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1983 Biography of The Church and Ignatius Jones Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 January 1983

 

***********************************************************
  Source: the New Rock and Roll (USA?)
   Issue:
    Date: 1983
 Subject: Biography - The Church, Ignatius Jones
***********************************************************

THE CHURCH

I like synthesizers but I don't like synthesizers in The Church.
That's a bit like putting Elizabeth I in a sports car.  I want to keep
the chime, it's such a lyrical sound"
        -Steve Kilbey

The Church began in Sydney, Australia, in April 1980 as a trio.  Steve
Kilbey (bass and vocals) and Peter Koppes (lead guitar), before teaming
up with drummer Nick Ward, had spent a few years writing and recording
songs in Steve's bedroom studio.  Steve had originally come from
Canberra, where he had played in various bands with Dave Studdert,
including Tactics.

Soon after formation The Church became a quartet with the addition of
Marty Willson-Piper (guitar), freshly arrived from England where he had
been an itinerant busker.  After playing a few gigs in Sydney's smaller
pubs, the group decided to pool their resources and record a four-track
demo in Steve's bedroom.  Eventually The Church's demo reached the
hands of Chris Gilbey of ATV Northern Songs, who not only signed Kilbey
to a publishing deal but also the band to a recording contract.

The Church's debut single, "She Never Said", was released in November
1980, but it was their second single, "The Unguarded Moment", released
in February 1981, that broke the band.  It went top 20 and suddenly The
Church and their ethereal, Byrds-influenced Sixties-styled pop was the
hottest sound in Australia.  The debut album "Of Skins and Heart", was
released in March and reached the top 30.  It had been recorded back in
1980 and produced by Chris Gilbey, who then sent the tapes to America
for remixing by Bob Clearmountain.  Soon after release, Nick Ward was
replaced by Richard Ploog from Adelaide.

In late 1981, The Church released a five-track double EP, again
produced by Gilbey and mixed by Clearmountain.  The second LP, "The
Blurred Crusade", was released in February 1982 and the first single
from it was "Almost With You", which reached top 40.  Following an
Australian tour, the group journeyed to the UK and Europe to tour and
promote the release of their first album there, on which some tracks
were replaced by EP songs.  In late 1982 The Church released a 12 inch
EP, "Sing Songs", to mark their return to Australia.  It was
highlighted by a stunning version of Paul Simon's "I Am A Rock".  Album
three, "Seance", followed.


IGNATIUS JONES

Ignatius Jones reached legendary status in Australian rock by fronting
the outrageous and often obscene shock/horror group, Jimmy and the
Boys, who pioneered the use of theatrical trappings for Australian
bands.  Their act featured S&M, transvestism, self-mutilation, drug
abuse, inebriation, simulated sex and mock rape in a blisteringly-paced
tribute to cultural degeneracy.

Since formation in 1976, the central duo of Ignatius and transvestite
keyboards player Joylene Hairmouth was surrounded by various
combinations of backing musicians.

Though the group only recorded two studio albums, "Not Like Everybody
Else" from 1980 and 1981's "Teddy Boys Picnic", they were one of the
most popular live acts in Australia.  In 1981 they scored their only
top 10 single with "They Won't Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me", written
by Split Enz leader, Tim Finn.

In January 1982 Jimmy and the Boys broke up and, shortly after,
Ignatius moved to the theatre stage, playing the dual roles of Eddy and
Dr. Scott in the Australian revival of "The Rocky Horror Show".  This
wasn't the first time Ignatius, born of Spanish parents in Manila, had
been involved with non rock'n'roll areas of performance.  From an early
age he'd been involved with drama and at the age of 16 he joined a
major ballet company, but unfortunately he broke both his ankles
shortly after, which somewhat curtailed his dancing career, though it
did not dull a stunning evil wit.

In early 1982 Ignatius released his first solo single, "Like a Ghost",
which was penned by The Church's Steve Kilbey.  This has become a hot
dance club favorite on the American west coast.  At the end of 1982
Jimmy and the Boys temporarily reformed for a national tour, which
resulted in a live album, "In Hell With Your Mother".  At last report,
Warner Bros had signed him to a six-album American recording deal.

 
***END***
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