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THE CHURCH @ The Rosemount Hotel gets 6/10

The Church @ The Rosemount Hotel
Friday, November 17, 2017


As stalwarts of the Australian music industry for the past 37 years, you’d forgive The Church for falling slightly short of the mark. Their performance at the Rosemount Hotel was clear-cut evidence that this was not the case. The venue, however, put more of a dampener on the night than one would expect.

My mum, boyfriend and I entered the room with high hopes. Members of the band mingled with the audience; Steve Kilbey himself was downing pints while wearing a somewhat distinctive hat. In fact, it was hard to distinguish the band from the audience in a sea of paisley and greying beards. Pre-show music enhanced the vibe and had us all ready and raring to go. The show that ensued was, musically, anything but a letdown.

The Church

Kilbey, ever the charismatic front-man, moved fluidly and sang as if he hadn’t aged a day. His trademark banter came along for the ride, with complaints of not receiving his requested Blue Lagoon and branding Under The Milky Way as “a boring old song.” His accomplices, including Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug these days, and long-time multi-instrumentalist Peter Koppes, played a practically faultless set.

The Church

Expecting a setlist full of the new, I believe I speak for everyone when I say the inclusion of classic tracks was a lovely surprise. Songs such as Metropolis and Tantalized were met with glee, whilst newer tunes like Undersea still got people moving. This show was proof to many that their traditional sound has certainly carried through to their modern works.

The Church

As much as I wanted to immerse myself in the experience, my surroundings got in the way. At the time The Church took to the stage, there was barely any room to move, let alone dance. My memories of introductory song Aura are limited, as that time was spent pushing through a sardine-like crowd to return to my place and witnessing many a gruff face along the way.

After cramped quarters resulted in my mum being dragged into an altercation, the three of us were forced to move to the back. Thankfully this granted us more breathing room, but deprived us of the visual aspect of the show.

It pains me to rate the show so poorly, especially when the band were in such fine form. I suppose it goes to show that it’s more than the music that makes a gig, and tour managers and promoters are perhaps more responsible for this than they realise.


Photos by Anthony Jackson

The Church
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