The Church (official and wikipedia) played a brilliant gig at the Workers Club on the evening of Sunday 6 December. Steve Kilbey (below right, with Peter Koppes) in particular appeared to be in a fantastic mood, apart from when he bemoaned a poor review of the band’s new album in Adelaide, which became the main ongoing joke of the evening.
I thought the news songs, including ‘Happenstance’, ‘Space saviour’ and ‘Pangae’, were excellent. Steve announced ‘Pangaea’ via a long, obtuse and hilarious story about how he wrote it while living the life of Lady Guinevere doing crystal healing with dolphins and other new age things.
There was a diverse selection of older songs and popular favourites. ‘Under the milky way’ was dedicated to saving indigenous whales. ‘Unguarded moment’ was mostly a singalong as Steve basically refused to sing the words himself, though he then humorously berated the audience for getting them wrong. ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Reptile’ were great, as was a cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Disarm’ in response to them playing ‘Reptile’ somewhere previously.
Marty Willson-Piper (below) also appeared to be in a most genial mood. Before he sang the lead on one of the songs Steve introduced him as ‘the man with the hyphen’. This then evolved into an extended dialogue about the status ensuing from having punctuation in your name.
Steve proposed a hierarchy, with apostrophes outranking hyphens and umlauts outranking apostrophes. Marty agreed that he would swap his hyphen for an umlaut anytime. Steve concluded by observing that ‘you would not get a discussion like this at a Barnesy show’.
Indeed, and for witty repartee as well as brilliant music we must be grateful. I enjoyed the last time I saw them, at the National theatre in St Kilda in 2006, but this show was even better, not least because I could actually see them (the 2006 show was perhaps the darkest show I have ever seen). Although it started a bit late, we were rewarded with multiple encores and everyone left charmed and satisfied.