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Train at The Ark, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It’s kind of a quiet trip across the Pacific pond for The Church over the next 10 days.

The veteran Australian quartet booked a show at Milwaukee’s famed Summerfest and then built a few more dates (eight in total) around it. For Steve Kilbey, the sole remaining founding member in the lineup, it’s a chance to get out of the studio, where the group has been making a new album, which is due out later this year and hasn’t been titled -- although the Church just released a song from it, “Another Century.”

So even though it’s technical still between projects for the group, Kilbey has a lot to say about the (healthy) state of the Church these days...

• Kilbey, 62, says that having the Church be active for 37 years now does give him cause for pause on occasion. “The weird thing is when you’ve been in show business as long as I have, you’re always living with your past and there’s always pictures of you as you were 20, 30 years ago,” he explains by phone from Australia. “The Church is very aware of our long history. It’s a fine line to not be a nostalgia act and on the other extreme to not do any of your old stuff at all. We’re always bearing in mind what would be the optional thing for us to do, and that’s always shifting a bit.”

• After the 2013 departure of Marty Wilson-Piper, Kilbey acknowledges that the Church is his band -- to a degree. “In terms of vision, yes, it’s my band vision -- but that is the only way in which it is my band,” he says. “I’ve sort of abdicated from a lot of decision-making on this (upcoming) album; We wrote loads and loads and loads of piece of music and I sort of let the other guys decide what was going to be on and what was going to be off. So only in the real big picture is it MY band, and in everything else I’m very open to consultation.”

• Kilbey says the new album, the Church’s 26th overall, is “just about finished” and will be another provocative entry in the group’s extensive catalog. “It’s a strange album, a weird album,” he notes. “We didn’t sort of take the corporate path. I don’t think this is a sensible record; I was surprised by how the songs meandered all over the place. There’s strange little songs on there that I never would have thought would be on our records. But I’m really happy with it. It’s really strong melodically and very -- and I rarely used this word -- quirky.”

If You Go:

• The Church

• 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 28.

• The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.

• Tickets are $40-$99.

• Call 734-761-1800 or visit theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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