HD Steve Kilbey (The Church) New Zealand tour July 07
BY Touring Musicians
WC 388 words
PD 6 June 2007
CY Copyright 2007, scoop.co.nz All Rights Reserved.
Plus1Presents, 95bFM, and Radio Active89FM present:
Steve Kilbey (The Church) New Zealand tour July 2007
Steve Kilbey – lead singer and songwriter with legendary art-rockers The Church – tours New Zealand in late July for three intimate acoustic concerts:
* San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington, Thursday July 26
* Al's Bar, Christchurch, Friday July 27
* Transmission Room, Auckland, Saturday July 28
Tickets for all shows available from this Thursday (June 7) at Ticketek and Real Groovy.
For these concerts, Kilbey takes his pick from The Church classics like The Unguarded Moment, Under The Milky Way, and Metropolis as well songs like Transaction and She Counts Up The Days from his acclaimed solo albums.
It's just Kilbey's second time to New Zealand – the first was back in 1983 when The Church crossed the Tasman to tour.
The tour coincides with the forthcoming biography about Kilbey entitled No Certainty Attached and the second Church acoustic album in the Liberation Blue Series, titled El Momento Siguiente.
Sydney-based Kilbey's career has been eclectic and prolific – as a songwriter, musician (including several solo projects and collaborations with the likes of the late Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens), producer, poet, and painter. His written work includes Earthed, a book of fiction issued with Kilbey-penned instrumental electronic music, and 1998's book of poetry, Nineveh/The Ephemeron.
Running in parallel has been Kilbey's band, The Church. Their 20 albums, from guitar-pop jangle to ever-evolving neo-psychedelic dreamscapes, began with their 1981 debut Of Skins and Hearts featuring The Unguarded Moment. 1988's Starfish album was a worldwide smash – a timeless collection of enchanting songs led by Under The Milky Way reaching the Billboard Top 20.
Tickets for all Steve Kilbey shows available from Thursday June 7 at Ticketek nationwide, and Real Groovy Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch stores:
Thursday July 26, San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington; Tickets $39.90 + booking fee
Friday July 27, Al's Bar, Christchurch; Tickets $39.90 + booking fee
Saturday July 28, Transmission Room, Auckland; Tickets $43.90 (standing) & $59.90 (seated) + booking fee
nz : New Zealand | ausnz : Australia and New Zealand
Scoop Media Limited
HD Speaking with. . . Steve Kilbey
BY Jeff Elbel
CR Special to The Chicago Sun-Times
WC 410 words
PD 18 August 2006
SN Chicago Sun-Times
CY (c) 2006 Chicago Sun Times. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights reserved.
Eight albums into a career as underground heroes, the Church had a surprise hit with "Under the Milky Way" from 1988's "Starfish" LP. Though the band never repeated its chart success, it has steadily stretched the boundaries of its heady, psychedelic pop sound. "Uninvited, Like the Clouds" is the Sydney, Australia-based foursome's 18th studio album. Tonight, the group brings its mixture of Byrds-like jangle and Pink Floyd gravity to Park West, with Rob Dickinson of The Catherine Wheel opening.
Q. Is touring a burden after 26 years, or is it something you relish?
A. The thing I most enjoy about traveling is collecting phrases and feelings to draw on later. I like to sit in the back of the car, see the country and think about the people I meet. I'm like a whale swimming through the ocean straining krill through its membranes. I'm still looking for stuff to write about.
Q. In March, you performed "Under the Milky Way" with an orchestra before a worldwide audience at the Commonwealth Games. Does that experience breathe new life into an old song?
A. I've always liked "Under the Milky Way." It seemed like an introduction, leading people to our other songs. And the opportunity to play with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was simply too good to miss. Our earlier hit, "The Unguarded Moment," had been the only song people in Australia wanted to hear. If I had to be represented by one song, I'd rather it was "Under the Milky Way." But we're playing "Unguarded Moment" again now, just for the hell of it.
Q. Your popular blog (stevekilbey.blogspot.com) provides a forum for your frankest thoughts. Do you intentionally filter political opinion from Church music?
A. I think the Church's manifesto keeps obvious politics out. We're trying to deal in more abstract, ambiguous terms. If you write a song that says, "I don't like Dick Cheney," in five years time when George Bush is no longer president, the song is irrelevant. Having songs about political topics can be like the newspapers. You read them one day, and throw them away the next. A song that's a bit vague can keep you coming back for years.
