posted on May 28, 2006 at 8:35 am

dont ever tell me this aint a weird job
that im not in some weird weird position
i aint asking fer yer sympathy for this olde devil
i never do
but its doing my tiny head in
and its only about day 5
(insert own joke here!)
for a start
and unleavable
oh my tiny fiendss
those hungarians
living the boheemian lifestyle
oh budapest
with its green and slightly overgrown and wild gardens
the blossoms and pollen drift on warm breezes
its old ochre buildings
you dont think i wanna stay here for a hundred years
the food…..excellent, delicious
the special hungarian liquers
yeah whats that black stuff called
we had REAL absinthe
not that grain alcohol with a splash of wormwood flavour
that ya smugly buy in the bottle-o on oxford st
and ya think ya getting the real deal
now this real absinthe
drunk with the burning sugar n stuff
i can see how it drove a few olde poetic types
right round the twist…
its refreshes some part of ya
that other alco holes dont seem to touch much
typical ole sk raving on about some new drug…right?
but this one comes with a caveat
beware this fire burns
this green fire with burning sugar
it smacks ya into some wormwood place
they dont call it wormwood for nuthink
its also the name of the ghastly star
that will come close to earf in its final daze
go figger that druids
any way
yes i had a drop of absinthe
the gig was under a little pond/lake
in the middle of a park
in the middle of bpest
all long unmown grass
dudes sitting round in berets reading kafke
with beautiful magyar girlfriends
everybody taking their own sweet bohemian time
everybody just ambling along in that warm eastern hazy sun
a little bit like stockholm
if the swedes were a bit more fucking laissez-faire
and not so uptight with the gardening
but more inviting than scanda
some strange allure
fiendss this place is a best kept secret
anyway the gig is actually under this water
from onstage you can look up thru
a layer of water and beyond it the greyblue sky
this aint no ordinary gig
the people there….a DELIGHT
everyfuckingone of em
laying on the black liquors and jazz ciggies
helping out
lending us stuff
speaking their melodic version of english
we played our whole set to rehearse
that wassa a mistake
cos for one of the only times ever
my voice has begun to give out
all that projection ive been gaining
my ability that i have only got in the last
couple of years
to insinuate my voice into a room and fill it up
i couldnae really do it
until just now
i dunno
a few years
but now im really perfecting it
before that
my olde singing
was almost no projection
no resonance
a style
but little real singing
now im combining the 2
dont worry fiendss
i aint turning into johnny bluesgrunter
im just trying to get this as good as i can
and fiendss
there was lots of room for improvement
anyway we finish soundcheck
theres some weird little fashion/dance thing
going down
people with fur stuck to their faces
and women running round
doing the kinda thing that eve and aurora
do in their “drama” classes when i pick em up
running around “gracefully”
anyway…why the hell not???
the gig was a fucking corker
we had it nailed immediately
we were a little ruff
but our machine sang like a lark
and we pulled off some minor miracle
which is when basically
4 olde geezers
with some acc instruments
took themselves and a few others
to another place for a cuppla hours
the audience were lovely
there were about 6/7 hundred
we did our encores
we loved em
they loved us
it was a done deal
my voicey is now a gruff squeak
(if ya can imagine that!!!)
but fuck it
i have some more absinthe
and wander off to my hotel
which was one of the nicest i EVER stayed at
and i didnt even have a room with a balcony
like the othars
next morning i do yoga
i have a delicious brekky
in the little dining area
this place is the opposite
of some western fast food fucked up bullshit
this has style grace
its all understated
the furniture and design
some impossible cool that australia never achieves
its fucking european culture at its subtle and finest
not just a capitalistic franchised runway
a real city
trees, gardens, rivers, and statues
and castles
if you like that stuff
well they got it here
and i must also say
that mr k n
who made the whole thing possible
was a true host
and is now promoted to
sir kev of kilbeyland
for services beyond the call of duty
it was gonna be hard to top hungary
the next day we spent flying
hanging round heathrow
(like purgatory with newsagents)
we finally get into ireland bout 7 oclock
straight to gig
where we meet the following assorted
lords of the kilbey realm
lord boyd of laytownbuzzard
lord merrick of eternal youth and treesaver
sir richard a, energetic and unchanged
bishop michael farrant a true believer
count belfrank
who made this gig possible
(Oh my dear friend i hope ya didnt lose too many euros on it)
count belfrank, the gift of the gab
the man i shoulda been having lunchy with
when they busted me in nyc
(ha! now i always listen to his advice)
