posted on December 13, 2009 at 2:36 am

ohm at last
safe n sound
2 shows in newcastle
1 show in sydney
the newcastle venue is incredibly nice
the staff are numerous n extremely helpful
i could suggest some dinners without cheese might be nice
but what i did have was pretty good
more veg options tho
the people at the shows seemed to genuinely like us
we had 2 encores both nights
a few of my jokes didnt make em laugh so much
ok…my humour is not for everyone
it takes a while to figure out my particular peculiar loopiness
the band play well in acoustic mode
peter koppes n tim powles play 2 instruments at once.
can you believe it?
during all i know pete plays mando n harmonica
n tim pays piano n shakers
look its hard enough playing one
but these guys can do 2
mwp of course can certainly play his axes
the 3 of them are super musicians with individuality
absolute 1st rate top shelf players
intuitive knowledgeable innovative…you name it
to play together is a joy
like being in the hands of experts
the band at a very harmonious phase
inside n outside the music
now everybody realizes we dealing in a rare commodity now
you cant just whip this up outta thin air
anyway we acquitted ourselves well
we adapted ourselves to our surroundings
which is what any sensible organism must do
(so they say n evolve…!?)
sydney last night
was good gig
not absolutely transcendental
but nonetheless a solid good
the factory in marrickville in syds inner west
a bloody cool venue
itd be great to see anyone there
the bjm played there one night
we are very tired
i arrived home at 330 am previous night from newy
couldnt sleep almost at all
before n after soundcheck i do yoga
and it pulls me through
allows me to detach a bit
allows me to relax
allows me to focus
outside in the warm night
one of the opening acts : belles will ring
they stand outside talking n smoking
i drift off in shivasana ….the pose of the corpse
the band have a soft harmony rehearsal
n i drift in n out of focus listening to their sweet voices
in my reverie it was crosby stills nash n young
when i finally snapped out of it
i was surprised to see it WAS belles will ring who was singing
out in the concrete n wire courtyard
under the leaden white sky of mid evening summer sydney
we had more payers this time than last time
we are on a bit of an upwards curve
just a bit
i take nothing for granted
no smugness in our current good fortune
i just accept it n try to let it go
just like failure
just like life n love too
i try to remained unmoved
basking in success or thrashing in failure
fuck it it just derails you from yer mission
the church hit the stage only 15 minutes late
we are notoriously dependably slightly late
backstage is some wives some friends etc
quite quiet
do our usual set
the energy picks me up
my body has been softened up by yoga
i do not creep or shuffle around the stage
i do not stagger though i often stumble
my joints are opened
my muscles are ready to rock
im loose like a long legged goose – ball
so thats yoga in action helping me rock more efficiently
can you believe yoga helps me to rock?
is it yoga that makes us rock?
i expect myself to be able to rock hard
n lo n behold i do verily rock hard
i give it my whole body n mind n spirit
my fucking leg starts bouncing
my fingers start plucking
my throat sends my voice out over the crowd
same olde same olde but different
i let my own music possess me
this bunch of disparate songs that makes up our set
welded n melted with extreme volume
the crowd has its input as well
the gig is the crowds as much as us
the gig is for the crowd
a swirling mass of grey n black n white
sings jagger on salt of the earth
we got about 7oo people maybe
not as good as the glory days of 2 enmore theatres
but things are not static
a long hard dedicated commitment to excellence can pay off
people notice
but eventually is better than never
we stuck to our guns whatever that means
now we reap the modest rewards of our long harvesting
voice in the next room : what are they…?
they are better sales for u#23 n tickets n merch
they are more kudos from press n general public
it is a very nice warm feeling yes
but i am not complacent, expectant or smug
(a real estate company name?)
i am enjoying it in a relaxed fashion
after all i am kinda olde….simply no point in denying it
in human terms 55 is kinda olde
its ok to say it
i not afraid of the “o” word
why should i be
last night i show you n the world or whoever
that if you wanna stay in tune with the une-iverse
you can rock into your grave with the guitar still strapped on
but not old mans rock
just like we werent young mans rock neither
we just are
we came out this way
its what the church accidentally is
so i can rock for hours so what?
im just showing ya
you can decide how you want it if thee but truly knew it
i made the thing
i fucked it up
now im remaking it
i cant ever get that olde steve kilbey back
hes gone into some frozen yesterday
he can only be recalled via those old songs
if you want ‘im back at all…
well we played well
they enjoyed it
thats that
and thats all too
until perth on thursday
under the stars in the summery sky

