field report no.041516

LOCATION: Music Hall of Williamsburg BK.NY
SUBJECT: The Church

The Church have been a band for almost as long as I've been alive. Even though, in America, they're largely remembered for their enduring 1987 hit, Under the Milky Way, they've remained a going concern. I've kept up with their progress. I was first introduced them by a tape from a friend's older brother. I believe it was the repackaged version of their debut album with the collapsing statue on the cover. That happened some time before Starfish came out, since I remember anticipating it's release.

This show was not just an exercise in nostalgia for me, though. Over they years their vision of shimmering psychedelic dream pop has remained remarkably consistent. They mined this vein before it was in vogue, and they continued after the glaring limelight moved on to madchester, grunge, rave or whatever came next.

I guess there was some nostalgia to be had… It was such an old-man's show: just two sets of the Church, early start and no pesky opening bands or any such nonsense. The first set was dedicated to recreating their 1982 album, The Blurred Crusade. The band made it look easy, and I would hope so, since they've had 30+ years to practice them. 

They returned to the stage with a sampling of new millennium material (and some classic hits). I have to admit, after getting a whole hour of vintage material, I could have done without the fan-favorites in the second go. While their work is consistent, the new material has evolved in a more nuanced and atmospheric direction that begs for immersion. The older gems tended to break the spell, offering more bright and ready hooks.

NOTES: The Church, that is all