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The Church
  All I ever wanted to see...was just invisible to me.
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Drum Media give Steve and Marty a bit of drumming Print E-mail
Friday, 11 August 1995
Church played acoustic at the Metro in Sydney on 11/8/95
Review from Drum Media 
by James Compton

No matter how hard he tries, it's nigh on impossible for Steve Kilbey not 
to sound condescending.  Here's a guy who has written so many great songs 
which convey his emotions, and yet he has never found it easy to give 
over, humble like, when in front of an audience.  To go on calling this 
facet of his creative mileau The Church bespeaks a possessive ego in 
itself.  Not that tonight's gig was a complete travesty as such, because 
both Kilbey and Willson-Piper were two corners of the original edifice.  
But to see them up there with 12 string guitars, trying to make magic out 
of what was essentially a buskers' night out was at times excrutiating.  
Like a fellow punter said when exitting the gig: "I haven't yawned so much 
since the last Church gig" and that was three years ago.

The Church were always a tad precious with their lyrics, never holding 
back in their quest for a medieval couplet, a symbolic allusion.  But 
what made this epic approach so believable was the musical counterpart.  
Lush guitar soundscapes, a textured rhythm section, and in later years, 
more focus on keyboard atmospherics - particularly on last year's 
Sometime Anywhere set.

Tonight, when the duo played some vintage old stuff - and they were 
classics - like Almost With you, Myrrh, Tristesse, Under The Milky Way - 
it was hard not to look in the shadows for the ghosts of Peter Koppes and 
Richard Ploog.  Even though Ploog shuffled off to be replaced by former
Patti Smith cohort Jay Dee Daugherty a long while ago, his touch on the 
skins, along with Koppes' trademark guitar sound, were missed.

That original lineup for me, and perhaps many others as well, *was* The 
Church.  Tonight the most amazing thing was that the crowd applauded so 
heartily and let the pair get away with what was a pretty flaccid 
presentation.  Such a warm response was in essence a tribute to the songs 
themselves., the fact that they stand up so well in such sparse 
arrangement.   Kilbey and Willison-Piper - who for all his dexterity on the 
fretboard is no Paco Pena - are not the most engaging of performers, but 
there were moments where the charisma, the mystery , the fairytale flame 
that burnt near the altar were all still there.  But the priests had 
grown fat and indulgent and the temple was overgrown.
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