posted on May 5, 2007 at 1:55 am

i “come to” after who knows how long
i am standing outside this gig in luxembourg with jan
jans been raving on n on about our music
but my system is unable to accept compliments
like a thirsty man trying to drink a mirage
i draw no succour from anyones praise
i cannot fill this black hole in me with this stuff
when i was a kid reading the nme n creem
i thought mmm thats what i need
some geezer saying i made a great record
its not arrogance
jan notices my eyes have wandered
im staring off into the distance
thinking about what?
i finish the joint and toss the butt still smokin’ in the gutter
i feel like clint eastward in front of this uptight but lovely person
jan laughs nervously
whats yer ph dee in again? i ask
i am an ashtro-physicist ……
no it not that much….
neither is being in the fuckin’ church….
but schteeve you are my fafourite band…EFFER!
ok then…im glad
i cant believe these academic types love us
if i was an astrophysicist or gynacologist
or economics guru
i doubt whether id bee blowing a joint
outside some dive with this olde scruff like kilbey is
i go inside
5 minutes says someone
good luck schteeve says jan and shakes my hand
thish has meant so much to me! jan says
i don my wrinkled salt encrusted still damp clothes
the rest of the band sip their drinks or fiddle about
none of us is nervous
a little bit of nervous is good
but we aint been nervous for ages
the intro music plays
cmon i say to others
obliviously having a conversation or something
cmon i say
the intros on
you go on they say
we’ll be out inna minute
eventually we go on
late as usual
the place is half empty
its also half full
i pick up my bass
and i start to sing
and something happens
the heavy bass of the soundcheck is now a feather in my hands
my body is filled with a restless rush of energy
im so relaxed
but im so alert
im a bit drunk n stoned too
but the rush of energy is cancelling them out
the words come falling out of my mouth
my fingers play n play
occaisionally i think
or f#
but mostly they just do it
i stand back n watch myself singing
and playing
the drums so loud
pounding like my blood
the screams of the guitar
the roiling churning physical sea of sound we create
an inexorable vortex
my earpiece slips out
i cant believe how loud it is
a solid wall of bristling electricity
forget jingle jangle pop music baby
this is a visceral spiritual sexual assault on you
i see jan up the front completely gone
eyes closed
swaying in some other time
sway jan sway
the audience are going bananas
im surprised n im not surprised
our music is like a razor blade at 120 decibels
every guitar note hangs around all night
the pressure builds up n up
when i play the low notes on the bass
i see people respond like they been kicked in the guts
or just seen their woman with another man
we take you through the moods
sad happy stunned triumphant desolate angry
all in one minute
and back again
i sing the words i designed to conquer you
i sing the words no one else but me would have written
god says steven i put you here to write these songs
now fucking write em!
i sing the words
and i see how some words affect some
and some words affect others
i sing n i whisper n i ham it up
im confident im shy
im so detached
im so tired n world weary
but im eager to please
and i say stupid things
and i say majestically grande things
that they didnt think i’d say
n i make em laugh with my egotism
n with my bashful unsureness
and i make it look easy easy easy
why anyone could do this
i strike ridiculous poses while i play
rock parodies of my beloved yoga poses
god says mix it up you crazy fool thats what its for
only my black jeans prevent me from perfectly executing
the leg part of a number of poses
i jump about
i skip n i thump my boot up n down
finally its all over
drenched in sweat
we slew the bastards
we slew em
more of the same
at the end we go into free form freakout
the guitars wailing in anguish
the drums sound like a tornado
the bass throbs in the lower regions like
a sea monster
its all over
they love us
we love them
ladeez anda gentsa
wherever we are…
as i walk to dressing room
i become aware of being drenched in sweat
and my ears ringing like sirens
how drunk n blurry i am
we joke around after the gig
some small things are mentioned
praises n blame
suggestions are made
jokes are cracked
after about 15 minutes
jan is shown back into the dressing room
oh shteeve what can i say
didja like it then i say
oh shteeve when you played blah blah i cried
ok then cant ask for more than that
jan goes off a satisfied customer
i hang around n hang around
waiting n waiting till we’re ready to leave
eventually by now stoned n drunk on absinthe
i have sunken into a trance
its not that everythings so great in the trance
its not an ecstactic trance
but its this deeply numb n unfeeling trance
a quiet restful respite
from the hounding voices of my own mind
the questions have stopped
no ones trying to rationalise it all
no one trying to write a song or a blog
no one with recriminations n regrets
just kilbey at the bottom of his mind pool
a warm black pool
oh you can imagine fiendss
i know you can
how delicious it is in the the deep black pool of my mind
so deep no one can ever reach me
im herded like a lamb to the car
someone asks me to sign some cds
i watch from the bottom of my pool
as kilbey scribbles something
kilbey so wants to let this man know he appreciates them
but realises that its easier to let it go in the end
they must know in their heart of hearts he does
kilbey smiles at them at any rate
his big yellow teeth n crows feet smile
that fair dinkum im a good bloke smile
he only just learnt not so long ago
its enuff
everyone goes home happy
the car journey is a lovely lovely blur
some music softly plays
a conversation
then the hotel
someone says
here steve
room 1313
on the 13th floor
theres the elevator on the left
the hotel desk clerk calls out in his funny accent
no sir the other left…..
i get into my room
its got internet
wi fi
my little white lappy fires up
my ipod plays i dormienti by eno
i gotta great idea for a new blogge…..