36 Responses to “the panther in december”

  1. avatar
    melissa | 13 December 2009 at 4:04 am #

    thankyou, thankyou for the fantastic Factory show last night… I love this venue too! Just floating 'round in a daze today πŸ™‚

    now I'm gonna have Church withdrawals πŸ™ But feeling so lucky to have seen some amazing shows in the past week. Missed Amanda being there, havin' a giggle πŸ˜‰

    take care SK and all the best for the Perth gigs


    ps Yoga = thighs of steel, lol

  2. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 13 December 2009 at 4:12 am #

    hey ye olde rocker, have a great gig on thursday…

  3. avatar
    ross b | 13 December 2009 at 5:27 am #

    Steve it was a glorious gig; I loved how the band mixed operetta & happenstance & theatre and its double (my fave) with some classic old church. My god i'm amazed at how spectacular and transcendent your rock can be – that orgiastic build up in you took & an interlude – ….church music is like the rise & fall of civilisations documented within every song – what you guys have is ultra-special and precious…you are the best!!! love, r.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 13 December 2009 at 6:00 am #

    Hi sk,

    Yeah, you looked like you were enjoying yourself last nite. Unusual set list. You all played brilliantly. I noticed there were a lot of musos in the audience and more than one wearing an expression of respect.

    It was good to catch up with Marty and Peter after the show and meet Pete's girls. I had a bit of a joke with Peter about not growing a beard, as his is the only handsome face that's still visible. Thankfully he won't be.

    Now after these shows sk how about some solo gigs. I need another fix.

    Lady Di

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 13 December 2009 at 6:12 am #

    Good gig last nite, glad you got the tech problem sorted at the start. Tantalised is a good show starter, did get the crowd reved up and ready to rock on. So glad two of my fav songs were played ie. Reptile & Block. Liked the Smashing Pumpkins one too. There was one particular song I don't know the name of that had the 4 of you in the zone at the one time, wow that was something else. That song and the band being so together was a highlight for me. Don't say you've hired a Choreographer to get the Kate Bush moves down pat. Contributed to Church Merch by buying the Operatta cd which is now playing Particles Matter, loving it.
    I hate the venue only went that far for the Church, wouldn't do it for any other group. Another scary and extremely long trip to and from there. Bed at 4.00am. They know how to charge as well as the cover charge $7.50 for a beer!
    Luckily it's only a yearly venue for the band. Gee I miss the Enmore and Basement shows. Never saw you at the Opera House, but that's the sort of venue you deserve to play in, a classy band a classy venue. Made my night that Peter and Marty came and talked to fans afterwards. The song playing now is one Marty was telling me about that he loves and how good it is (Particles Matter). Peter is a real gentleman, he was so nice and was good to see him with his girls. They were both extremely friendly and happy, so I left on a high.
    Noticed afew familiar musos there. Scott V R. A Painkiller gig is calling with your goodself, Scott, and if Ricky can't make it Marty might. He said he's here for about 2 months, so come on sk even another sk vs mwp gig while the chance is there. Glad you enjoyed yourself, looked like the audience did too. Long live the Church and continue to rock on and we will with you all.

    P & L

  6. avatar
    davem | 13 December 2009 at 6:55 am #

    the band at a very harmonious phase
    inside n outside the music

    That is great to hear. Every release from you (oooerrr) is a blessing. Long may it continue.

  7. avatar
    fantasticandy | 13 December 2009 at 8:45 am #

    perth will be something else,
    wish i could get there………

  8. avatar
    Galamor the Wizard | 13 December 2009 at 9:07 am #

    Always a pleasure to see the Church play! I dragged out Forget Yourself today as the mate I went with loved Theatre and its Double and it was perfect for checking the surf out this morning. Normally for me it's Seance,Remote Luxury or Hologram of Baal. Have a great time in Perth. Are you going to do Wide Open Road or a full Church version of Field of Glass to woo those Westralians??????

  9. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 13 December 2009 at 9:52 am #

    guys, you rock harder than fellas half your age……good on ya….

    love always…..

  10. avatar
    Dave | 13 December 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Steve – to reiterate what others have said thank you SO MUCH for last night. Amazing gig. Really picked me up.

    Apologies though – I was the dick who requested "Khe Sanh" at some point. Seemed like the thing to do at the time….

  11. avatar
    cazziem | 13 December 2009 at 10:09 am #

    β€˜I'm loose like a long legged goose’

    Well Big Bopper, such a positive blog; lifted my spirits no end, so you must be feeling REALLY good, which leave only one response – Oh, baby that's what I like!

