the day started the night before when i noticed my tyre was flat, punctured by a nail penetrating the rubber, splattering nitrogen into the atmosphere and corrupting my plan for tomorrow, i sleep on it. the next morning i have a very early appointment down at terrible beach, so i shake myself awake at dawn and get my car tyre fixed, make my connections just in time. it's a big day already behind me, and i have not even had breakfast. i have a big day ahead of me. under the full moon, i meet up with agent wild and we make our way to a town in the shire whose name i can't spell or pronounce, because tonight we are about to see the church play for the first time in years. i literally have been jonesing for them, my soul dried up and wilting. agent wild looking as excited as i am, we disembark at the station and make our way towards the venue. everyone on the streets is super friendly and helpful, i'm getting a strange mild form of culture shock, this part of sydney is very different from the northern beaches, the north shore and areas we know. it's very australian in a classic sense. and inside the venue a multitude of church family reunite for the first time in what must feel like an eon.
seeing bands these days is a bit tricky for me, not being as youthful as i once was, i can't get into the front and dance around like a teenager anymore and standing up for two three hours invites various spasms, pangs, nerve pains, joint aches etc so we find ourselves at the front but to the side where we have a table, right in front of the speakers.
the church come on stage, steve kilbey the only original member onstage with some brand new musicians, excluding ian huag whom has been playing with them for a few years and craig wilson whom has been playing with them even longer. although not an official church member craig is part of the furniture to me, his parts would be missed.
the church onstage are like nothing else, immediately i relax into some sort of weird bliss, an altered state i feel at home in. however sitting in front of the speaker was not such a great idea as a wall of sound engulfs me, feedback, distortion and discordant sound waves, the mix not good, the venue didn't feel right but the audience were great, enthusiastic and appreciative. the church kick off with destination, then progress with a great selection of songs and one new one. for the encore i slip towards the front and enjoy a more clearer sound, perfection. steve still exudes positive energy onstage, he's healthy and radient, a real inspiration. i reflect on the many things i have learnt from him, ambient things, the information that never gets quantified, things like devotion, authenticity, humility, humour and honesty. i can't say i know steve well but i travel along a similar path, and without him i would have been lost so i feel grateful.
when the church play 'block' i smile, a perfect song, a brilliant song, majestic in many ways. i like the new church, same as the old one but different enough to notice. a different type of sound, a different type of feel yet true to the classic principles fans adore. i'm looking forwards to the new album, to the next church gig, and as i stand outside with steve and company i can only imagine how wonderful it would be to travel around america watching them on tour. it would make for a great book / film/ tv show / podcast.
i get home at 4am. start work at 6am. i shower, change clothing and head back down that highway, happy and content.