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Collection of thoughts on the 1996 Australian tour Print E-mail
Monday, 30 December 1996

1996 Australian Tour

"Tour = Poorer"

Opinions, Images and Reviews

 27th September 1996
The tour has now wrapped up ! Marty flew back to England today and Tim is spending a few days in Melbourne. Last night Marty was surprised to note that it had only been one week since it started :-)

flew all the way from the US to see the Sydney and Canberra shows. Now that's a dedicated fan. Well done ! Here's her report to the Seance list.
26th Sep 1996
Got back today from Australia, went to the Sydney and Canberra shows. On Friday at Selina's they played for two hours, three (!) encores! They sounded fabulous, and it was all I'd hoped for, having never seen them live before. Others have already sent in the setlist so I won't. Regarding requests, other than the "Mi-Sex" one, this one man kept requesting Business Woman in this urgent voice which made me laugh. He *really* wanted to hear it. They did not play it, surprise. The Bhagavad Guitars were great, in the middle they give out a free cd of theirs, but I guess that info's of no use now since the Adelaide show was cancelled, right?

In Canberra on Tuesday night, they didn't play as long and seemed to want to get off faster than at Selinas. It was at the ANUni's bar, which is much smaller than Selinas. I got up front in front of marty and was in aural bliss.... It's a Roger McGuinn sig on his red Rick. One notable guitar trick I discovered he used during destination was Marty turning the volume up/down in what I thought was a keyboard part. Am. No sound problems like the 'Comdown' episode in Sydney.

After waiting so long to see them, all I can say is, Fuck they are brilliant. I mean, I knew they would be, but....

From left to right, Peter, Steve, Marty, Tim in back who I was impressed with.

Steve's got a ponytail now.

I met them afterwards, Peter was gracious and talkative, Steve was tired and kind, Marty went out to take care of the business. I asked Steve the chances of a US tour, he sighed and said very slim, so I'm glad I went over there. The bar had a good turnout, but I was surprised at its smallness...but then I'm not I guess. Anyway this was in Canberra after all. But if they cancelled the Adelaide show, I wouldn't be surprised if it was cause of poor sales. Such a shame.... To whoever asked, yes the reaction was great-the crowd are loyal fans, there just aren't enough of them.

In closing, I'll just say I'll never forget what I saw and heard, and sorry if I'm not revealing anything new- I'm not a rock journalist. I hope I'll get to see them again someday, and if anyone has any particular questions I didn't address here, send them and I'll see if the answer's in my memory bank. -henny

Anthony Horan enjoyed it too

In other news, the Church gig on Thursday in Melbourne was *superb*. More than one die-hard fan I spoke to there said it was the best gig they'd ever seen them play; Marty was having a ball, and the 2-hour set list read like a Greatest Hits album. The highlight for me was the audience singing the first verse of "You Took", in time and in key! It's been a long time since I enjoyed any kind of gig, big or small, so much.

One more bit of gossip - I just did an interview with Neneh Cherry this afternoon, and chatted with her and her tour manager for a while afterwards; said tour manager (an Englishman whose name I unfortunately didn't make a note of) used to work with All About Eve, and was very disappointed to learn he'd just missed a Church show. He said he wanted to see if Marty's wardrobe had gotten any more outrageous than it already was... :-) - Anthony

Apparently the concert in Adelaide has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. A disappointed Adelaide resident wrote to me and said most patrons of the venue would probably have bought tickets at the door....but that's all speculative now :-(
Michael Barnes wasn't expecting much but....

Just thought i would relate to you my thoughts on the recent Church shows, I have never been a Church fan other than the commercial hits and of course the best of compilation "Almost Yesterday" ..anyway as they were playing two streets away.. also as i had a personal interest in seeing Tim Powles play live.. (he produced and engineered some song's demo'd by my own band recently - Vox Critique..) i couldn't miss the opportunity.. i tell you this i saw the band play in 1994 and wasn't terribly impressed it was as though they wern't even there.. but the show at Parramatta had me riveted to the floor or mid air or where ever else i jumped around to.. Tantilized blew me away..and the new material had even more intensity to it live than on CD..It was a great nite..made even better by the fact the band looked like they were having fun as well!!!! welcome back boys!! well done!! .Michael Barnes

Martin Deveney reports....

