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Finding inspiration to write this review wasn’t really so hard considering The Church delivered an outstanding set at the Rosemount on Friday night. I’ve been a fan of The Church since I first heard them way back in the eighties but unfortunately, I’ve never managed to see them live before. Well it was worth the wait because what they delivered was two hours of magic, with a great mix of new tracks, less known tracks and all of the favourites we’ve come to love.

The tour is on the back of the recently released “Man Woman Life Death Infinity” album and they played a few tracks from this, their twenty fifth studio album. As far as their better-known songs, they played Metropolis, Tantalized, Under the Milky Way, The Unguarded Moment and for me the highlight of the night, Reptile. I had forgotten how good those guitars sound in this track, bloody amazing to hear live.

The only favourite that wasn’t played was Almost With You. Probably a very crafty move by The Church so that if you want to hear that song live, you’ll need to see them next time they come to town. Well played, The Church. Kilbey’s vocals were strong through the marathon of songs and there was even a second bass player on and off the stage to play the songs that Kilbey couldn’t be bothered remembering (his words on stage, not mine).

This line up of The Church, which has been together for a few years now, really captured the essence of the band and the sound was all pure Church. For those that turned up to see them, at what I believe was a sold-out show, they didn’t leave disappointed and if they did, well then they must be very fucking hard to please, or they stupidly left before the encore.  Pretty dumb. It was also good on the night to see somebody else who doesn’t have any issues drinking Blue Lagoons, well done Mr Kilbey, they’re a cool drink in my book too.

The crowd itself was a right old mixed bag as you would expect from a band of this era. Lots of oldies, a bunch of young ones and then a lot of inbetweeners. The place was pretty packed and for some fucked up reason, I seemed yet again to have placed myself on the unofficial pathway through to the toilets. This seems to be a common occurrence for me and I’m not quite sure why.

Luckily though, tonight I was standing just behind a tree trunk of a man. I was still able to see passed him so no problems there, but after about half an hour of him letting people through he obviously had enough of the rude pricks just pushing and spilling drinks on him that he decided to set anchor and became the unpassable man mountain that he was. It was amusing to see people pushing, realising there was no way through, then trying to re-navigate another way around. Note to fuckers who turn up late to a sold-out gig; you’re late, just stand at the fucking back, if you want to be at the front, get there early.

There is no question that the Rosemount is a great place to watch live music, but I feel The Church could have sold out a much larger venue. Perhaps they were just looking for that intimate experience to get back to their roots but I’m sure they will tour again very soon and will be playing at larger venues across the country. Kilbey did have some interactions with the crowd but mainly to tell us how good his Blue Lagoon was and to do the band introductions. As mentioned the line-up is fairly new and those who have seen them live before or picked up recent albums may not be aware of the new members.

So, the set of around fifteen songs climaxed, oh yeah you know what I mean, with the song Reptile. As mentioned this was the highlight song of the night for me, and with that it was all over. Or was it? The Church left the stage and people started leaving. Now I just don’t get that shit. Surely regular music goers know there’s an encore, well ninety-nine percent of the time there is, especially if they don’t whack on the background tracks. So why the fuck do people leave? Got something else on? Anyway, it beats the shit out of me, but you guys are the ones losing out. After a minute or two the band come back onto stage and rock on with The Unguarded Moment. If you left, then you missed that classic, sucks to be you. They then ended the encore with Block and with that it was all over.

Or was it? Well, a good percent of the crowd thought so, because suddenly there was a lot of space in the room and it was like I just got freed from the sardine can. Come on people, the background tracks haven’t kicked in, where are you fucking going? Double encore, tricky shit Mr Kilbey, well played again. There was another two track second encore that some of you will be kicking yourselves over as you read this, you know who you are. After the second encore though it really was all over. I know this because they whacked on the background tracks.

I think all that went to see The Church will be glad that they did because this was one very good night out. The band is still touring around the east coast through November and December, so if they’re playing near you, I’d recommend heading along to see them. If you can’t catch them or missed them this time around, I’m sure they’ll be back soon touring Australia and beyond, so catch them if they come to a town near you. You won’t be disappointed.

I would rate this show as DAMN GOOD SHIT.

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Paul Bradford

Author Paul Bradford

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