- - -
- 8 tonight
- Park West, 322 W. Armitage
- Tickets, $25
- (773) 929-1322
CY (c) 2006 Copyright John Fairfax Holdings Limited. www.theage.com.au Not available for re-distribution.
LAST YEAR, STEVE Kilbey, front man for the Church, played their first hit The Unguarded Moment live for the first time in ages.
"I didn't know when I was 24 and wrote Unguarded Moment that I was expected to sing it forever," he says, "It was something I knocked off one morning before I went shopping."
Kilbey, 51, was arrested while shopping for drugs in New York in 1999. "A drug bust is something every ageing rock star should have under his belt," he said at the time. An intelligent, funny and thoughtful man, he admits to being almost always stoned. "I love to play and write on (marijuana). It puts me into a detached place where my ego can step out of the way and let my subconscious do the talking," he says.
"I'm doing enough swimming and yoga to make up for three joints and five chocolate bars a day."
Kilbey, a vegan, views it as his responsibility to the fans to put on the best show he can, not offer a tribute to his past.
"In 1964, people probably thought they wanted the Beatles to keep on playing She Loves You and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. They didn't know that something better was to come."
As a teenager he idolised David Bowie and Marc Bolan. But since being mauled at Festival Hall in 1981, he has shied away from adulation.
"It's a strange feeling - of being so embarrassed and also frightened at the same time - disappearing under a welter of teenage girls, all pulling at me hysterically."
When a 15-year-old fan recently asked him to sign a CD, he was dumbfounded. "I was surprised because when I was 15 I doubt whether I would have been a fan of someone who was 50," he says.
"When I was 15, I'd rather have had a 20-year-old imbecile as a hero than a 40-year-old genius. On the other hand, when I was a teenager, music had suddenly changed from my father's generation to mine. He didn't like electric guitars and he didn't understand the aesthetic. There has been no revolution since when I (started with the Church). Nothing has changed. If you went back to 1980 and played people the records that are around now, people would go, 'Jesus, is that it?' It would be profoundly disappointing."
He admits that the lack of the revolution he perhaps hoped for at least gives the Church a lifeline to a long career.
"But part of rock's manifesto is novelty and newness. When you've been around for 25 years you have to accept that that's one thing you haven't got any more."
He is now playing some of the old material including Unguarded Moment and Almost With You after releasing El Momento Descuidado, an acoustic album of Church songs. He enjoys people's appreciation of his music but views fame for its own sake as society's "mistake".
"Edward Gibbon wrote in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that one of the symptoms of a society in decay is when fame and money is the most important thing regardless of whether the fame is actually infamy, and the money was gotten by dishonest means," Kilbey explains.
"He said you could see this in the fall of Rome. It's happening now. We don't care what anybody did except that they are famous. And because they are famous, there are people setting them up, knocking them down, hounding them. Why? I don't know."
Another Face: Sam Sejavka, the playwright. He is extraordinarily handsome and charismatic.
Mistaken Identity: David Cassidy. Brian Mannix from Uncanny X Men - a funny little fellow - once said on stage that the Church was like the Partridge Family on Mandrax.
gent : Arts/Entertainment | gcat : Political/General News
austr : Australia | ausnz : Australia and New Zealand
F2 Australia & New Zealand Limited
HD UNGUARDED MOMENTS
WC 840 words
PD 7 December 2005
SN Southern Times Messenger
CY Copyright 2005 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved
STEVE Kilbey admits he'd gladly sell out and settle down amid the trappings of wealth, but hasn't worked out how to do it.
His 26-year-old band, The Church, has only occasionally sailed in the mainstream and any attempts to stay there have sunk.
"Believe me, if I could sell out and make a load of money so someone goes `that Steve Kilbey, he really sold out, what a joke', I'd be happy sitting at the end of Money Street," Steve says.
"But it didn't work for us and it never has worked. Every time we've made a decision because we thought it would help sell records or get a leg up in the business it always turned out really badly for us.
"So we got bitten and bitten, and after a while we just went `f--- it, we just want to do our own thing'."
Even the songs that made The Church's name, gems such as The Unguarded Moment, Almost With You and international hit Under the Milky Way, were flukes, according to Steve.
