Live Concert Photography: The Church at City Winery 10/25/18
Currently comprised of founding members Steve Kilbey (vocals, bass, guitar) and Peter Koppes (guitar), along with Tim Powles (drums) and Ian Haug (guitar), the Sydney, Australia-based rock act The Church can trace its origins back to 1980 when the band was founded by Kilbey and Koppes, along with Marty Wilson-Piper (guitar) and Nick Ward (drums). And although the band was initially associated with Sydney’s New Wave, neo-psychedelic and alternative rock scenes, over time they became associated with dream pop and post-rock as their material frequently was centered around shimmering soundscapes paired with surrealistic lyrics.
1981’s full-length debut, Of Skins and Hearts was a commercial and critical success, as a result of their first national radio hit “The Unguarded Moment,” the band was signed to major labels in their homeland, Europe and in the States. However, the band’s American label was dissatisfied with their sophomore effort, 1982’s The Blurred Crusade and dropped the band without releasing it. Being dropped from their American label managed to slow down the international momentum they had built up however, 1988’s Starfish wound up being their most commercially successful album they’ve ever released, as a result of their only US Top 40 hit, “Under the Milky Way.”
Interestingly, since the release of Starfish, the band has developed a reputation for crafting uncompromising and challenging material thematically and sonically, while developing a devoted cult following. In 2011, the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame; but instead of sitting on their laurels, the band has continued to be incredibly prolific. releasing their 25th album 2017’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s seminal album Starfish and the band has been touring to celebrate it — and it included a stop at City Winery last last week. Check out photos from the show below.