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Review of live show 1985/6 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 January 1985

Bernard Zuel reviews The Church playing at the Tivoli in Sydney, just before the release of Heyday 1985.

Interestingly, on the back of the clipping, a portion of the Australian singles charts is shown, and Already Yesterday sits at number 4. Above it are the Hoodoo Guru's "Like Wow - Wipeout" at #1, Stems "Tears Me In Two" at #2 and Arctic Circles "Angel" at #3.


The Church sound awesome. Powered by the thunderous drums of Richard Ploog, who for some inexplicable reason rarely gets the recognition he deserves, they crash through any apathy in the mix'n'match Tivoli crowd. The last year of overseas touring has obviously infused in them a self-confience bording on (justifiable) arrogance, allowing them the luxury of dispensing with keyboards and once again relying on the guitars of Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper. What little was lost in texture was more than compensated for by the full force of a rhythm that started somewhere behind your chest and spread up and outwards, taking the head and heart with it.

So self-assured are the Chrch that they gleefully resurrect some older favourites - Fraulein, Chrome Injury and Unguarded Moment - proving once again that there will always be a corner of Steve Kilbey's heart dedicated to Glam. The harder sound they displayed on their last tour a few months ago has developed into the full-frontal assualt that came disguised as tonight's gig. The myth that they are poor live performers should be well and truly exploded by their upcoming shows, if tonight's any indication.

The new material follows on from this change in direction. Never Come Back Again [SC: I think he's referring to Roman ] is the closest the Church have come to the 60s punk sound with its raucous guitars and pounding beat, while Willson-Piper's The View has a tougher feel than any of his earlier work. Both of these seems destined to become crowd favourites and could even sell out in the great suburban wasteland. On the other hand, Already Yesterday (the new single) completely disarms with its beautiful melody and chiming guitars as Kilbey takes you to 10 Mile Beach and back.

Quite often a Church gig is akin to cutting yourself off from all outside influences, so that when they left the stage I was sure it had been a very short set - until a check of my watch revealed they had been on for over an hour. it's hard to reconcile the quality of this band with its relatively small following. if there is any justice, this tour and the new album (due in the new year) should establish the Church as a major force both here and overseas.

Bernard Zuel

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