"All the hits we ever had, except maybe Metropolis in 1990, which was written as a single and sounds like it, nobody felt like they were hits . . . when I wrote them and certainly when we were recording them."
Steve describes many of the original versions as "uptight", which is why he's deriving pleasure from "rediscovering and reinventing" the songs on Liberation Blue acoustic release El Momento Descuidado.
Even he believed The Church's signature was two electric guitars weaving through his voice and words, but unplugging has been a revelation for Steve and cohorts Marty Willson-Piper (guitar), Peter Koppes (guitar) and Tim Powles (drums).
"That's what we always thought, but just rehearsing for these shows we've found there's a complete other animal inside that.
"I'd always thought that the electric thing was the way to really express something, but with The Church in the last few months I've been feeling like we really can get things across this way that we can't the other way."
The band's national tour to support El Momento Descuidado will dig even deeper into the back catalogue to reveal the "spookier, haunting" quality of the songs in skeletal form, but it won't be completely unplugged.
"I'll be playing bass guitar. I could have one those basses that looks like an acoustic guitar but the sound of it is so bad, I found it was paying unnecessary lip service to the idea.
"But everything else will be acoustic piano, mandolin, guitars, drums, percussion, harmonica. There'll be nothing electronic happening.
"We're doing some brand new songs and some other old ones, some that we've never even played before (on stage)."
It's small wonder that The Church never managed to keep its commercial foothold for long.
The band looked out of place from the moment it released 1981 debut Of Skins and Heart, opting for paisley shirts, jeans and unfashionably straggly hair over make-up, kilts and ludicrous designer haircuts.
The singer/bassist is candid about the quartet's determination to kick against everything the '80s stood for.
"We're not from the '80s, I hated the '80s, I'm not from anywhere. It gave us something to react against, all those terrible bands.
"When the Church first got together we weren't sure what we were going to do, all we were sure of was all the things we hated. And we hated skinny ties and short hair and plastic pants and new romantics.
"What we wanted to get back to was this perceived golden age of lots and lots of electric guitars and blokes with long hair, when it all seemed to mean something.
"That's why it's so painful when people go `I remember the '80s and The Church', and I go `no, no, don't lump us in with all that'. We always felt we were a '60s band in the wrong era."
Staying true to their beliefs, inspirations and instincts has never been easy, but while others have faltered The Church has remained prolific and unpredictable, both together and apart.
El Momento Descuidado came on the heels of Forget Yourself (2003) and Beside Yourself (2004), and the band has just issued an all-new album, Back with Two Beasts.
Away from the Church, Steve has expanded his creative interests beyond music, developing into rock's renaissance man.
"I'm dabbling in everything. I was in a musical version of The Merchant of Venice, playing Shylock, in Sydney this year. I've got a couple of books of poetry out, I do a bit of painting . . . it's all connected up somehow, it all seems to come from the same place.
"I'll have a go at doing anything, except ballet."
The Church at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel on Wednesday, December 14.
Bookings: 8340 0744.
austr : Australia | ausnz : Australia and New Zealand
Nationwide News Pty Ltd.
HD Tour diary
WC 156 words
PD 2 September 2004
SN Daily Telegraph
CY Copyright 2004 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Steve Kilbey and the lads have been riding the wave of appreciation in the US and Europe, where their latest album, Forget Yourself, has been thoroughly embraced by discerning music fans. They return to The Metro on November 19. Tickets on sale now.
The sonic avant-garders confounded their critics (again) with the musical melange that is their latest album, Margarine Eclipse. Try to figure it out live when they perform at The Metro on October 20, with tickets on sale from the venue on September 6.
They pumped the house in April and have been begging to get back there ever since. The promoter is now sick of their whining and has organised for them to play The Gaelic Club on October 22 and Bizzo's
in Caringbah on October 24. Tickets on sale from September 6 via moshtix.
CY (c) 2003 Copyright John Fairfax Holdings Limited. www.theage.com.au Not available for re-distribution.
Steve Kilbey, Musician, 48, Bondi.
Christ said love your neighbour as you love yourself. It was the most important commandment as far as he was concerned. I know hearing all you need is love is very simplistic and cliche but to love and be nice is what it's all about.
I have been teaching at some song writing courses here in Sydney and a lot of the people in the class always say they don't know what to write about. That was never a problem for me. I always knew what I wanted to write about. I wasn't always good at it, sometimes I was very clumsy, but I knew what the subject matter would be - the surrealists demanded something that I also demand from life. I feel I am always going for the marvellous like they were.
