posted on March 18, 2008 at 7:54 pm

now i checked new orders “best of” out hard
after all these were they guys that gave us atmosphere…
we used to (i used to)
play atmosphere over n over n over
during early mansfield st days
wow what a song
everything about it blew my tiny mind
the belltrees in sibilant echo
the fucking bass line
the tom tom drumming
who else was playing drums like that?
the guitar n keys…perfect
i knew i needed to check new order out more carefully
i have all their albums on cd here
power corruption n lies is pretty good
but i love get ready
jesus when the guitar kicks in in the beginning of crystal….
a lot of tracks musically on here have joy div spirit
you gotta admire the way n.o. were ready to go for new sounds
creating their own trademark thing
totally diff to jd n everyone else
i love blue monday
i love the song where he says
why dont you piss off?
listening to “best of”
i detected some real shockers
ie shell shock
thieves like us
vanishing point
run 2
oh god
a whole load of em
insipid awful tripe
man you gotta slap yerself round the face n say
these are the guys who did in a lonely place?
and its all about intent n trying
they are the qualities that count (to me)
what is the intent behind the thing?
what were new order thinking
when they did some of this?
hooky is reduced to pretty little melodies
over the most embarrassing little songs
and the most awful lyrics often about “love”
squeaking out cliche platitudes
these songs have no “love” in them however
they werent trying
and the intent was like a can of soups intent
contrast this to the good stuff
where you can feel the creative convulsion
that spewed forth most of j.d. n the good n o
thats why i talk about gaf as a gaffe
whats its intent…?
i dunno
its pretty much a church can of soup
contrasted to the power of most of starfish
and the opiated grandeur of p=a
its a lull
the band becalmed in a miasma of indecision
“i dont cares”
i’m glad if you like it…i really am
i dont decry you or your taste or loyalty
or expertise
music is a personal matter
i love some strange records
i just do
even if youre not supposed to
i still do
so im using gaf as a kinda litmus test
of intent n trying
you see on the church records
for trying you had to give me 8 or 9 outta 10
i was trying
boy was i trying
on heyday i was trying so hard
the paisley all fell off my shirt
starfish i was trying
no knucklehead, the producers didnt create utmw
and no ploog didnt play on it
but utmw had intent n trying on it
it was done with love, my friends
but gaf…
who cares
i put all my trying n intent into remindlessness
i hate drum machines mostly
it was all i had in my bedroom studio…
dont stop me enjoying sisters of mercy or cocteau twins
so shut up about drum machines
it was that or nothin’
but all my best was going into remindlessness
thats a record with some love in it
all i had left for gaf
was kilbey running on autopilot
knocking out metropolises
which is a good exercise in songwriting
it has all the elements
what were trying to do…?
have a hit
what was its intent?
make money n keep arista happy
did it have love?
not really…it had skill n craft..but no real love
(peter k may deny this…maybe he put some love in…)
it was devoid of whatever starfish was brimming in
just when we needed to make a record with love
we burped out gaf
yeah ploogy didnt play on most of it
but he had no love for it either
at least we kept a modicum of interest in it
he found the church n our music had left him non-plussed
peter says i was too hard on him all the time
yeah thats true i guess
specially when he deliberately wasnt trying
which was most of the time towards the end
but also my ascerbic tongue wore him down
we had an argument (over all things) divvying up some pot
he said something like (paraphrasing here, folks)
i wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
you know what a drag it is to see you
i thought
ok my mate
your performance dont justify this fuckin’ cheek
you see if marty or peter said that
i’d have to go
jesus thats harsh
but youre kinda indispensible
so i guess being good gives ya more leeway to be rude
that was how i saw it then
which is why i was so rude i guess
good= ruder i shoulda called it
but ploog by this stage had no interest whatsoever
in playing drums in the church
or even playing drums full stop
which is very sad
cos he had just gotten better n better
since he joined
and we HAD had some good times together
but lotsa things came between us
however he didnt even bother turning up
even when renivited to come down n give it a try
he still remained in la getting paid n a car
and apt in hollyfuckingwood
waddy wachtel did most of it on a drum machine
he actually tried to use richards parts from the demos
which are much better than album
i did all bass bits to drum machine
while waddy watched n listened like a hawk
the record is “perfect” from the ground up
but it sucks
yeah grind coulda been a good song
yeah pharaoh or pharoah is ok
at least ploogys on that one
its my own contribution
my own lack of caring n trying
even on autopilot im never rubbish
my skill n craft dont desert cos theres no love…
so yeah
there you have it
people who know what to do
doing it but without the love of previous or next record
at every stage of the process…it was loveless
like playing chess with someone whos letting you win
or someones empty flattery
or telephone sex with robot
or those corn chips with no calories
or sugar free gum
or entertainment channel
or smoking tea leaves
or whatever
no love
no trying
intent to sell but remain innocuous
dont push boundaries
dont rock the boat
dont allow extreme beauty or ugliness
dont tell the truth
not dedicated to the glory of god
not containing flashes of pure brilliance
no experimentation
as i said the churchs worst
still better than mosts best
i mean gaf aint a real stinker alongside
(insert yer most abhorred rubbish here)
just like new order still better than heart or britney
or boybands or whatever
demand more
we should
i wont ever letcha down that bad again
remember that!
i’m always trying
my intent is to fucking blow you away
its always got lotsa love
i may fail
i may fail often
but im trying
i wasnt with gaf
i know it
you know it
we all knew it then
even if we only felt it
thats why we lost momentum
no love
no love
no love