ah..another sprightly young knave
duke rikki tikki tavi maymee baybee
of the incredibly huge rock band
the blah blah blah blahs
(hi anton….ive recovered from meeting you
and i wanna get back in the ring for another swing!)
duke maymee produced the pipeweed
and we hobbits smoked
ok ok
ya saying
what about yer voice
it is /was shot
in medical laryngeal terms
the condition is called a fucked up voice
coughing up nasty stuff
i can hardly talk
let alone sing
shut up
the other members had been saying all day
but they do that every day too
by the time we hit dubbling
my voice was a hoarse croak with a strange occaisional
high pitched bit
no longer the velvety crooner
but just a tired olde git
with a fucked voice
and a scared feeling
cos this has never really happened to me before a gig
we come all the way to ireland
and i cant sing
im sorry
nothings gonna cheer me up about that
i wanted to show em what i could do
and i was like a guitarist with one olde rusty string
to play on
the crowd was kinda small and kinda reserved
i guess
not like the hungarians
who jumped right into it
there was a distance i could not bridge
my humour was forced
it fell flat and no bugger laughed
you see
ireland and i have a little problem with each other
i never quite “got” it about ireland
and it never quite “got” it about me
thats just how life is
ya cant love and be loved by everywhere
i played abysmally
and felt like wishing
that hole would open in the stage
and take me down to some stygian pit
where i could rail against my disappointment
for EVERBODYS sake
the rest of the band played on
they were ok
but we never transcended
the way we so effortlessly had in bpest
we had exceeded our time limit curfew
and we played only un mo for the on core
which was unsatisfying
im sorry fiendss
you want some honesty
i hadde a terrible gig
i couldnt sing
my bass playing was hopeless
it was nae anyones fault
its just the way it goes
afterwards we met
earl frankie xk and dame janice
and the lovely and divine
nicky see more
of that famous band
the you know whos
a true australian character
comedian, raconteur etc etc
cmon see more
thats enuff flattery for ya
but these guys are amazing folks
almost lift me outta doldrums
back to hotel
very nice actually
much better than what i knows coming in london tonite
im english
can i say this
i feel homeless in my home country
i cant understand the lager
the pubs
the sausages n beans n darts
the stupid obsession wiv soccer and its associated violence
its ridiculous prices (at least for australians)
its awful fucking hotels
its stodgy food
its obseession wiv posh n bex n page 3 royal gossip
its a cockney america wiv worse food
my england
what fuckin happened to ya
id rather go to any other city in europe
than london
i love my english fans n fiends and family
theres still a lot of brilliant and beautiful people here
but have a look at what flleet street hath wrought
look at prince fucking harry n robbie willy-ams
stay in a london hotel for a week
but im always looking for that mythical london
of the swinging sixties
and now its just greed n souvenirs
and a fucking million people everywhere you look
the hideously poor
the hideously rich
im sorry england
you spawned me
and i know you dont care what i think
but just like america
its all going wrong
ya cant ignore the things ya trying to ignore
yer celebrity culture disgusts me
what do i know
im a halfbreed thats not at home anywhere
i like bondi fuckin’ beach cos its easy
and its warm
and ya pretty much can do whatever ya like
i dont like london cos its cold n grey n dirty n heartbreaking
but our english fans
are some of the most knowledgable n erudite as you can get
i guess i got the same problem with england as ireland
we never really understood each other
you can stick yer whole cockney wide boy artfull dodger routine
but all my favourite bands come from england
cmon england fucking rules music
nuff said
why didnt they ever really like us over there
i guess not everbody can go all the way
we lucky to be playing over here at all at this stage of game
so englands a big screaming paradox for me
i always thought i was doing all my music for the english
i thought they were the only ones whod understand my lyrics n that
but not everything can be popular
i guess it wasnt the surefire thing i thought it was
never mind
i look forward to the borderline so so much
i cant tell ya
not london
but the gig itself
if my olde ruined voicey can regain its former splenda
we will surely deliver on our promise
and fiends
i aint innit fot the moneytravelwomenfame
i just wanna strap on mah fender bass
sing mah songs with my compadres
and i wanna fucking deliver
do what we can do
which no other can do
quite the way that we do
it aint always easy
its a lofty goal
gotta keep tryin’ for it
see ya later frankies
nick c-moor
lovely colleens and oirish laddies
we’re bound for olde blighty
will she take me in her arms n love me?????
i’ll let ya know
same bat time
same bat channel