    Read today that a British woman has pocketed $15,000 after winning a Spanish salsa competition by performing flips, turns, spins and slides with her partner; the amazing bit is she's 75 and only started dancing 5 years ago. So when it comes to yoga, dancing and other great forms of exercise, I think people should not only remember the saying β€˜you’re never too old to learn,’ but reflect on the fact that in hindsight perhaps you were too young to appreciate it??

  12. avatar
    syncopated eyeball | 13 December 2009 at 10:15 am #

    I can hear the joy of that gig in this post.

  13. avatar
    Freddie | 13 December 2009 at 10:26 am #

    Awesome! πŸ™‚

  14. avatar
    glynnisjohns | 13 December 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    I agree with the bizarre fact of being at a comfortable faiz of urself.
    at the age(no matter) better yet maturity of which you cannot deny
    yourself is and will be.

    What flows forth will never be what it was. And invariably will never be what is to come.

    For me, at least, i can only hang on for the ride. i expected everything and nothing.

    and like a true reality i got handed something in between.

  15. avatar
    bc | 13 December 2009 at 1:49 pm #


  16. avatar
    ASSMIDGET | 13 December 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    I'm not a big Harmonica fan but Pete sure plays a mean Mandolin ie Metropolis. Would like to hear you guys try a Harpsichord sometime. Both instruments sound great in rock music.

  17. avatar
    Melquiades | 13 December 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    music to mate by

  18. avatar
    princey | 13 December 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    So good to hear everyone's on such a happy high after the show (yeah Melissa, I was wishing to the stars above to be there too!)
    Great idea T, I second the request for a sk vs mwp show….ANYTHING to get you back here sk:))

    That's right, never be afraid of the "O" word, and I don't want the "olde" Steve Kilbey back, you're perfect just the way you are right here, right now:)
    Love Amanda
    Btw, I know of a delightful Greek poem titled "O", have you come across that one?

  19. avatar
    nickp | 13 December 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    Really good to hear you say that the band are in a harmonious phaze at the moment – it certainly seemed that way from the crowd on Saturday. Thanks for a great night certainly one of the best gigs I've seen the band do and a great mixture of old and new songs. I'm very jealous of all the Perth fans who still have two gigs to look forward to.

  20. avatar
    iseult | 14 December 2009 at 12:05 am #

    mmm unforgettable

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 December 2009 at 1:08 am #

    SK –

    Bring your band and instruments back to the United States please.

    You're welcome anytime.

    Wilfred Paradise

  22. avatar
    esne snoner | 14 December 2009 at 2:55 am #

    superb show on sat night sk – for the second time this year i stood mesmerised by what was happening on stage in front of me

    after 28 years of seeing the church live i have no doubt the band is on a plateau that only a few bands ever get to – and I can't name another one

    covering disarm effectively did that – if you can cover such material so effortlessly then to me others seem redundant

    i also found myself willing on 'that song' and now more than ever wanting it to continue to deliver all that you and your peers thoroughly deserve

    other highlights – a month of sundays (sigh), you took in all it's glory, interlude that had another fan shaking his head in disbelief, but most of all it was the emergence of the many songs off u#23 as blistering live tunes that had me most impressed – particularly a glorious set-ending angel street

    thanks sk, pk, mwp and tp – 2 amazing shows in one year – glorious

  23. avatar
    Ady | 14 December 2009 at 8:21 am #

    Reading your words has made me very nostalgic!
    One of the great things is my son (who's nearly 10) really enjoys your music esp. Unguarded Moment & the Dissillusionist. I got out my old vinyl collection the other day & he examined everything closely ……… doorway into another reality.
    I showed him all the cryptic messages in lacy letters pressed onto the vinyl..Some of my favourites:

    "desperately seeking Neuman' & "Lady this is Illyria" (Earthed)

    "echoes of ghostly dogs" (Persia)

    "I thought it was tobacco they were smoking" (Heyday)

    "Ingredients-blood, sweat & Zeus juice" & "heres another one for you droogs, the Starfish was Ploog" (Starfish)

    Were these little gems on all your vinyl releases incl. US LPs? After Starfish I stopped buying vinyl & switched to tapes & CDs, many of which got lost in transit. Interesting I still have all my Church & SK vinyl in (almost) mint condition.

    LOL Mr K xoxox

  24. avatar
    fantasticandy | 14 December 2009 at 9:29 am #

    will the faithful homelanders ever see the like of this again?

  25. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 14 December 2009 at 10:08 am #

    set to sweat, buddy……phew…..

    love always…..