81 Responses to “why killer thinks things are good n bad”

  1. avatar
    PAGEY | 18 March 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    the tracks on that best of are catering to the rave scene i believe, the pop crowd. I could tell ya 12 other tracks that would have fit better. Low life was great and o love the EP 1981-1982. PCL is good and so is movement. The rest sucks…

    all the SK and Church albums blow most of the NO albums away….

  2. avatar
    davem | 18 March 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    Steve, that was a fascinating read.
    I guess the love and sweat that you put into your art is a huge reason for your longevity.
    You don’t go through the motions and we can feel it. It’s why the bunnymen et al are redundant and you still excite.
    I can’t fucking wait for all the new releases. I’m still like a kid in a sweet shop about new Kilbey stuff even after 26 years of eyeing up your gobstoppers…oooerrr.

  3. avatar
    nickfiction | 18 March 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    one of my favourite subjects….. ( joy division ) why were they, who were they? why did they happen when they did? Why in Macclesfield, England? My opinion is that JD laid the groundwork to new wave and postpunk etc. I believe without them there’d be no U2 or definitely the Cure( they are so JD they reek ) These 4 kids unknowingly invented a genre of music. without that drumming Larry Mullen from U2 wouldnt know what to play. Without Hook , Simon Gallup wouldnt have a sound or probably even picked up a guitar. It’s true that people put JD high up on the shelf , but i believe that’s where they deserve to be . Ian Curtis ya poor fucker we still love ya …….
    Part 2 GAF……. your description of why it was just mediocre was superbly written. I can recall when i was a kid and I’d had starfish and I’d lay in bed and listen to ” destination ” and fall asleep dreaming …. that I could’nt wait for the next ” starfish ” …. It never came , but GAF had it’s moments , as well as some of the worst ” church ” songs ever written. Wikipedia actually has a seperate listing for GAF. I wonder why Starfish didnt?

  4. avatar
    crack in smile | 18 March 2008 at 9:44 pm #


    Who else can do anything so adorable with absolute no love?

    Iโ€™m glad to read your words about the process that creates some of the most important tunes of my life.

    GAF made Arista, me and a bunch of people happy!


  5. avatar
    veleska1970 | 18 March 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    GAF is a great album. but then, all your albums are. each one has a magic all its own. and i’m surprised to read what you say about it, too. i would have never guessed this, steve.

    i’m very sorry to read about your friend. i only recently lost someone very dear to me, too, so you’re in my thoughts.

    lotza love….

    btw~~how’s the foot?

  6. avatar
    the dean | 18 March 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    The last 15 odd minutes of remindlessness are truly mind blowing a triumph.

    despite the detached sound of gaf, I’ve quite enjoy it but as alistener I take it on face value.

  7. avatar
    Athanasius Pernath | 18 March 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    gaf always feels like being on a wake of a beautiful unknown dead femme fragile…or watching dead butterflies on the tip of a needle. maybe a bit…quiet…but still very beautiful…that sad never-come-back kind of beauty. while remindlessness…the elephant god alone is enough to frighten me/catapult me into a blahblahsphere. ..that little violin melody in the last section…”section” (that sounds like a topographic ocean, doesnt it)…anyway, the spoken word section is one of the most menacing bits of music i know, and the conclusion feels like being saved from hell…(that’s what you mean with fucking blowing us away i guess)


  8. avatar
    cita | 18 March 2008 at 10:31 pm #

    Love and intent yeah you got it all in the palm of your hand baby.