37 Responses to “the hungarian empire +the emerald aisle”

  1. avatar
    davem | 28 May 2006 at 10:10 am #

    Was just logging on and moaning about lack of a blog & this turns up.
    Gonna have to put my split peas on hold whilst I read it.
    Love you more..

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 10:29 am #

    Did you really quote a Scritt Politti song there in those last lines??

    You DO read widely.

    Au Revoir

    Bon Bon

  3. avatar
    davem | 28 May 2006 at 10:34 am #

    Sorry to read about the voice.
    Can’t wait for tomorrow & just to have you grace us with your prescence in enough for me.
    Lots of us here get you & idolise you but you’ve never played the Fleet Street game. If you ain’t pandering to NME you ain’t gonna sell.
    We’ve developed a vulgar & disposable culture in England. Nothing’s truly valued, nothing lasts.
    I celebrate the fact that you’re from England. Whatever their considerable merit (& place in my heart)you can stick Barrett, Radiohead, Macca and his bunny men, Teardrops….I stick two fingers up to any artists that try to compete with The Church….look at the legacy over the last 25 years….. the depth, breadth, beauty, soul & quality of your music. Quite easily our best musical export.
    Nothing compares 2 U(Damn, that’s an Irish thing ain’t it).
    I feel homeless here too.
    Love you more,


  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 10:43 am #

    WOW sk, what a review!!. I kind of felt sorry for you at one stage of this blog, but when I think about it, your such a LUCKY LUCKY blokey being able to experience all of that and in the space of just a few days!!! It beats being stuck here in cold, wet Melbourne town, I can tell you that!
    Don’t you worry, I’m sure the Brits will love you guys, and so they should since your giving them 2 shows and a DJ-ing spin (is that true????)…”DJ SK”, who would have thought!!! Can’t wait to read about that!

    Take care of your beautiful voice and keep on bloggin’
    love always,
    Amanda P

  5. avatar
    Manda | 28 May 2006 at 11:13 am #

    It’s a bastard country on the surface but have a good scratch and you’ll find bohemian life hidden away, just we don’t want to tell anyone in case ‘they’ spoil it for us. Even just outside London there’s some real gems if you know which way to go, it’s not all pretentious middle England aspiring to being rich and famous.
    There’s even bits of London that’re pretty good, but yeah, Fleete Streete’s spoiled it with celebrity culture…although isn’t it Wapping Wall now? Gotta be a vicious joke in there somewhere. I know many talented musicians, poets, creative souls who’ve gone the sell their own diy cassette route and got nowhere but more talent in their little fingers than any of those all-dancing, all-singing crap girl/boy bands.

    Yeah, a stranger in my own land too, tried and loved Sydney, the beaches, the surf, the laidbackedness, the whole shabang but got thrown out for ‘breaking the rules of my visa’. Being your age, SK, too old ..young ..poor ..not clever enough to go back save for a visit.