Having just watched the band three nights in a row I thought I might make some technical comments seeing as we were talking about this before I went away (the thread is probably dead now, but anyway;) the best show was DEFINITELY at the Gold Coast...the guitars cooked, Koppes got a stronger presence in the mix and there were less annoying crowd members pissing the band off. However at one point a drunk girl (about 17 or so) yelled "Play The Unguarded Moment! Marty ran forward looked really pissed off and yelled "Shut up!" in a really loud voice. She did.

They played the usual guitars, Koppes used a natural wood finish Strat and the red Tele from the Already Yesterday video. Marty had a red (the all-ove red finish not fireglow) 360 Rick...the someone or another commemerative special with a signature on the picguard. However he mostly played his yellow and black strat (he seems to be moving away from the ricks!@#$%). No acoustics, even for the inevitable playing of Milky way. Kilbey played "The Feast" or a bit of it anyway during one brief interlude when the gear needed fixing. I was a little disappointed because the solos didn't go as fast or for as long as they did in 91 and 92 but we did hear "You Took" and "Is This Where You Live?" Kilbey had some excellent lyrical variations, like "is this mine or his? Is this where you live?" Or "cocaine stories the lying truth, these electric lights have spoiled my youth". Also there was one that annoyed me. In Grind (fave ever church song) he sings "lift me up into those whirling blades" live. For some reason this annoys me greatly , it should be whirring not whirling but this was minor in face of everything else.

The guitar was best at The Gold Coast with Koppes doing a lot more of the solos and some of them were amazing, but Reptile, Grind and especially Aura didn't have the drive that they have had live in the past. Despite all this the show was brilliant and has firmly cemented in my mind that Tantalized is the best live song I have ever seen performed. On the normal scale 10/10, for The Church I'll give them 8/10.

Martin followed up the next day with a clarification of Marty's comment.

Like the e-bow debate/discussion I have opened another electronic can of worms with this thing about live performances and people asking for The Unguarded Moment. What I may have failed to mention was that at first SK said a few jovial things like "sorry that's not on the menu" and then when patience wore thin he said "look you're ruining my night asking for that". They persisted and then Marty went off. People persisted and he responded...they did not turn on their fans and the persons involved were warned. I have seen them do this can get a feeling if they are in the mood to be annoyed or not...all of us who have seen them have probably had some conversation with them at one stage or another but this was one of those times anyone with any perceptive ability would have known to shut up. They meant to be annoying and got shat on for it. I approve and so would you all if you'd been there. When asked to desist they should have.

Stephen Simmonds heard the sound check at Parramatta.

The following is not a review so much as some random late night thoughts..

The first venue of the tour was parramatta - western suburbs of sydney (almost like a different town). I first heard a few chord from 'Old Flame'. Then I went in the main bar when I heard Myrrh start. Must be the support band, I thought - didn't sound like the church. Sorta watched for a bit anyway - nice to hear the song. They stopped part way thru. I looked closer and saw marty was playing with them. Then a bit closer, and saw a guy with a ponytail, and a lanky greek - it was them!! They were doing a very casual soundcheck, with few people around. They started into NSEW, then Day Of The Dead - each time stopping. I said to marty it was really great to hear him electric after all this time - he said thanks. They wandered off, and I didn't feel like collaring them.

In the pub (for that it were), there were a couple of street mags - BOTH with church articles!! I may quote some later - very quotable. Kilbey said at one point he'd like to do all of P=A! I wish!

Later, the support band came on. I heard an old Neely cover (Sam or Ted) from 1975. Went in to watch. It was the Earthmen - a bunch of teenagers, not even born in '75! They were a good pop band. Not like the grunge stuff you normally get in inner city Sydney. Quite good for a pop band, very good for teenagers. Did a cover of Nick Lowe's, very good.. reminded me a bit of the monkees (!)

