In 2018, paisley underground pioneers – THE CHURCH – are enjoying a year of unique celebrations in honour of their seminal album: Starfish.
With the LP hitting the 30 year mark, the cherished Australian band behind classic singles ‘Under The Milky Way’ and ‘Reptile’ will be returning to the UK this Autumn for a series of special shows.
Landing in late October, the brief run of UK shows includes a handful of The Church headline gigs, as well appearances in support of kindred spirits Fields of the Nephilim as their very special guests.
Starfish 30th Anniversary Tour – 2018 UK Dates
Mon 29th Oct – Manchester O2 Ritz (with Fields Of The Nephilim)
Tues 30th Oct – Bristol The Fleece (The Church plus support from Rodney Allen)
Wed 31st Oct – London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (with Fields Of The Nephilim)
Thurs 1st Nov – Birmingham 02 Institute (with Fields Of The Nephilim)
Fri 2nd Nov – Edinburgh The Liquid Room (The Church only)
For these upcoming UK shows, the band will perform a selection of gems from the band’s career, which now spans an incredible 38 years and 26 albums.
What started out with a sold-out appearance at the Meltdown Festival in London on the personal invitation of curator, The Cure’s Robert Smith earlier this Summer, 2018 has been something of a landmark year for The Church. Multiple tours of the US and a warmly received string of dates in the UK earlier this year including a sold-out fan convention in Shepherds Bush (which witnessed the band perform their second album The Blurred Crusade in its entirety for the first time ever in this country), has made this a year to remember.
From there, the list of hits, band and fan favourites is long. Myrhh, which leader Steve Kilbey described in his memoir Something Quite Peculiar as the definitive Church song. Ripple, from the masterful Priest=Aura. Almost anything from 1982’s The Blurred Crusade.
Expect songs from Hologram of Baal, itself celebrating its 20th anniversary. And, of course, there’s The Unguarded Moment, the single that launched the band onto world stages on its release on its release in 1981.
But this is not just a nostalgia trip. The Church have been revitalised since 2014 with the addition of guitarist Ian Haug, formerly of another iconic Australian band, Powderfinger. Haug’s first outing with the band was on the acclaimed Further/Deeper, which yielded a new dynamic set-closer, the infinitely pyschedelic and earth shaking Miami.
Last year’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity strengthened the bond, cementing Haug’s place with long-time fans, as well as with the rest of the band: singer, bass player and songwriter Kilbey, fellow guitarist Peter Koppes and longtime drummer Tim Powles. “Ian is a big part of the band now,” Koppes says. “He’s a consummate, intuitive musician with fantastic tones.”
Koppes goes on to sum up the band. “Music is like inner space and we’re astronauts,” he says. It’s a spellbinding thing, it’s hypnotising. That’s why people like it. It takes them into another world and we’re here to open those doors.”
The Church’s strange journey remains an endless sea of possibilities. In 2018, it’s time for the band to celebrate one of their crowning glories, but always with an eye to the future. Further. Deeper. The Church truly are a rock band for the ages.
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