    I love the image of the paisley patterns falling off your shirt that made me laugh. Very sweet.

    Beautiful insights into the core of magical process of what it is to make music.

    What a vibrant, mysterious and wonderful creation it is.

    Your music has touched me in away no other music ever has.

  9. avatar
    Sean | 18 March 2008 at 11:50 pm #

    Steve, you have never, EVER, ceased to blow me away. I still listen to City of Women and Sad Little Piano Piece on the iPud. I recently bought newer CD’s, and cried when I heard Jazz. I kicked myself in the ass for not keeping track. I wonder how much time I’ve lost being caught up in life when I could have been listening to you, my Houdini, and smiling, hair blown back in jaw-dropped amazement.

    Imitation is easy; innovation is not. You never stop innovating.

  10. avatar
    ben | 18 March 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    i dream of success as you once did im sure, and i havent given up on my hope to be known through music. ive learned in theory by watching my teachers who have inspired me like yourself that once you acheive your hope, what then is hope? when you reach the top of the mountain, its not what you want.most of us deal with the effects of life never seeing the cause. this makes me grateful that because im still growing in order to find why im here. i relate to your story anyways, which is cool.

  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 March 2008 at 11:52 pm #


    Great post – love the fact you keep trying – love the fact you keep blowing me away !!!!


  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 12:00 am #

    Great. Glad to hear it. So when does the new Church record come out?

    BTW Remindlessness is pretty neat; some of those songs like Africa and Charlotte Bay are amazing and sound beautiful on the remaster.

  13. avatar
    matt davison | 19 March 2008 at 12:05 am #

    hurry up and get painkiller out there!!!That will blow em away

    – the words from the artist = that of the artist’s most harsh critic..GAF means a lot to many humung beans… doesnt really matter what you say killer, its a very good album regardess of the story behind it.

    better than MATS?? NO! better than Uninvted NO!! better than OSAH!! DAMM YES……..better than HGOB mmmmm afraid so!!

    So whatever..


  14. avatar
    Leelinau | 19 March 2008 at 12:22 am #

    ‘burped out GAF’

    haha, almost choked on my apple.


  15. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 19 March 2008 at 12:39 am #

    People with the resplendent, diverse talents of Sk, MACCA and Lennon can release very good music when on autopilot. Sk is aptly in their league. Just imagine if the Beatles did not have both MACCA and Lennon and for that matter George too. No band fronted by only Lennon or MACCA could touch The 1992 to 2008 incarnation of The Church. Nor can Mick, Bono, Morrissey,Yorke, Gabriel, Weller, Waters, Gilmour, Cobain, Wilson or Bruce.

    I hope the venerable Matt Davison is not contending that Gold Afternnon Fix is superior to Hologram of Baal. That would be a declaration of war and George W is not afraid to drop a bomb.

  16. avatar
    matt davison | 19 March 2008 at 1:05 am #

    dear BC I am afraid so……. There is magic on HGOB.. Tranquilty, Buffalo..etc
    But I have trouble playing it to non cheerchies.. It’s the one alby only for crunch fans.. U see I acctually love it ” but then the boy’s could release a silly addaptation / version of an animation or popular movie, and I would still love it)))But that alby has over done the drone guitar / wind -up thing, and other noisey whirls and twerls..>over the vocals..
    It does cause ear distress for non- -Cheerchies Try’d and tested.. Bit the same as FYS.

    But thats why I love em!!! funny Isnt it..the one that people love the most Par Univ!!! 89 out of 100 listeners love it…. (food 4 thought eh)


  17. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 19 March 2008 at 1:18 am #


    You’re too cool to argue with plus I love the new DVD. It gives me “Tranquility” and it invokes “Louisiana” on “Another Earth” replete with “Glow-Worms” that “Richochet”.

    “This Is It”

    Peace and Love to Matt!

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 1:19 am #

    You always help me be more contemplative.

    Good music=Love

    Do you still subscribe to the idea that good=ruder way of thinking? I think it’s interesting and realized maybe that’s why I’m always a nice guy.

    the band comparison I second that with Joy D over New Order. New order were always too squeaky clean for me. JD was darker contemplative and came from somewhere in all of us that stirs something when you listen.

