Live Review

The Church @ Twin Towns

The Hypnogogue is the latest album for Australian space-rock, prog-rock, swirling, hypnotic, aural splendour magicians The Church who continue to spread their magick dust across the worlds.

As lead singer, band founder and part of the bond holding it all together, Steve Kilbey walks on stage tonight as part of the band’s world travels to showcase their twenty-sixth album The Hypnogogue; and to reacquaint the faithful and new friends with some of their other many songs. Kilbey is the only original member left and unlike many other bands with large line-up changes The Church just get better and more gifted as the new music fans out from the core of Kilbey and is wrought like precious metals and gemstones into new, intricate marvels by the incoming band members.

Unlike the other line-ups, now that Steve Kilbey is far more a collaborator than bandmaster the gifts the current crew brings really help the band fly higher than Icarus. Ian Haug (guitar) is in a league of his own and Tim Powell (TimEBandit – drums/ keys /trumpet /percussion) is the glue that, during the very dark days, held the band together and is probably the main reason they are still with us.

The band opens tonight with Ascendance from the Hypnogogue album and quickly follow with Destination from the Starfish album and Metropolis from the album Gold Afternoon Fix. Tonight, the band has Steve Kilbey on bass and vox and TimE Powell on drums/ keys and trumpet. Ian Haug on guitar, Ashley Naylor – guitar/keys and Jeffrey Cain on drums too. Columbus, No Other You, Kings, The Unguarded Moment, Flickering Lights, The Hypnogogue the wonders keep rolling out.

Steve joked with the audience a lot and finally feels comfortable in his own skin. A great thing to see. The band played two sets. Set one was one-hundred-and-ten minutes – a thirty minute break and set two was one hour followed by a fifteen-minute encore. As Ian Haug had a pedal board problem, the last two minutes was a total freestyle rock jam – so people could really see what this band can do.

This is one of the three greatest gigs I have ever seen and heard. The sound was perfect and the larger band format let you hear the Church songs in their full glory; I wish I could go see this show another five times.

Forty years down the track, it's late in the evening but for The Church, all the lights in the universe are being turned on. There is nobody else in their field. They are getting the attention they have deserved for a long time. Thankyou.

- Donald Gunn.


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