first rock band she’s seen. Later realised it was supposed to be over 18 only but she’s happy she passed 14 for 18, oh well. You were flaming loud though pal. Considering your ears why did you need to be louder than the Divinyls?

    Marty has gone all Mawson – that is to say Guy Pearce in Famished, you know, the wildest beard and hair, amazing. Constant fashion icon the W-P. PK is really starting to rock out. Taken 27 years but he is shaking his tailfeather bigtime. SK in very very fine form. TP head down and at it. You only had a fraction of the lights, yep, they put the music on when you could have encored, but that’s standard support band stuff I guess. GREAT guitars, always was, always will be. State of the art playing.

    You’ll never agree, nor will the army of the dedicated non-commercial, but seeing the Divvys rock through hit after hit with the crowd reliving their first school dance/panel van/kiss on the beach/ red shoes/babies first steps/bad break-up/where where you when?/ whatever moments when those hit songs rocked out of the radios everywhere playing the beat of their times, getting higher and higher, I yearned to hear all your great and fantastic singles too. Yes yes the album tracks and non-singles are great but would it really be so hard to do it for the crowd rather than some other principle one day? They’re not half bad songs man. People could maybe be getting much higher on you than they already are. Just a thought and not one I expect anyone to agree with. I kinda operate on the ‘all time is now’ thing when it comes to playing your old hits as well as giving them the new ones. Being togethr for 27, nearly 28 years is abso-bloody-amazing, something to be so thoroughly proud of, and there’s been so much great music over those years to dip into it must be a challenge to write a set list.

    Yeah Chrissy did wax teen scream over The Church and how much she liked the band and your songs although one can never be quite sure what she means by ‘screamed at’ well could be call a divvy van time – they were hot big six piece though with Charlie Drayton on drums and Charlie Owen (Beasts of Bourbon) on gtr, v good.

    Tag team terrific.

  11. avatar
    General Catz | 17 December 2007 at 1:15 pm #

    That is probably one of the best descriptions of life onstage that i have ever read. Very evocative and you relayed the emotion extremely well.

    Re: “im playing much better than syd” — for a minute i thought you meant Barrett and couldn’t figure out the connection.

    Miss Grove

  12. avatar
    veleska1970 | 17 December 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    thanks for the chuckle~~picturing tim running down the street with a cymbal tucked under each arm was a good laugh to start my day.

    the church IS good. and you know it. 😉

    lotza love….

  13. avatar
    CSTCoach | 17 December 2007 at 3:03 pm #

    “i have tried to bring a fresh intelligence to rock
    yes i rock and i’m smart
    they are not mutually exclusive”

    yeah. as i mentioned to ya last year in PA, that’s one of the things i always respected about The Church, one of the things i found so refreshing about your work, and an aspect that continues to draw me in 20 years later.

    i’ve always appreciated the references, the vocabulary, the ancient and esoteric mixed with the modern and mundane so that you come to see them in an entirely new light. The thinking person’s rock, accompanied by sublime virtuoso feats of music, of sound layered upon sound in a personal landscape of memory and feeling.

    really glad to hear you guys were rocking out – a bit jealous at being over here, under 30cm of snow that’s still falling, but hey, glad that some fellow fiendss are getting to enjoy it 🙂


  14. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 17 December 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    It’s edifying to read the positive reviews by the concert attendees. No other band sounds like The Church. Listen to really great Church CD’s like “Forget Yourself” “Hologram of Baal” and “After Everything Now This” in succession and you realize that 99% of other bands sound trite. Radiohead is the only current band that is the same musical realm as The Church. I lament the harsh reality that the commercial music industry did not embrace “Priest=Aura” like they embraced “The Bends”. Priest=Aura commenced The Church’s dynamic 1992to 2007 era while “The Bends” commenced the last decade of Radiohead’s exemplary era.

  15. avatar
    Altres | 17 December 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    You’re forgetting the huge influence Heyday had on John Squire of the Stone Roses. If only Heyday had been picked up on by the British press at the time!

    Useless bastards.


  16. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 17 December 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    Altress is correct. Heyday really had a commercial appeal. A perfectly crafted and consistent CD. Not too deep but deep enough to resonate with the world’s and England’s music critics. Once a band get’s commercially established then their fanbase will roll with the punches when they ascend to more profound, otherworldy, ethereal and haunting soundscapes. The Church is perpetually ascending evidenced by the magnificent “Uninvited Like The Clouds”. The critcs at music love “The Church”.

  17. avatar
    Altres | 17 December 2007 at 7:42 pm #

    Here’s me playing and singing Fake Plastic Trees at a CD launch the other week. The first 20 seconds or so are missing and that hippy pulling faces is Cannes Award winning director Glenn Millar.

    How’s that for spamming some’s blog? 😀


  18. avatar
    davem | 17 December 2007 at 7:55 pm #

    Of course London would go beserk so PLEASE come back to blighty.
    You lead the greatest band in the world. But of course you already know that.
    Better wordmiths than you? Name two?
    Love to you Steve,

  19. avatar
    steve | 17 December 2007 at 8:01 pm #

    I looked up a few years ago and found that I had more stuff by the Church than anyone else.
    More than Dylan, or Floyd or Zep or Donnie and Marie.
    It did no good to try to play it for my friends, or take it to a party; no, no one grokked…even I do not grok in fullness, but i know some interesting shit when I hear it.
    I just wanted you to know that.