    Anyways, hoping to make it tomorrow night, have some bits to do first so hope there’s tickets left, if not shall have to be an aging groupie by the back door hoping to catch a glimpse of the band I’ve been lovin’ for oooh…20 odd years now! Hope there’s more like me and you don’t go home feeling this country let you down.

  6. avatar
    Fandorin | 28 May 2006 at 11:19 am #

    statues, gardens, rivers, bridges…

    and you havent even played old Prague…


  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 11:58 am #

    god i’m jealous! oh to be in europe in spring. hope your voice comes back and you turn it on for all of ’em!

  8. avatar
    sue cee | 28 May 2006 at 12:24 pm #

    me too. sk Im so glad you discovered the blog and that you’re so open and honest. I wanna hear about the good, the bad and the ugly. Budapest is now up near the top of my list if i ever win lotto… and get loads of honey for that voice!

  9. avatar
    i feel possessed | 28 May 2006 at 1:13 pm #

    sorry bout the voice
    i think yore from the previous england c 16th c
    need tardis
    wot a lovely budasatva time
    and encmore jolly goode
    you’d better be home soon

  10. avatar
    Andromeda7 | 28 May 2006 at 1:40 pm #

    Ah! So that explains my gorgeous surrealist friends from Hungary, Xtian and Hannah Cadaver – cultchya, cultchya doorlingk! I agree, Australia has brilliant sun and an ease of life compared to most, but when it comes to design, depth of centuries of artisanship shows… Still understand why they pay up big for Rover Thomas and Emily Kame Kngwarreye though, simplicity of Aboriginal art an antidote to all that perfection and “class”… I also felt like leaving London almost as soon as I entered it – although creamed spinach at the Palace Gardens Hotel was divine decadence, and most of my family, including the convicts, came from merrie olde englande. love to you and all churchies, drink honey and lemon Steve. You’re right, your voice really inhabits Eden now. You have grown into it, or it’s grown into you. It’s a beautiful thing – so shuttup! (when u can this is) w love


  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 2:07 pm #

    That Dublin gig was fantastic! I really enjoyed it. The new songs sound great live especially “Block”

  12. avatar
    gavgams | 28 May 2006 at 3:55 pm #

    Grouse blog / travelogue. Ta.

    You know, SK, sometimes the gardener only sees the weeds and not the beautiful garden. The materials that strong you give heaps just gettin out there. Nurture those chords.

  13. avatar
    Krissythegroupie | 28 May 2006 at 3:59 pm #

    Absinthe will rot yer brain..although it’s really fun. Just don’t take shots of it if you value yer well being right! Hope yer voice recovers asap! <3

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 5:32 pm #

    it’s obvious i truly missed out on the buda and the pest. Sorry bout ireland luv. but it ain’t sandy ago and thats all i’m worried about.

    good luck in london! be easy on that velvet voice.


  15. avatar
    RA | 28 May 2006 at 8:05 pm #

    Hmmmmmmmm.Britain. Paradox indeed.

    Merrick, Boy D and I were talking about partiotism on the way home. The conclusion was.. it’s pointless. Pride in yourself… ok, but pride in a geograpical area… eh?

    Dublin gig..

    Well, you can’t hit it all the time and we understand that. You’ve had me with tears in my eyes with the beauty of your performance before and you will again I’m sure….

    Hope the rest of your trip goes well.

    Peace and love,


  16. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 28 May 2006 at 8:26 pm #

    Lovely blog Steve…also sorry about your voice. But my god man, do I want to go to Budapest now! I’m sure if you ever want a job as their tourism ad man, you’ve got it! Sounds like a dream.

    London. Hmmm. What’s up with their obsession with beans and mashed peas? Everything with mashed peas! I hate peas! Little pods of poison!

    Be quiet, be still, get some hot tea, honey, lemon, rest…blow them away at the Borderline…just do your best. As Sue C so wisely said, thanks for the good, the bad and the ugly.


