Though the annual South By Southwest confab has its roots in exposing the very freshest and newest of talents, the very best stuff isn’t always brand new. For many, this year’s appearance by hallowed Australian band the Church—who in fact formed in 1980, which makes them significantly older than their currently fashionable countrymen 5 Seconds Of Summer—made everythingbrand new all over again.
Perhaps best known for their 1988 radio hit “Under The MilkyWay”—a fine, catchy slab of pop that, as good as it was, was by no means their artistic zenith—the Church continue to soldier on, and did so royally in Austin.
Still including founding members Steve Kilbey (bass & vocals) and Peter Koppes (guitar), the band also features “new guy” drummer Tim Powles (onboard since 1993) and recent addition Ian Haug–formerly of distinguished band Powderfinger and a fine guitarist, who replaces the recently departed Marty Willson-Piper.
The band’s remarkable journey remains one of rock’s most fascinating. Though their latest album, Further/Deeper, is said to be their 25th, there have been many solo projects, live albums, and spin-offs, that’s something of an understatement. And while there have been many, many high points and scattered few low points, Kilbey, Koppes and company have produced one of the most solid, hook-filled, and substantial catalogs in all of rock ‘n’ roll. And that is no lie. We recommend you find out all about it by visiting here and taking a deep, long look around.
Meanwhile, Yahoo Music was thrilled to host the band in a stripped-down Up Close session at Austin’s Brazos Hall a few weeks back, where they first offered up two fine tracks from Further/Deeper, then later explained what’s been going on with them for the past decade or three. They are a marvelous band, they are wonderful players, they are very good spirits, and they were one of our SXSW highlights this year. Watch these clips and you’ll understand why.