    Ain’t it great being older and starting to find out what has been making you tick all along, and using the energy available to a greater effect?

  20. avatar
    syrinx | 17 December 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    I love your entries about what comes over you when you’re playing. Intensity a constant, the colors always different.

    Note: there will always be new converts. The Church is seductive like that..history has shown.

  21. avatar
    John | 17 December 2007 at 9:06 pm #

    Thanks to Netflix, I just watched the Enmore Theater concert of 1992.

    It was…uh…interesting.

    John Garratt

  22. avatar
    JJ | 17 December 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    Druide, indeed there are not many wordsmiths in your league. The lyrics drew me in years ago and wound me up in a silken web. Your description recalls the Melbourne show from Oct ’06 for me; lovely theatre and magical night for a Church ceremony, “let the ceremony begin.”

    Hedwig and the Angry Inch – whatta strange film that was, hadda laugh at your reference.

    The addictive pull of listener on the performer? US tour perhaps? I’ll ask Krispy Kringle for that in 2008.

  23. avatar
    Ethereal Butterfly | 18 December 2007 at 12:27 am #

    I missed out on tickets for Melby – son & I were disappointed but still feel that the way we experienced The Church in January this year in a large barn, with only 1,000 people max, on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula would have taken a lot of beating. I can’t imagine that the same crew who follow The Divinyls could follow TC – not a lot in common, apart from being from the same country and same era, so it’s not surprising they may have been a bit spun out. This aside, the fan base of TC should naturally increase as not everyone who goes to concerts goes to see the music of their choice – many go to support their friend who wants them to tag along. Christmas and all significant holidays is hard on many people who are lonely or miss loved ones. I wish you and TC Fame & all the positives that come with it, for Christmas (Christmas being a time to reflect on our values close to our hearts as a form of spiritual practise in my country’s tradition). I am not an obsessive fan of TC or Killa; I like many forms of music and have no absolute favourites. Music has irrefutable healing power. TC in my view has this power in great magnitudes and your concerts may have increased your fan base but, in my view, being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame would undoubtedly result in offering this to a great many more people. I wish you would reconsider it as a legacy to our small country’s cultural landscape and to those who would benefit from hearing it around the world. Peace & Love to all……

  24. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 18 December 2007 at 2:11 am #

    Ethereal Butterfly is a very impartial,judicious and astute mind. I’m much more obsessive, pedantic and subjetive but I also cling to the Aria Hall of Fame for The Church. The latter are my favorite band. Every night I listen to them or SK solo. I was so glad when I read about Hoodoo Gurus and it would be elating to read about The Church entering Aria. The American press does cover the annual Arias. Not that I like the American press-but I would like The Church to rightfully get good press.

    Hoodoo Gurus. Saw them back up Midnight Oil twice in the early 1990’s. Don’t have their CDs but I enjoyed their live energy and the endless rum and cokes that I used to drink in my skinny run 5 miles a day- days. Peace SK!!

  25. avatar
    Richard | 18 December 2007 at 4:14 am #

    sounds like a great gig sk wish i could’ve been there as others that weren’t. due to being in nyc we do get our opportunities to see bands that haven’t been packaged marketed and commercialized for the youngin’s that enjoy that superficial stuff but to me in my 20+ years of listening to the church i haven’t found a band that i’ve connected with on levels that you so aptly describe. don’t sweat the kids who can’t see the forest for the trees it’s not that your music is outdated its that the generations from the 80’s forward have never learned the capacity to appreciate or connect with poetry put to music.

    try to take a break and rest that hearing.

  26. avatar
    calling down baal and zeus | 18 December 2007 at 4:19 am #

    you have such a long way to go… youve come so fucking far …melody lane ballroom ,, hotel bar after buy you a drink sir ,.. lemonaide it is sir .. coy seemingly ambivelant..infectious optimism…sellersville pa after (and its double) warm ,.. giving .. radiant… …

    hell or high water killer ..alpha omega …like a book i cant read ..always read..dogeared ..mongrel david …thats right im so not afraid to love and its only taken me forty years ..

    god rest ye merry gentleman

    and ……

  27. avatar
    captain mission | 18 December 2007 at 4:43 am #

    can’t wait to see you guys play again, there’s nothing quite like it that’s for sure

  28. avatar
    William | 18 December 2007 at 6:14 am #

    Fantastic to hear the show(s) in Melbo rocked so spacefully! I do wish I could have seen both. I could really go in for a of show of such proportions about now.

    I’m glad to hear (no pun intended) that your ears aren’t causing you too much pain/stress either. Rock do conquereth all.

    Kudos to Tim for that maneuver btw. That is a great image, him racing down the streets twixt gigs.


  29. avatar
    eek | 18 December 2007 at 9:19 am #

    Wow — sounds as if it was a fantastic show. I’m so pleased for you because that has to be the greatest feeling, and also for the people who got to see it.

    I do think it generally takes a special type of person to really get the Church (more than just liking a few of your songs). Unfortunately for your commercial success it doesn’t seem that type of person is hugely plentiful. But we are devoted and there is a steady supply of us for you to tap into so there will always be a demand for the type of music you make. Getting the people who will respond to it to hear it is the trick though….

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