Live Concert Photography: The Church with The Helio Sequence at The Bell House 9/28/17
Currently comprised of founding members Steve Kilbey (vocals, bass, guitar) and Peter Koppes (guitar), along with Tim Powles (drums) and Ian Haung, the Sydney, Australia-based rock act can trace their origins back to when its founding duo of Kilby and Koppes, along with Marty Wilson-Piper (guitar) and Nick Ward (drums) founded the band in 1980, and although they were initially associated with Sydney’s New Wave, neo-psychedelic and indie rock scenes, they increasingly became associated with dream pop and post-rock as their material took on slower tempos and surreal yet shimmering soundscapes; but along with that they’ve developed a reputation for an uncompromising approach to their songwriting and sound.
Of Skins and Hearts, the Sydney, Australia-based band’s 1981 debut was a commercial and critical success, thanks in part to the success of their first radio hit “The Unguarded Moment,” and as a result, the Australian band was signed to major labels in their homeland, Europe and the States; however, their American label was dissatisfied with their sophomore effort and dropped the band without releasing it. Although being dropped from their American label managed to slow down the international momentum around the band quite a bit, 1988’s Starfish managed to be a smash hit, thanks to their only US Top 40 hit, “Under the Milky Way.”
Since the release of Starfish, mainstream commercial success has proven to be rather elusive; however, the band has developed an international cult following and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2011. But more important for this particular post, the members of The Church have managed to be incredibly prolific: with their last album, Further/Deeper, which was released in 2014, being their 24th full-length album. And with the release of Further/Deeper, the band finds themselves subtly expanding their sound and songwriting while continuing a string of albums in which they pair moody, slow-burning and atmospheric art rock with expansive song structures and surrealistic lyrics.
Last month, the renowned Australian band headlined a career spanning set at The Bell House with the Portland, OR-based indie rock and blogosphere darlings, The Helio Sequence. Check out photos from the show below.
Featuring Brandon Summers (vocals, guitar, production) and Benjamin Weikel (keys, drums and production), the Portland, OR-based indie rock duo The Helio Sequence can trace their origins to when Summers and Weikel met while they were both employees at a Beaverton, OR-based record store. And over their almost 20 years together, the members of the Portland-based duo have released an EP and six studio album’s 2000’s Com Plex, 2001’s Young Effectuals, 2004’s Love and Distance 2008’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead, 2012’s Negotiations and 2015’s self-titled effort through Cavity Search Records and Sub Pop Records. Interestingly, Weikel has made guest appearances on Modest Mouse‘s Good News for People Who Love Bad News and No One’s First and You’re Next and Ramona Falls’ Intuit.
Prior to the release of 2008’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead, Summers damaged his vocal cords and lost his voice, but luckily, he regained it and had to re-lean to sing. As a result, the band’s sound evolved quite a bit to accommodate it. And with 2015’s critically applauded, self-tiled album, the duo had developed a reputation of continually refining their sound and songwriting process — in that case, they wrote 26 songs for the album, sent those songs to their friends and asked them to list their favorite ten songs.
The Portland-based indie rock duo’s opening set was also an equally career spanning set featuring songs from across their catalog.