33 Responses to “under n in the wings”

  1. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 3:05 am #

    No chairs oK everyone.



  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 3:28 am #

    Please make it to Portland next time. You’ll have to visit Veganopolis (
    “Back in Veganopolis, the tofu and the lemongrass”

  3. avatar
    public savant | 5 May 2007 at 3:41 am #

    Oh, you mean you can actually discern us in the gloaming? How very alarming that must be.

    The immediacy of these instalments is superb.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 3:43 am #

    your otherness
    is a above all this
    can’t you see

    bend on your KNEES!

    to whatever god will
    fucking listen

  5. avatar
    snowfaller | 5 May 2007 at 4:03 am #

    Wow. I don’t know how you do it (but by now I’m not surprised) – but every one of these stories is just beautiful…

    Hope it’s a beautiful Saturday in Bondi.

  6. avatar
    veleska1970 | 5 May 2007 at 4:16 am #

    wow. to allow us to be inside your mind. how lucky we fiendss are, indeed.

    lotza love….

  7. avatar
    CSTCoach | 5 May 2007 at 4:27 am #

    Wow, really fucking vivid. you had me right there with ya. very cool. that’s travel lit at its best.

    liked the mimesis reference too. were you trying to make a call from 1313?


  8. avatar
    kat | 5 May 2007 at 4:48 am #

    ya sk,

    you slewed us! nice.


  9. avatar
    sue cee | 5 May 2007 at 4:53 am #

    start again..cold fingers

    Cheers steve. i often wonder how much you absorb visually from the audience, eyes sometimes closed, off in another world…with us and outside us… btw you have a phd in life experience, a whole ream of things, you dont need a piece of paper

    Yesterday i wanted to go to magnolia mountain with ryan (the other one) and rest my weary head but isolde said it all so well and b.bon ha..but I always wanted to be a ‘bad’ girl. oh well steve, we are what we are aint we? love to all, hey back to gentle ben. Craig1.618, i got so into that story, thanx

    ps Steve, Fruit Machine 21st page 17th line – which song? their big one?

    2:47 PM

  10. avatar
    sue cee | 5 May 2007 at 6:35 am #

    click here, and step inside …

    grant mclennan tribute

    listen, feel, love, tears x

  11. avatar
    davem | 5 May 2007 at 6:39 am #

    God bless Grant.
    Thanks for these two blogs SK. Brilliant insight. More evocative than the tour pictures!!
    BTW I had to pick up Fruit Machine after Sue’s post and I was just reading about Procol Harum. They had an asteroid named after them (14024 Procol Harum) – How space rock is that!! Boom boom.


  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 7:03 am #

    “i sing the words i designed to conquer you”

    and therein lies the beauty and the magic of your lyrics
    i never did believe you when you said your songs had no particular meaning, it’s all very layered, ambiguous and precise
    and that’s the turn on

    and now it sort of makes sense why i feel uncomfortable letting you know how much i like what you do, it always ends up coming out insipidly and awkward and naive,but maybe its because you can’t help but remain aloof to the praise and in turn awkwardly accept
    the gratitude you receive, maybe

    but the truth is
    your work is awesome and i’m ever grateful you tuned me in to it

    and beyond all that
    i like you for the man that you are
    somewhere in there, that i met back then

    happy homecomings


  13. avatar
    syrinx | 5 May 2007 at 7:36 am #

    Congratulations on having had such a killer night. No less than you guys deserved. Would’ve been nice to have been in Europe for one of them, but this particular blog’s telling was itself an intense ride of an equally satisfying sort. I’ve had four great gigs myself, I can’t be greedy.

