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The Church and Dial Rock A Thursday in Brisbane




You’ve got to love discovering new music, and tonight the early crowd who meanders inside from (arguably) Brisbane’s best beer garden at The Triffid to the hanger are treated to a killer new band, DIAL. Super cool with chunky riffs, loads of reverb and a solid stoner rock vibe, I can’t wait to see where this young four piece takes their twin Jazzmasters in the future.

After a short break, the screen behind the stage flickers to life, the lights go down, a strong and sweet smell drifts out of the backstage green room, and the crowd politely push forward as we all can’t wait to see The Church hit the stage again. 

Frontman and founding member Steve Kilbey politely thanks us all for making it out on a Thursday night, but reminds us it’s better than a “fucking Monday night”, and they get on with business opening with the majestic 'Myrhh' from my personal favourite album, Heyday

The band, performing as a six-piece these days with twin percussion and arpeggio filling 12-string acoustic supporting the back line ... and Ian Haug and Ash Naylor holding court and swapping guitar parts up front with Steve on his road beaten Fender Precision bass, sound amazing. 

As much as the original lineup holds a special pIace in my paisley heart, I love this latest and relatively stable version of The Church. Ash and Ian, two of our finest guitarists seem genuinely thrilled to bring such a deep and incredible back catalogue of guitarists dream songs to life in their own way, but still totally respectfully honouring Peter and Marty. 

Steve, like the cool Uncle you wish you had, continues to make us all laugh and smile in between songs as his seemingly unplanned banter sits diametrically opposed to the often deep and dark music. 

The set list has something for every fan - where do you start to even contemplate putting a list of songs together for dedicated fans who want to hear them all?! 

Steve seems genuinely surprised when their most well known song 'Under The Milky Way' pops up on the set list relatively early. It’s still quite astonishing that it charted so high (#24) in the US Billboard charts in 1988. Such an unconventional song, but still so haunting and beautiful.

They fly through a 19 song set with a real mix of new and old, as we get the sense that this is a warm up ahead of their next US tour and a new album being recorded now. Steve, who turns 70 this year, doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and is in great voice and an even greater mood. I genuinely feel he is relishing his role as leader of such an iconic Australian act, as they continue to create new music and thrill loyal fans while winning over new ones. 'Reptile', 'Almost With You' and 'Unguarded Moment' all sound so great and get the biggest audience response, and before we know it we’re at the last song as they jam out the intro to 'You Took'.

Such a wonderful night, as once again we have our faith restored in The Church. 

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