    HOB is beautiful. Like a winter fireside cabin journey with the sisters whispering in the trees. lots of love there. a renewed love of things to come, I felt.


  19. avatar
    fantasticandy | 19 March 2008 at 1:26 am #

    every time i do a mind-sapping, psyche-draining, open-hearted and
    LONG epistle………
    it fuckin’ well disapears!!!
    it’s late,
    i’m tired,
    and your’e a genius.
    good night.
    andy L.

    p.s. kat……great to hear from you!
    i hope all is well.

  20. avatar
    bezepae | 19 March 2008 at 1:55 am #

    Great post. Love getting glimpses into the process. GAF has some great lyrics that nobody can touch! Certainly no one out there today. Interpol for example/especially!

    Got my Narcosis CD t’other day but no Remindlessness. Borrowed it from a friend long ago who’s long gone and only have faint echoes of the music. I’m fiending for it, no fix at KH, help!

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 1:56 am #

    Hi Steve,

    That was a such a great read this morning…i ALWAYS enjoy reading your blog no matter what, but that was really fascinating…the intent, the discipline, the love…wow!

    Every new Church release or solo release is eagerly awaited, and the previous releases treasured beyond measure…can’t wait for the next instalments! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jon From Geelong

  22. avatar
    tim | 19 March 2008 at 2:41 am #

    yeah ya fucked up there…i dug gaf, i think cause i loved starfish and it turned me on to church and then was prob the first one in canada to buy gaf and played the snot out of it cause AT THE TIME it still put alot of stuff out there to shame..and then my interest was led guys kinda fell off the map too cause there wasn’t much promo or radio after gaf but…one year ago this month i came across this blog and thought..oh yeah..i remember those guys…and over the last year had to reconnect with the band and all the tunes i missed between gaf and uninvited and was blown away and you were redeemed in my eyes…lottsa love…and go fuck yourself..

  23. avatar
    tim | 19 March 2008 at 2:59 am #

    as much as i LOVED gaf….i cant take h of Baal out of the cd player in the jeep…fucking incredible…gotta side with b.c.
    but to each there own….

  24. avatar
    tim | 19 March 2008 at 3:00 am #


  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 3:11 am #

    atmosphere is by joy division…….

  26. avatar
    Ross B | 19 March 2008 at 3:18 am #

    I like gaf because it seems to fit the mood of that time, after all that frenzied activity of the 80’s, then *fooof*…, Terra Nova Cain’s a damn fine song though! Though I don’t think gaf is anywhere near as good as the albums & eps that preceded it, though it’s still a good album.

    I really like ‘Magician amongst the Spirits’ too, it has an innocence about it that captured the mood I was in at the time – it’s an album that when listening to makes me happy, inwardly snug & secure.

    …don’t have p=a or after everything now this, ahh! Will purchase very soon!

    And Brien…Weller’s been in top form too matey, from 1992 onwards, album-wise anyway…

    Have a good day, Ross.

  27. avatar
    fulltiltgonzales | 19 March 2008 at 3:19 am #

    Am I the only one who listened to “Essence” on GAF like 1,000 times?

  28. avatar
    JJ | 19 March 2008 at 3:47 am #

    Very interesting to read your comments on GAF. Hmm….if that’s TTB on “autopilot” then continue to set the controls. Well, maybe I love “Metropolis” (if it was an excercise in songwriting) much as I love Lennon’s “Hey Bulldog”, which he said was a “throwaway” song. Both brilliant, nonetheless. GAF does dip in parts, but still pregnant with some excellent tracks. I ain’t changin’ me mind neither.

    The mere fact that you continue to care, to put the love into the work – it does show, it registers as genuine and honestly conceived and realized. Ploogy – got a soft spot for him, I admired his drumming on Starfish and was saddened to hear way back of drum machines and his departure. I hope he is doing well, wherever he is. Send my regards.

    Thank you for the insights into the musical past. Fascinating stuff.