    Ah hell. Yes I can. And I am. 🙂

  14. avatar
    syrinx | 5 May 2007 at 7:38 am #

    razor blade at 120 decibels..

  15. avatar
    ~ | 5 May 2007 at 7:40 am #

    diamonds are a girls best friend
    if the girl is a diamond
    or an ace of diamonds
    hey she once even found a diamond
    in a parking lot
    cashed it in, better even then betting
    just skip the casinos
    (cept the tropicana in vegas because the carpet in that hotel must be seen to be believed!)
    she needed the money to buy some
    things, like food, and boots
    I’d go to school to be
    an eco/ nomerics major
    the study of numbers and how they affect the environment
    and how they
    effect the environment
    johnny b.bon being good~
    not awol!
    I was in a jet stream
    head and feet above the clouds dream
    I ah
    have this thing about flying
    the take off…whoooshh
    …the landing set down
    it makes a ferris wheel
    the rest of it I could do without
    so called airport security
    the “alerts” orange, yellow
    what color is the bullshit alert?
    let me ask the “decider”…
    hey-is there another rose city resident amongst the wildflowers?
    veganopolis has the very best lavender lemonade, yes it does
    there is a reason to tour Portlandia right there
    may justice also be brought in your favor! Oh it makes me mad to hear of bad things happening to good people…take care, take more photographs, like the new one of ya, sepia, nice!
    restaurant mark I purchased brmc baby 81 in airport, yeah! so I had that, all my Church CD’s and Paris Motel 071 to listen to (thank you thank you thank you, its beautiful to say the least, just like Amy)
    I had Earthed to read
    I really like
    okay every word of it
    and the spaces between
    but 21/22 is a standout, as arithmetic
    and the deepest fathom of the pool
    the part intrinsic to yourself
    no public school has ever taught how to have these
    “peak” experiences as Maslow called them
    they teach external experience, and we define ourselves
    through the intrinsic experience
    that which washes away the outside
    even if for a moment
    and the moments we encounter such as these
    enable us to become more fully human
    cherish these, as you do
    love them
    they will love you in return


  16. avatar
    tintinn-itus | 5 May 2007 at 7:44 am #

    my earpiece slips out
    i cant believe how loud it is

    loud ? – yes
    clear ? – no

    bleeding eardrums never made for a good gig.

  17. avatar
    fantasticandy | 5 May 2007 at 8:14 am #

    stupendously good blog today killer.
    i enjoyed it more than any other i have read thus far.
    what a buzz!
    andy L.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 8:23 am #

    “this is a visceral spiritual sexual assault on you”

    oh yeah oh yeah

  19. avatar
    calling down baal and zeus | 5 May 2007 at 8:25 am #

    its 4oclocl in th e morning …see..
    i jus got done watchin “the church
    boston 2002″ holy freakin s@#$t!
    i,..i dont..i mean…u guys know what i mean

    oh my goodness! wow

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 9:08 am #

    You are a saucey ,bugger,Mr Kilbey!!!cant “DO IT” whilst listening to The church……..always listening for the next ingenious phrase,or riff…….mostrude of me……oh except for one said fellow,,,thats how i knew……genx xxxxxx

  21. avatar
    hee bee gee bee | 5 May 2007 at 9:16 am #

    saturday night
    feeling strangely feverish
    bad case of the punctuations
    may need some epsong salts
    oooh here’s some!

