TimEbandit chats with DB Magazine about the Future Past Perfect show – read below :
Recent events have conspired to return the church to the public conscience. Industry recognition came last year with the band’s induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame accompanied, of course, by Steve Kilbey’s inspired acceptance speech. In April there was the one-off ‘Psychedelic Symphony’ concert at the Opera House to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary. Perhaps most crucial of all has been the success and critical acclaim for their 2009 album ‘Untitled # 23’.
From his Sydney home on a rare day off, drummer Tim Powles reflects on a hectic but rewarding 2011. “The band haven’t been in the same place since the Opera House show but we’ve been working on plenty of things including the TV special and the forthcoming DVD and double live CD from that show as well. But recently we’ve been working on bringing the ‘Future, Past, Perfect’ tour to Australia that we toured through America in February.”
That tour will see the church perform not one, but three albums in their entirety, namely ‘Starfish’, Priest = Aura’ and ‘Untitled # 23’, an ambitious concept with humble origins. “Our website moderator Sue Campbell inadvertently came up with the three album thing and suggested one per decade as a solution to an argument about what we would actually play. We were always going to do two, and we always came back to ‘Starfish’ and ‘Untitled # 23’ as being the oldest and most recent ‘classic’ records. Then we felt there wasn’t enough that was different in there because we’d covered the records, not totally, but reasonably within the last three or four years in our touring. So the idea of adding ‘Priest = Aura’ in so we had an eighties record, a nineties record and a new millennium record was actually just a comment in an email. But it was a great idea. Marty Wilson-Piper came up with the ‘Future, Past, Perfect’ title and we all kind of leapt into it. I think this is as focused as the band has ever been learning something. What it’s done is actually raise the standard of our live show by another fifty percent. It’s really stretched everybody. ‘Priest = Aura’ and ‘Untitled # 23’ particularly are not easy records to play live.”
That complexity coupled with the sheer length of the performance leaves band and audience feeling tired but exhilarated. “It’s a good exhaustion, though. It’s an amazing feeling. You forget the beginning of the night when you come off. It’s an amazing journey. In my opinion it’s the best show we’ve done in terms of a musical adventure and it has pretty much bits of everything that the church do. There’s no encore, just the three records. It clocks in at three hours twenty minutes or something by the time you’ve had a short break between them.”
After many years of hard graft, Powles is certainly enjoying the recent critical and commercial success, but as ever the band continue to forge their own path. “It does feel good. But it will also feel good when we’ve done the tour and hopefully people have come out to see it! It’s a risky venture, we’re doing this ourselves. We’ve chosen to take the risk, so I guess we’ll know by New Year’s Eve what happened!”
the church bring their ‘Future, Past, Perfect’ tour to the Norwood Town Hall on Thu 29 Dec. To read the full interview with Tim Powles, go to http://www.dbmagazine.com.au/535/iv-TheChurch-544.shtml
By James McKenzie