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 3:52 am #

    Very insightful read and much appreciated for your candid honesty.
    I firmly believe music moves people in many different ways.
    I am the listener and you are the creator.
    What you have offered to me may be interpreted differently into my own life than as the vision that you saw when you created it.
    As I said in my last post…I love Gold Afternoon Fix.
    You guys were trying to follow up the biggest and most successful album of your career.
    I believe that you did the very best that you could considering the circumstances.
    What attracted me to Starfish was the guitar tunings and effects.
    But one of the things that I loved about Gold Afternoon Fix was the rich textures of sound that you employed.
    I am so pleased to read that some of the other distinguished contributors feel the same way.
    I fully respect your opinion that you don’t care for it.
    Hell…I wasn’t there.
    You were.
    But my sincerest wish is that it brings maybe a faint smile to your face that there are some of us who deeply appreciate it.

    See You Tomorrow,
    Tampa, Fl

  30. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 19 March 2008 at 5:29 am #

    Dear Sk, Matt Dav. and Tim:

    If I were sent to death for fighting for animal rights= I will wish for vegan burgers with soy cheese and a pint of Jim Beam as my last feast; and Hologram of Baal, as my last artistic pleasure. That CD will eternally resonate with me even if it’s not a favorite of the one and only Steven Kilbey. Even the latter must respect Maccca’s “let it Be”. This blog keeps me alive. Thank you Sk and all commentors far and wide.

    I’m being dramatic because here in America Al Gore should be President. Clinton, Obama and McCain will keep us at war and do nothing to save the planet. I roar for Al Gore in my padded room.

  31. avatar
    bezepae | 19 March 2008 at 5:31 am #

    Hey fulltiltgoz! ‘Essence’ was one of the songs I was referring about amazing lyrics. You’re not alone on that one!

  32. avatar
    linjo | 19 March 2008 at 6:00 am #

    Must be very uplifting to read so many intelligent positive comments about your work. Particularly from Brien, such a passionate man. (hope you add rocket, cashew and parmesan dip to that vege burger last supper!)

  33. avatar
    Melby Symon | 19 March 2008 at 6:11 am #

    WOW…i was mesmerised reading that blog entry. Absofuckinglutely mesmerised.

    …but I still love GAF. Maybe in a weird sort of a way, we all give GAF a bit of the “love” which you say it was so sadly lacking.


  34. avatar
    Galamor the Wizard | 19 March 2008 at 6:27 am #

    GAF actually has one of my all time fave Church songs on it – Disappointment. Brilliant composition. Don’t forget Steve that the Beatles talked about the “factory songs” to satisfy the quota e.g. Day Tripper (!)
    Remindlessness has been on my mind lately. I only have the vinyl and was going to replace it with the CD soon via the Karmichit website but I can’t “find” it to buy on there. That’s one STRANGE album. Compelling but nearly too much!!!
    Especially Elephant God!(from memory)
    As for HOB, AWESOME opening song and one of the Church’s best IMHO.
    Keep trying…and succeeding though, please no more “Forget Yourself”‘s or “Magician…”‘s (album…keep playing that song live!)
    Looking forward to the Vanguard.
    Please play Mechanism…and don’t forget to try!!!

  35. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 7:10 am #

    Remindlessness is high art.

    Love Lisa from the 27th floor…

  36. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 19 March 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Terra Nova Cain
    Monday Morning
    You’re Still Beautiful

    Some of the most beautiful music ever recorded. Period!

  37. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 7:59 am #

    “Laughing” is pure guitar heaven.

    – Lebrinho

  38. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 19 March 2008 at 8:10 am #

    1. Forget Yourself
    2. Gold Afternoon Fix
    3. After Everything Now This
    4. Hologram Of Baal
    5. Uninvited Like The Clouds

    Sometime Anywhere is another favorite. Always loved it.

  39. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 8:15 am #

    Well, of course as a lyricist words would be most important to you. For me (garden variety listener) it’s only part of why I like a song, though. How something is sung and the atmosphere(s) of a song also count for something. Joy Division overall just doesn’t do it for me. In terms of atmosphere ‘dank basement’ springs to mind. Now back to my oatmeal before it turns to concrete….

  40. avatar
    eek | 19 March 2008 at 9:36 am #

    music is a personal matter

    Yes, it really is.

    I’m pretty sure I got more out of GAF than you put into it and that had a lot to do with my life and needs at the time. It’s always struck me as a cynical and bitter album, dispassionately delivered, and that really hit the spot for me then. Granted the only other Church album I had at the time was Starfish, so I didn’t have a huge catalog to compare it with, but I think I still would have responded well to it. In retrospect it clearly lacks the verve pretty much everything else you’ve done has and I rarely listen to it now, yet at the time it was perfect for me and I will always regard it fondly because of that.