  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 9:37 pm #


    all i have, all you need, all you got is providence

    it was beautiful grant


    lord boy D

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 10:29 pm #

    I dunno – my first trip back to Holland in 83, can’t get a job so end up working on my uncles cargo ship movin tapioca from Rotterdam to Gainsborough first ( god) & then Brighton – walk into this club & they’re playin A Blurred Crusade all the way through – it was a special english moment.
    When you get back you have to see this Aussie movie Candy.
    It’s about the hammer & very engrossing.
    Blow them away Ole!

    Dutch Pierre

  19. avatar
    Mattdavison | 28 May 2006 at 11:00 pm #

    Nice to see ya above me there Dutcho…SK that was awsome..The Hungarians deserve all the praise in the world, they are an amazing lot and there woman are Hmmm Beautiful. “Please tell me someone filmed the Buda gig…….
    There will be many special moments on this trip for ya buddy, lot after ya boy’s though they look up to ya and might need special attention. Honey brandy and warm water should help the voiceand rub your layrx with ya hand to loosen the tendons…Well thats what me Dad says and he sings in pubs every night.
    M IN NZ

  20. avatar
    matthew | 28 May 2006 at 11:13 pm #

    Ever tried colloidal silver? Non-toxic, used to be used in mainstream medicine before penicillin became cheaper… suspension of microscopic silver particles in purified water, that apparently starve micro-organisms of oxygen. I’ve had super-rapid recovery from laryngitis using that stuff. Coz I sing too, and usually go down for at least 2 weeks when I get it… last time it hit, I got over it in 2 days. Just a thought! Get it from health food stores, and drink a little bit every hour or so.

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 28 May 2006 at 11:13 pm #

    hey sk
    budapest sounds divine
    wish i could’ve “beamed in”
    for that dreamy night
    with the church

    back in boulder
    huge exciting
    treasure hunt party
    for my daughter’s
    10th b-day
    john and i
    working for weeks
    to make wild party
    for 16 boys and girls
    it was a blast

    does it ever strike
    you how wierd it is
    all these realities
    existing everywhere
    of course it has
    you’re sk

    wishing you
    lovely gigs
    in london
    with your
    voice back
    to its


  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 May 2006 at 12:01 am #

    hanging on to every word…great report sk!!

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 May 2006 at 12:08 am #

    propolis and honey lozenges
    vitamin C by the gram
    cookies not smoke
    shoulder stands
    love the wrap on the last few days
    hungary feels awesome

  24. avatar
    mike a | 29 May 2006 at 1:36 am #

    Hungary sounds amazing!! Sorry to hear about your voice. I hope your London gig is much better than Ireland!! Thanks for always writing even though you’re busy!! I really enjoyed your blog today.

  25. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 29 May 2006 at 3:27 am #

    Con amor…ten paciencia…con calma tomate un te calientito.
    Te esperamos, aqui en San Francisco.
    Un abrazo a todos y tambien al Señor Ricky.

  26. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 May 2006 at 3:56 am #

    Great report from the frontlines…ahhh, the English…terrific at making music and stuffing dead bodies behind walls…

  27. avatar
    captainmission | 29 May 2006 at 6:49 am #

    tea wiv honey and lemon will work wonders, have some on hand in a glass by the side of the stage.
    steve i totally agree with ya about london/england, even though i was born there, in exotic whitechapel. As a youth i never felt quite at home there, although i was always immpressed by the music that england spawned. Especially in 1977. As soon as i was able i split and my subsequent returns to London always leave me wondering why i return, the obvious reason being family, but generally by the 2nd week i Zip across the channel to the mainland where its all so very different. Never been to Hungry but man, you paint a pretty picture and make it sound beautiful.

    Enjoy the Absinthe, old AC wrote a nice piece about it, here’s a little excerpt for your enjoyment

    “I am only sipping the second glass of that “fascinating, but subtle poison, whose ravages eat men’s heart and brain” that I have ever tasted in my life; and as I am not an American anxious for quick action, I am not surprised and disappointed that I do not drop dead upon the spot. But I can taste souls without the aid of absinthe; and besides, this is magic of absinthe! The spirit of the house has entered into it; it is an elixir, the masterpiece of an old alchemist, no common wine.

