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The Church Celebrates 30 Years -- Quietly

of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Church’s Steve Kilbey had to be talked into the Australian group’s current tour to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

“I just acquiesced to the other guys,” Kilbey, 55, says with a laugh. “I didn’t think a 30th anniversary was something to celebrate that much. I don’t think longevity is necessarily a great virtue in rock ’n’ roll. It seems that brevity is the way to go; do what you’re gonna do and then explode or implode or whatever.

“The Church has hung around and hung around and hung around — now it’s 30 years. The others sort of wanted to celebrate it, so here we are.”

The group is putting some effort into the commemoration however. The show’s repertoire includes a song from each of its albums, played in reverse chronological order — with 1988’s “Under the Milky Way,” The Church’s biggest hit, a “must,” according to Kilbey — and it’s also giving fans a free CD, featuring the song “Deadman’s Hand” from its 2009 album “Untitled #23” and some new songs, at the end of the night.

And even Kilbey — who’s releasing a box set of his solo material this year — admits he’s basking in the celebration.

“I feel a bit like a very old man looking in the mirror and saying, ‘I’m still handsome,’ ” he says. “I would rather be a young man, but at least I can say we’re still trying. We still have integrity. We’re not on some kind of cabaret circuit going around in matching suits or playing on cruises. We’re still a rock ’n’ roll band. We’re still trying, which I’m proud of.”

The Church performs Sunday, April 18, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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