    I also can’t help but think that if GAF had been different — perhaps better — that every album you did afterwards (or in the case of Remindlessness — at the same time) would be different also. I mean if GAF had been an artistic and commercial success would P=A be what it is or would you have gone in a different direction? Certainly GAF was a detour, but maybe it was a necessary one. I know I’m very pleased with the creative direction you have ultimately taken.

  41. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 19 March 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Steve, I would just like to add that music is very rarely as exciting and exhilerating as Forget Yourself. Sometime in the future they will call it a Masterpiece.

  42. avatar
    isolde | 19 March 2008 at 10:48 am #


  43. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 11:29 am #

    No-one ever told me that the GAF demos are online, “with permission” (???)

    Did everyone else know this ?

  44. avatar
    SweatyWheels | 19 March 2008 at 11:29 am #

    I think I liked GAF for the time and place I was listening to it, its was only later on I could reflect and think, yeah, there was some lameness in a few songs – but some real gems, I mean, Grind, WTF! Brilliant. I also really like PKs Transient.
    J’adore the Sisters, especially early Sisters, 80-84. Asked MWP once for a quick response to a statement. “The Sisters of Mercy”. He cogitated for a moment and replied “…silly”.
    How good is City of Women? Raw pure melancholia.

  45. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    that was interesting – thanks

  46. avatar
    12str | 19 March 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    random pan… theres a gem!
    ive just got to mention some songs here.
    the disenchanted
    Bel- Air
    Monday morning
    the awful ache
    judgement day
    something that means something
    nothing inside

    Theres something in these songs…
    lovely stuff
    theres a kilbey song for every moment in life.


  47. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    That’s such a moving, beautiful post. It’s so interesting to me that the relationship you have with your albums and music as a creator, can be similar or even aligned with the relationship I have to that same music, but as a listener.

    GAF has some wonderful moments and songs, but I have never felt emotionally connected to it in the way I did Starfish. And I believe I tried to find its heart.

    SK, you’ve never let me down. So if thats your greatest failure… and I can still enjoy so many of its moments… then please continue…

  48. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Marty and Peter must have put a lot of love into the guitars on Metropolis, because they are beautiful. That’ll never be a factory song to me.

    The drum machine on Remindlessness is pretty nasty, but the music and lyrics are great enough to override it. I’d have done the album with no drums at all. Regardless, a wonderful achievement.

    GAF low point- Koppes’ lead vocals. He’s improved so much since then.

  49. avatar
    gabor | 19 March 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Who else was playing drums like ‘Atmosphere’ in 1980?
    Steve, literally dozens of British post-punk bands used that type of drumming in that period. The originator of this drumming WAS a Morris, but not Steven Morris – it was Kenny Morris of the Banshees who’d played that way from 1977 and was renowned (in the UK at least) for having introduced the tribal thump that was so widely copied. Severin recently said that Joy Division hadn’t ripped off the Banshees they’d “had the same ideas a year later” ! Interesting that Ian’s (platonic!) girlfriend, Annik Honore, was a major Banshees fan – but only of this early period with Kenny Morris’ tribal drums and John McKay’s discordant sheet metal and glass shard guitar.

  50. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Ploog quoted Dylan’s ‘Positively 4th Street’ at you ?

  51. avatar
    matthew | 19 March 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh I love so much of GAF! It’s a testament to you guys’ talent that it still comes across as an amazingly credible record! And yeah I’ve read so much about the Ploog factor over the years, & what a shame! I still reckon, bloody brilliant songs despite duress, personally. Circuses & elephants where the oranges grew… yeahhh!

  52. avatar
    athpernath | 19 March 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    > Who else was playing drums
    > like ‘Atmosphere’ in 1980?

    i think it was Martin Hannett’s brain stem…

  53. avatar
    Aaron Wassertrum | 19 March 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    …and sorry for the delay, SK, i think i worked it out – –

  54. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    GAF was one of those where I din’t think much of it at first but the more I played it the better it got – but then it went away again…!
    Pharoah, Monday Morning, Grind – that’s it. Bits of Metropolis, Laughing and Fading Away. Desert would’ve made a killer single if developed.
    Steve – in your opinion how would things have been different/better if John Paul Jones HAD produced it?