I was born in England but my parents migrated to Australia when I was three and I grew up in Wollongong for a while. Then we moved to the country in Victoria and I relocated to Canberra at the age of 11. I would say Wollongong and the year in Victoria were big formative moments for me. I figured a lot of things out as far as what I wanted to do. I went to high school and did all right, but at 16 I got a bass and started playing and joining local groups and then we formed the Church and that was it. There was no looking back.
As soon as Beatle boots came out I was obsessed. My whole assessment of you would be based onto what kind of boots you had. There was this kid at school that had suede Beatle boots, they were almost black but were blue. They had these chiselled toes and to me this guy was a man of impeccable taste. I didn't have to know anything about him. I have a large collection of boots and a friend of mine once said, when you walk into my room your head just goes down to the boots. I also once said never trust a man with brown shoes, and I have since found that to be quite true, excluding brown suede Beatle boots, of course.
I used to drive a Triumph Herald. When I was 15, two years before I could get a licence, I would joy ride it around the back streets of Canberra. It was the sort of thing you did when you were 15. My mum, who was a very wise and alert woman, had no idea that I was taking the car. She may have just turned a blind eye. Meanwhile, we were hooning around after school in broad daylight. You would be horrified if you saw a kid at 15 do that without a licence now, but I used to do it and got away with it.
I was playing a gig in 1976 and I saw our neighbour in the audience. He was a German guy who was a friend of my dad's and I thought, this is bad seeing this guy here. I bet something has happened to my father. When the band had a break during our set I went over to the guy and he said, yes, your father is dead. It was a terrible moment. I mean obviously. I mean it's nothing new, but from when I was a small kid I always would think about what it would be like when my dad would die and how it was going to feel. He died of a heart attack, he had angina and died out of the blue. That was tough for me, but anybody who is bereaved like that suffers much the same. You can't find the words for it. It's something you just have to deal with.
I live up the back of Bondi away from the main strip, surrounded by trees and just a 10-minute walk to the city. There's so many birds, it's beautiful and yet only five to 10 minutes away is that touristy section of Italian blokes, Brazilian drug dealers, models, actors and people who are waiters with scripts. But back here it's really beautiful and I feel more inspired in Bondi than anywhere I have lived in Australia.
I would say I went through a Lou Reed phase, as did anyone who grew up in the '70s. But I would have to say Marc Bolan and David Bowie were the closest I got to hero worship in the very early '70s. I lived and breathed those guys for a while.
I'm a vegan but then in one or two ways I will fall down in a horrible fashion. Like I'll be a vegan and go and swim a mile every morning and then I will come home and enjoy a chocolate bar. It can be such an ironic situation, it's like I am battling two voices in my head. I could go to a bar and drink five Coronas and smoke five joints and then do three hours of yoga. I can vary widely all over the place, but mainly I have been and tried to be healthy. I have become more aware of that as I have gotten older, that's for sure.
As far as Australian rock goes we're just a minor chapter. If you look at any encyclopedia of Aussie rock pretty much what we are is a footnote, which is fine by me. I don't know what our status is at the moment, but I think to the general public they don't really know us any more and I'm not that surprised or disappointed. It wasn't a path I chose to follow - that of success or being recognised.
The latest Church album, Forget Yourself, is available through Shock Records.
gent : Arts/Entertainment | gcat : Political/General News
austr : Australia | ausnz : Australia and New Zealand
F2 Australia & New Zealand Limited (Fairfax)
HD STEVE Kilbey says he's in denial. It's right there in the title of the new album...
The Church might be Australian rock 'n' roll survivors -- it's 22 years since their debut album Of Skins and Heart -- but Kilbey, pictured, refuses to be weighed down by history.
"I pretend that our new record is our second or third album," he says. "It's just like anyone else thinks about the things they did a long time ago, I feel disassociated from that and the scene that was around it. I'm proud of what we did in a way, but also I just want to ignore it."
Of course, The Church have plenty to be proud of, with classic albums such as The Blurred Crusade, their American breakthrough Starfish, through to last year's excellent After Everything Now This.
Like all their recent work, the new album was recorded at drummer Tim Powles's Spacejunk studios in Sydney, working on songs as they improvise with a computer capturing the act of creation.