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Marty and Peter talk Blurred Crusade with English magazine R.M(?) Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 August 1982

Mass Hysteria

Mark Cooper falls pray [sic] to The Church

Two years ago Marty Willson-Piper left his native Liverpool and went to Australia. Since then he has been gigging constantly in The Church, authors of The Blurred Crusade, recently released on Carrere.

"We've been slogging our guts out," says Marty. " In Australia it's a thousand kilometers between each city. When we began, all four of us in the ex-drummer's van, down crappy roads in 100 degree heat without any air-conditioning."

The Church have survived and prospered and Marty has still only seen one kangaroo; a dead one.

The fact that the band come from Australia is both incidental and essential according to guitarist Peter Koppes. "Cities are pretty much the same all round the world. The city we happen to live in is Sydney. It might as well be Madrid. There's less of a mainstream in Australian music now. Audiences are more discriminating and there's less pressure to imitate English and American styles. You can no longer say 'That's what an Australia band sounds like'."

Bands in Australia can still make a living from playing pubs. This is no longer true in England: "I think English music has suffered accordingly," says Marty. "If you have two solid weeks of gigs, you can experiment a lot and then bring those ideas to the studio..."

 While there may not be one Australian sounds, there is an Australian sensibility emerging in the cinema and music industries, an aboriginal Gothic with psychedelic overtones best displayed in the cinema of Peter Weir.

The Church have definite psychedelic leanings and a style that recalls England's Soft Boys and all kinds of American West Coast bands. Naturally, the band prefer to discuss their own individual strengths.

"We are concerned to be neither fashionable nor unfashionable," says Peter. "We'd like the music to sounds as fresh in 1965 or 1995. Steve (Kilbey, the group's songwriter) would like to be able to listen to his lyrics in 30 years time."

Kilbey's lyrics and melodies are the immediate focal point of the group, Pete describes them as deep without a meaning.

Kilbey's subject, according to Pete, is the fate of ideals and the consequences of the romantic view: "Steve does suffer for the sake of an idealistic view but he doesn't blame the world. He accepts that he's often stranded because of an idealistic view."

The Church's 'blurred crusade' will bring them to England in the early autumn. Then we can se Australia psychedelia for ourselves and judge whether the music is timeless or provincial.

One's things's sure - any band that regularly drives a thosand miles between gigs and plays two weeks on the trot should be able to handle an audience.

Mark Cooper

Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 April 2010 )
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