  55. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    I gots all of ’em. I grew up from Teenrage Head to I’m a Man through all of ’em. It’s funny ’cause when you lost interest, I lost interest. You all did, however help me become a musical expeditionary while you were becalmed / Pointed out new musical reality tunnels to burrow through, and then you guys got good again… You got really good again. And lately, I’ve been thinking it’s the real deal, the shite if you will. A regular shining light on a hill. Lots of Lux Nova on ya, drude.

  56. avatar
    CSTCoach | 19 March 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    “all my best was going into remindlessness”

    It really fucking shows. Remindlessness is an incredible album. Celebration of the Birthday of the Elephant God still raises goosebumps every time i hear it. I ordered that from a back catalogue somewhere while living in tokyo. it was one of those 2 or 3am albums, when the world was silent, i’d finished writing for the night, my head was reeling, and i needed to tap in, to know that something larger was out there.

    thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on GAF, the process, etc. Fascinating reading. And while i think it doesn’t coalesce like other church albums, its got some incredible songs on it. Judging it against your body of work it may not rate as highly as others, but i did listen to it daily for about 3 months (daily – that and starfish, they were the only ones i still had on tape, carried those two with me through central america and played them on an old walkman every single day) – i never got tired of them, and i managed to hear something new each time. You said it best – perhaps not up to your brutal self-standards, but still better than anyone else’s material.

    I agree with eek, its got a darkness, a bitterness, another sort of melancholy that’s very different than your other work. And it does strike a chord on that level.

    I’ve gotta admit that the only album i never really play is Parallel Universe (the remix disc – not the other one, which really floats – Espionage is one of my favourite choich tracks).

  57. avatar
    blackeyes | 19 March 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Dear 12str:
    in your list,
    nothing inside
    are 2 songs i really, really like.
    but the reason is the other songs i havent listen to yet.
    Guess i’ll love them as well.

    Thanks for it.

  58. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    Bring Ploog back.

  59. avatar
    no don't | 19 March 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    Don’t bring Ploog back.
    Great ‘character’ (bit wayward on the live tempos tho!) and the Jay Dee years did miss that element.
    But Tim’s the fucking man.
    I say!

  60. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Steve, if y’disliked GAF so much why’d you play so many songs from it on the 1990 tour?

  61. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    MATS is a lot fuckin worse than GAF !

  62. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    The only “bad” Chrunch album is the Remote Luxury pseudo-comp, and that only because of the production really. And “Maybe These Boys”, which is goddawful. I quite like MATS.

  63. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    When Ploog said that, you SERIOUSLY didn’t recognise it as a Dylan lyric?

  64. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Remote Luxury came out as an album in the UK. Constant In Opal, Shadow Cabinet, Month of Sundays, Into My Hands, Volumes – that ain’t bad by anybody’s standards!

  65. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Cocteau Twins is Sacred. If you need more, check out Violet Indiana (Robin Guthrie and some gal from Mono), it’s really seductive and Japanese/or L.A. Hotel-like on a cold winter day. There’s also Moon and the Melodies (title album also title band) kinda like vanilla incense and sipping tea at a glass shoppe at the faire…which comprises: Cocteau Twins with Harold Budd, sounds kind of like Victorialand era Cocteau’s. An Extremely fine choice for ALL OF YOU. See for even more (like…This Mortal Coil, by all means!) Harold Budd on his own is good, I really like Sneakster cd entitled fifty-fifty (just the instrumentals tracks created by Robin Guthrie). Watch out (caution) for the new copycat chick singers out there, they are too nasal and folksy for me even as they try to resusitate the Cocteau Twins, just let it go,Ladybug….valentinevictorian

  66. avatar
    Finn | 19 March 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Remote Luxury is one of my absolute favorites. So there! Steve, tell us how “Maybe These Boys” came about! Surely that’s one you want to revisit ๐Ÿ˜‰

    to the guy who said: Am I the only one who listened to “Essence” on GAF like 1,000 times?

    You’re not the only one. That one has some weird lyrics that I really had to listen to to understand.

    Actually, one of the fun things about the later Church albums is that the lyrics aren’t printed on the sleeve, so you have to really listen to get ’em.

    There’s some great b-sides from the GAF era. Really enjoy the Quick Smoke At Spots album.

  67. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 19 March 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    As for “Maybe These Boyss”, I agree. The only Church song I just cannot lkisten to. MATS is probably my least favorite Church album. Well, next to the covers album. I only like The Endless Sea and Cortez The Killer off of that one.

