Australian neo-psychedelic chameleons The Church have been ploughing their own unique furrow on the musical landscape for nigh on 35 years now. For a band renowned for their forward thinking tendencies, it's pleasing that they've seen fit to revisit their distant past tonight in the form of a 'don't look back' style delivery of much loved 1982 record The Blurred Crusade.
The sound initially takes time to crystallize, which alas leaves popular faves Almost With You and When You Were Mine, tonight's opening two numbers, as works in progress sonically speaking. It doesn't take long though for the mix to right itself and the truly magnificent acoustics of The Triffid to come to the fore in full opulent glory. This room, a converted aircraft hanger, is indeed a fine arena in every facet for the delivery of a memorable concert experience. The band conclude part one of tonight's set with an unwindingly epic reading of Life Speeds Up, leaving the raptured throng of largely 40 somethings in attendance in jangle-paisley delirium.
But wait, there's much more still to come..after a small interlude our blurred crusaders return, delivering wide screen readings of the strongest tracks from their 2014 studio album Further/Deeper. It is here that the band unfurl their more progressive, space rock tendencies, with tracks such as Vanishing Man and Lightning White truly sounding 'fifty light years ahead of their time' (to steal a lyric from back catalogue track Ripple). FM radio staples Metropolis and Under The Milky Way somewhat surprisingly make an appearance, delivering the more casual fan an instant dose of singalong nostalgia.
Frontman Steve Kilbey is an uplifting master of ceremonies throughout, his rivetingly theatrical reading of The Disillusionist, from the Priest + Aura record, proving to be another standout moment.
With ex Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug now a permanent member of the bands roster, it perhaps unsurprising to hear a song from his previous band make an appearance in the encore, the shimmering Waiting For The Sun slipping seamlessly into the evenings proceedings. And the band exit on a high, with Kilbey hissing into the mic to herald the chiming guitar intro to the ever wondrous Reptile, the band jamming out the middle section and riding the track to oblivion, a white light-white heat finale to a triumphant three hours of music from one of this countries most respected bands..
Words by Anthony Gebhardt
Photo by Pete Dovgan