Outstanding! There is no doubt that The Church are one of the most indelible, progressive and passionately admired rock bands going round. Returning to familiar stomping grounds at Adelaide’s best live venue The Gov fans were treated to ninety minutes of sheer brilliance. The Church are gig hardened after a lengthy stint touring the United States and this night was about their twenty sixth album Man Woman Life Death Infinity with a rejuvenated line up of Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug.
It is always a concern to rock at The Gov to see tables and chairs set up on the floor in cabaret mode but it didn’t take long for the venue to fill up. This was almost the perfect show right from the lighting to the set list to the sound. The Church were tight and its hard not to be in awe of this band. Opening with Aura from 1992’s Priest=Aura was met with a low key “thank you, good evening” by the great man Steve Kilbey. The set list continue to weave its way around the extensive back catalogue with Myrrh followed by Toy Head.
Kilbey introduced the next tune as a trip down memory lane doing it for the fan’s sake and hopefully for the last time “and after that great introduction here it is” knocking the classic Metropolis. It would a great shame if this great song was retired but what will be will be. The first preview off the new album was Another Century. Kilbey remarked that there was a weird perfume smell on his towel with drummer Tim Powles jokingly claiming that the scent was his before on to Delirious.
Fly was a great inclusion and introduced as another walk down memory lane with rose colour glasses to 1983 (from Séance). The Church powered through the middle of the set really letting the music do all the talking with North, South, East, West then Day 5, Constant In Opal and Undersea. Kilbey’s razor like swagger and tact is up there with the best of them and understandable to see how some people down the front would frustrate him. I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know was introduced as another “fucking new song”. Tantalized off 1985’s Heyday was another crowd favourite before the song everyone knew Under The Milky Way. Fan-bloody-tastic! If that wasn’t enough to push the fans over the edge off the same album (Starfish) Reptile was an awesome way to close out the main set.
The Church returned for the first of two encores starting off with a “boring old song you’ll love” which connected with the audience. Unguarded Moment was superb then Block from 2006’s Uninvited, Like The Clouds. Just when we thought it was over the band returned for another encore including Dark Waltz and Miami. Another great show from one of Australia’s finest and I do like I have definitely been spoilt with what I have seen over the past week.
Review by Rob Lyon