  68. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 6:40 pm #


  69. avatar
    restaurant mark | 19 March 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    great, fascinating read today…why i’m here…have nothing but respect for you and your art mr. kilbey


    take care everyone

  70. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 March 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    cool albumn !… …was G, A, F THE CHORDS ON ONE OR SOME OF THE SONGS ?


    Chris Woods

  71. avatar
    steve kilbey | 19 March 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    dear anonymous
    you goose
    of course ploog didnt quote dylan at me
    and if he had do you think I wouldnt have known it?
    thats why it says paraphrasing….JESUS!

  72. avatar
    davem | 19 March 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    I love all the old stuff. Of course I do.
    But the magical thing is I’m even more interested in what you’re producing now!!! Keep doing what you do, there are no artists out there to compare with you.

  73. avatar
    Anakki Mayhem | 19 March 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    lovely blog ๐Ÿ™‚
    my fave new order songs are crystal (i love it when the guitar kicks in too) & blue monday coz it’s timeless… too many fave church songs to list – but i have to say that i love the church live better than the records coz the love is always there on stage (even when you’re at loggerheads with each other – love is passionate too) & grind live is SO good… oh, & imho the worst (??? i love them all) church record is better than 99.99% of what else is out there… ๐Ÿ˜€
    ps: i feel for your hurt over your friend but remember that there can always be miracles & the love of friends can do wonders – me=living proof of that – & even if it doesn’t save lives it still counts bigtime.

  74. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 19 March 2008 at 8:01 pm #

    Sk’s on a blog roll. Joy Division, New Order and Gold Afternoon Fix induced a plethora of commentors ranging from the bombastic yours truly to the impeccably cultivated restaurant mark.

  75. avatar
    dropframe | 20 March 2008 at 3:06 am #

    Pleeze get yourself a copy of PERSIA – in my opinion this is the most complete church work ever created – and Steve please don’t tell me that Ploogy ain’t on the sticks of thisa one. How about a blog on behind the scenes of Persia Mr Time Being

  76. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 March 2008 at 4:49 am #

    vegan burgers=vegetarians craving the taste of animal cruelty. what a load of shootie…

    try the bean. get off the taste of FAKE meat if you mean if. especially if it’s your last meal. You’d take fake meat burgers and whatever else you said. go ahead sit on your tofu burger pedestal and decry all the flat world factors. go ahead. I know, it makes you feel better about yourself (Where’s that intrinsic mirror cadaver when I need it?)

    Who can protest against animal cruelty, but eat “meat-like” flavored vegtable protein? really?????

    please discuss amongst yourselves I’m feeling verklempt……..


  77. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 March 2008 at 6:25 am #

    Sisters……Walk Away…….mmmmm

  78. avatar
    John | 20 March 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    I feel good…Steve Kilbey liked the guitar roar in “Crystal.”

    “Get Ready” beats the snot out of “Republic.”

    John Garratt

  79. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 March 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    After 17 years my cassette copy of GAF died. Snapped right in the midddle of “Grind”, which is the only song I listened to with any regularity. I found a used CD to replace it (hey, I did buy it new once). I was shocked by the clarity of the song. I missed the muted, garbbled, abbrassive version of my cassette. I used some cheap recording software to modify the EQ settings and create new MP3 for the ol’ Ipod.

  80. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 March 2008 at 2:21 am #

    PHARAOH is one of my all-time favorite Church songs. Always been a sucker for its stark, cinematic vibe and “special effects” intro. I picture Arista’s head honcho as the Pharaoh, a fat cat, leeching off the Church’s genius.

  81. avatar
    knot | 10 December 2018 at 5:29 am #

    Thanks Olivia for the idea…

    Tuned to an empty sky,
    Dead screens gone gray,
    Coming to the end of time,
    On a poisoned sea she sails


    Logic lost her cargo carried,
    The poetry electric
    Once set sail,
    White sails full
    Proud ship of fools
    Lettered and rhymed
    To ride the whirlwind
    Then the crash

    Data claws scrabble on slippery floors
    Around corners
    And shadowed corridors

    Lost decades decanted
    Techniques in damage
    Still trying to reach the console
    The captainโ€™s skeleton remains
    Binary beyond repair
    Tied to the wheel
    Of a cyberspace affair.

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