    Have a great night at the borderline, i am sure its going to be amazing, you have extremly high standards, which is an excellent thing, i mean its not every band that are meticulous about their sound as you guys, and what you describe as an average church show, from this side of the stage, is always, exceptional.

  28. avatar
    davem | 29 May 2006 at 6:58 am #

    Time to do battle with our wonderful transport system. Really excited about tonight. I only hope that in leaving in an hour means we can cover the enormous 110 miles to London in just 10 hours!!!
    Hope the voice is better Steve,
    Love you more.

    BTW’s true. We are obsessed with mashed peas!! I had mushy peas on Thursday & made pease pudding yesterday. Yummy! peaspeaspeaspeas…..

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 May 2006 at 7:14 am #

    Mr. Kilbey, great job in Budapest. I have followed the music of yourself and the band since my younger years in the early 80’s. To my surprise of walking to the urinal in the club in Budapest and attempt to strike up a conversation with you. My words…”Good Evening Mr. Kilbey, I am glad you could make it to Budapest”. It wasn’t very creative. I could of asked you for the time, but you were busy at the moment. If you were struggling with your voice, not one person picked up on it. I wish you and the rest of the guys the best of luck on your tour and life and thanks for your will not be forgotten. t.t.

  30. avatar
    just a wee one, although on second thoughts has anyone tested this space how many words fit in here? | 29 May 2006 at 7:35 am #

    nice one tt these urinal stories and there’s getting to be a bit of a collection, are fascinatingly hilarious

  31. avatar
    Samosanx | 29 May 2006 at 8:18 am #

    the sun sparkles through the leaves in Darwin, casting weird glass disrupted shadows on this late afternoon.

    He said “need some absinthe”…I replied “sure do”…..

    My question for question time has been answered..the church does frosties….bet it sounded epic!
    and beautiful…

    never liked london, preferred the amazon.


  32. avatar
    Samosanx | 29 May 2006 at 8:26 am #

    ps. Give em all your innnocence Killer,…You’ve got STACKS!!!!

  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 May 2006 at 10:45 am #

    Dave M…never eaten mushy peas to date but do like eating them fresh from the plant and pod, sweeter that way.

    Anonymous…never stuffed a dead body behind my walls to date, but listen to music, English, British, American, Australian etc, incessantly.

    I was born in England, am I missing out on something…is the dead body essential…!?!

    No matter, the gig(s) will be brilliant no matter what…

  34. avatar
    Nick P | 29 May 2006 at 11:29 am #

    I’m with Dr Johnson on London. Sure it’s full of wankers but I’ve lived here 14 years now and there is so much that is great and good about the place, somewhere to go out or get out of it every night of the week – world class culture, museums, galleries, ballet, opera, rivers, canals, green spaces, markets – whatever. It’s certainly not the be all and end all but people, bands, artists from every country in the world are coming here every day of the year. There isn’t another city like it that I’ve ever been to. And as for the obsession with celebrity and tabloid culture, I’m pretty sure a lot of that is down to some Aussie export by the name of Rupert Murdoch.

    looking forward to tonight
    -nick p

  35. avatar
    lilya | 29 May 2006 at 11:57 am #

    sk, i found your voice in the bottom of an empty absinthe glass but I’ve flown it first class to London, should be right for tonight!

  36. avatar
    WorldbyStorm | 29 May 2006 at 7:59 pm #

    At the Dublin gig. You said there was a problem with the voice.

    Did we care? We did not!

    Come again, any time…

  37. avatar
    Tonoir | 4 June 2006 at 9:47 am #


    providence in London was a truly wonderful gesture for us, but most of all GK. it was sooooo beautiful. was round Boydies the other night and he was so touched

    happy hunting ground in sweden


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