    More than a pixel

    Oh steeeeve I’ve known you very well (????)
    I’ve seen you growing every day (awwww)
    I never really looked before (well, a bit)
    But now you take my breath away (sigh)
    Suddenly you’re in my life (oh my gawd)
    Part of everything I do (!!!!!)
    You’ve got me working day and night (slavedriver)
    Just trying to write a comment to you ( aaargh )

    More than a pixel
    More than a pixel to me, baybeeeeee
    More than a pixel (more than a pixel)
    More than a pixel to me

    Here in your blog I’ve found my paradise 🙂 🙂
    My only chance for happiness !!!!!!!!!!!
    And if I lose you now I think I would die 🙁 🙁
    Oh say you’ll always be my blogstar ???????
    We can make it shine *****)))))
    We can take forever &&&&&&&&&
    Just a minute at a time, oh-oh +++++++

    More than a pixel
    More than a pixel to me, baby
    More than a pixel (more than a pixel)
    More than a pixel to me

  22. avatar
    Gareth,Notts | 5 May 2007 at 11:13 am #

    steve,you must have a great memory,i can often remember the tiniest detail from years ago,yet forgot something from 2days previous!its great to see the tour through your eyes!having a Go-betweens/Grant/Jack Frost/Church weekend,cds,vids,dvds etc God bless the strumming genius G.W.M.!

  23. avatar
    Brian | 5 May 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Here’s a winner. I thought this would bring a smile or two to some deserving people. enjoy.


  24. avatar
    a2 | 5 May 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    …which all just goes to show you are as addicted to the church as we are – which is a mighty relief after hints of final ever shows in london, etc – thanks sk that’s about as close as I will get to beginning to understand the feeling of onstage transcendence – now about those australian dates – is there even a hint of hope for this year?

  25. avatar
    ed in fl | 5 May 2007 at 4:10 pm #

    You put it all so exquisitly (sp?)…great writing.

    ed in fl

  26. avatar
    EARTHFRIEND | 5 May 2007 at 4:54 pm #

    me have an idea for our blogs, you can write on my blog and me will write on your blog just for one day…

  27. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 5 May 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    When Steve Kilbey excells like he did on this respective blog, his nonpareil insight is akin to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s. During the past few days I have researched US and UK reviews of CHurch CDs including several done by Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, Q and big city newspapers. Every CD is lauded for the great vocals,lyrics, guitar virtuosity and the profound nature of the music. The music critics love the CDs but they rarely encourage their readers to buy the CDs. Lamentably, it seems like many critics love to assert that The CHurch is an incredibly deep and fantastic band that is not interested in commercial success. Radiohead is a deep and fantastic band and they wallow in their commercial success. Thom Yorke uses his fame to support Friends Of The Earth and other worthy causes. Steve merits the platform more than Yorke and he could espouse peace, animal rights, vegetarianism and other causes he likes. In closing, I think that the music press has the CHurch stereotyped as a supergroup that never resonated around the world. That’s the music press’s fault not the CHurch’s. We are lucky that the Church has endured. I remember a British band called “Talk Talk” that gave up after recording three crtically acclaimed masterpieces that nobody bought. I bought them (The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden,Laughing Stock). Great stuff but not better than any CHurch penned 1990 through 2007 CD.

  28. avatar
    CSTCoach | 5 May 2007 at 7:24 pm #

    “jans been raving on n on about our music
    but my system is unable to accept compliments
    like a thirsty man trying to drink a mirage
    i draw no succour from anyones praise”

    That’s an interesting observation, and well phrased. I’ve always been uncomfortable with receiving compliments too. I wonder why that is?

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2007 at 8:13 pm #

    I never comment here.

    Just wanted to say that this was really good.

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2007 at 6:20 am #


  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2007 at 6:21 am #

    do you remember me?

  32. avatar
    JJ | 6 May 2007 at 9:58 pm #

    That was compelling; I couldn’t stop reading till the end, no pauses. Just got back from misty-mountain appalatia today (Sunday) and more river adventures through the insanely dark and mysterious forests, dripping with much-antipated rain and thunder. Sudden voltage in the air, rain forest girl.

    These two bloggs were superior, some of the best. i’ve always wondered what you’re thinking up there, what you’re feeling as the music pulses to us out there. A Church performance is like no other – I lose myself, forget who and what I am, even if for a short time. It’s transforming.

    (can’t help but think of the Austin Powers character with the dutch accent spellings you use)

  33. avatar
    John Garratt | 7 May 2007 at 1:32 pm #

    “someone asks me to sign some cds
    i watch from the bottom of my pool
    as kilbey scribbles something”

    I was in a record shop in St. Louis one day when I found a vinyl copy of “Earthed” autographed. One of the store clerks had put a post-it note on the record saying “this is Steve Kilbey’s autograph, really.”

    As I read the above description of the pool of your mind, thine sloppy penmenship came to mind! Hope you are well.

    Oh, and hey there B. Bon. How you doing?

    John Garratt

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