  26. avatar
    linjo | 14 December 2009 at 10:58 am #

    Aww Steve your jokes always make me laugh, truly, I love your sense of humour, it brings me to tears like few others. Loving the way you are happy tonight, its inspirational.
    Just heard a song by TV on the Radio, 'Province' I think they are from NY, and Bowie does the backup. Ok I suppose.
    Linda x

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 December 2009 at 2:27 pm #



  28. avatar
    matthew | 14 December 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Hey Steve K, my daughter had her Year 10 graduation ceremony today at Neo Lyneham High. A good time was had by all, and I was a proud Dad with a tear in my eye. Just had to report, you see.

  29. avatar
    John Garratt | 14 December 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    I envy all you guys over there. I had to miss this tour and now I have to wait another couple of years…maybe…to see them.

  30. avatar
    Steven Krut | 14 December 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    Hi Steve. I'm a fellow Steve. It's wonderful to read how well things are going for you and the band and to see the joy in people's reactions to the shows. You deserve every drop of it and much, much more.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 December 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    I remember first seeing the church in 1986, in a little venue full of paisley shirts…to imagine that 23 years later they would blow me away completely like they have on this tour…I'm not just saying this for the sake of it…the level you are currently playing at, the intensity is mind boggling… a complete sonic assault but heart wrenchingly melodic as well….I cant think of any other band that can do this so consistently throughout a gig…there are no lulls… anyway, that's my three cents worth…


  32. avatar
    Brian | 14 December 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    In thirty years time you'll think you were just a boy at 55. And you are.


  33. avatar
    Ellen | 15 December 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    Ahhh, so gratifying to see that The Church is [re]enjoying success!

    I like your "particular peculiar loopiness" sense of humor, by the way. I've always loved the British (Aussie?) style of humor. Dry and yet light-hearted and extremely witty.

    "…eventually is better than never…" The old (there's that "o" word) saying is, as you know, better late than never, but I like the way you say it.

    And thanks to your constant harping about the marvels of yoga, I've taken it up again and it is working wonders! It's like my body is saying: "Yes, please keep doing this. I need it!"

    sigh… Once again, you are NOT old. Really. If you keep up the healthy regimen, you've got a good chance of living well into your 80s and beyond. A good friend of mine says when you reach 90 you can tell people where to go!

    Kaiser Permanente had an ad out a while back that declared that 50 is the new 40, 60 the new 50 and so on. So, 55 is actually more like late 30s.

    Rock on!

  34. avatar
    lastinline | 16 December 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Steve you crack me up in your full-o-shit way.

  35. avatar
    gavgams | 16 December 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Here's some thoughts about ye oldey proud Churchey rockers:

    I'm proud and feel a bit fuzzy that The Church (and members concerned) is alive and vital. This is how it should be.

    Like all wothwhile art The Church engages in an aesthetic rendering of the world where whole human beings encompass, transform and transcend the realities, the mire we live in… working in a media that most suits their talents and and gives them an audience. It is right and proper – given the means and circumstnces – that the Church as a group -a group of friends-continue to give us a kind of happiness and we are glad, proud and participate in a little way.

    My old school moto was "Quad Bonom Tenet" (Hold Fast to That Which Is Good). Us fans could say that. In the music and cultureal world there is a lot that's good now and new ..and a lot of crap… and sometimes the cream rises to the top.

    I liked Therese's comments above and concur: "Tantalised is a good show starter, did get the crowd reved up and ready to rock on. So glad two of my fav songs were played ie. Reptile & Block. Liked the Smashing Pumpkins one too. There was one particular song I don't know the name of that had the 4 of you in the zone at the one time, wow that was something else. That song and the band being so together was a highlight for me." I wonder if that "You Took"?? I loved the Blurred Crusade, the whole thing except You Took, at first. Then I got a bit sick of When You Were Mine but love the rest. Anyway, You Took is great live. Hotel Womb was another grower and great to hear live. So too Pete and Marty's material.
    Tim's drumming is first rate.

  36. avatar
    lily was here | 17 December 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Gavgams: was it Deadman's Hand? Because I felt that way when they've played that. Its the one that goes "on the way to crush the revolution". The factory gig was incredible. Even though i was down the back helping on the merch desk, the sound was awesome there too! Angel Street was special.You should release the live recording of Disarm because it blows the SP's version away. You Took and Space Saviour were dynamite. Thumbs up to PK's daughters band The Kicks and what a treat to hear Belles Will Ring do The Coldest Heart live! the church are on fire! God help anyone who ever has to follow you on stage.

    love xoxo

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