Church: strains of.. um Lost my touch, I think. Then they started with Myrrh!! Proper! Couldn't ask for any better start. They also did (not in order):

Comedown, Hotel Womb (now I understand the comments about unfinished guitar work - it remained unfinished!), ripple, under the milky way, old flame, NSEW, reptile, metropolis, grind(!!!)...Day Of The Dead was when they really got cooking. Great to see Peter in the thick of things. Grind was also a highlight (always!)

It was a bit like a greatest hits collection - which was okay, I didn't really mind what they did (er, all of P=A, please!) The encore was Almost With You followed by When You Were Mine. Abrupt end.

A good crowd, supportive. What did I miss? One from Starfish or GAF; they did NOTHING ELSE from MAtS; oh, and Tantalised. I guess I've tantalised y'all. Oh, well, back to the grind tomorrow - the big gig at selina's!


He was also at the next nights concert, at Selinas.

3 bands supported them at Selina's; first were Bhagavad Guitars, which I didn't arrive early enough for (horrors :) - Well I didn't feel like standing around for about six hours. Second was Earthmen, who I'd seen the previous night. But I bumped into a friend I hadn't seen in several years (another church fan), so I did some catching up & didn't go in to watch them. Konrad was also a P=A person - but put BC above that album. We went in to watch Glide - I'm sorry for those who like them & other Half A Cow bands, but we found them particularly uneventful.

The Church played pretty much what they'd done the previous night (no complaints!); Steve actually had his eyes open for a number of songs; Marty as usual was obviously enjoying himself. I could be wrong, but it seemed like all songs this side of Starfish had Marty on lead, and the ones before Starfish had Peter on lead (? for starfish itself). Highlights again were Day Of The Dead, Grind, and also Tantalised. They also did Destination both nights - I think it was that song; I haven't replaced by Starfish CD for several years. The encore was longer this time; they actually did one song I didn't know - so it may have been anything before Heyday. (Bri: It was Is This Where You Live) And finally, they did You Took at the end of the encore - another highlight. None of you americans sent me any high-quality taping equipment - so that was right out. Anyway, the signs said no taping :)

So the encore was _all_ earlier stuff: Almost With You, When You Were Mine,[Is This Where You Live], and You Took. The crowd was really supportive, and a great night was had by all.


Julien Klettenberg designed the backstage pass for this tour and also took some photos at the Selina's gig, which he will soon be posting on his homepage. In the meantime you can find some pictures of Tim Powles there. (So that's what he looks like :-) ! )

Marty was asked why he had used Fender guitars instead of the usual Ricks on this tour. Here is his reply.

I didn't feel like I had 'switched' from Ricks to Fenders for those dates.This is what happened:

Some bright spark lost the paperwork that covers my gear which is still as we speak in New York.By the time the tour was announced and booked it was too late to sort out getting my usual black McGuinn Ricky and solid body red 6 plus the semi-acoustic Ricky.I have a few guitars at home and I decided to take the wine 12 string(also with McGuinn electrics) plus I needed a guitar that would do the job of both the other 6 strings.

Anyway my trusty old Strat was really the only guitar that I had at home that could manage it.Just to get romantic for a second,I've had that guitar for 24 years and it was the guitar that I took with me to OZ without a case way back in 1980.God only knows how it has survived the years.It was the guitar I used on Unguarded Moment,When You Were Mine and was my main 6 string guitar for the first two albums.Incidentally you may like to know that I didn't get a Rick 12 until the 2nd album.The guitar I used on that was a solid body Burns 12 (Is This Where You Live,For A Moment We're Strangers) I wish I still had it.

Note: The wacky pun at the top of the screen doesn't mean the tour was bad - it's a joke about money, which occurred to me when I thought I heard Steve sing "Spain equals Andorra....and Priest Equal Aura." Hmmm, there's a parody in that, I'm sure....."..the roofer equals the floorer, cricket equals Border, a noisy sleeper equals a snorer and Priest = Aura." I'll go away now :-)
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