steve kilbey - The I-94 Bar

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Donat Tahiraj

donat 2020DONAT TAHIRAJ
Owner of Phase 4 Records and Cassettes store and the LCMR Records label
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 

There’s no need to explain what a slightly weird year 2020 was. Sadly and for my back pocket’s sake, Phase 4 Records had to close for most of Autumn which meant I wasn’t as often held captive by some stinky guy banging on about the greatness of some rockist act they read about in "The Wire" at the top of their voice scaring our innocent customers away while I desperately needed to go to the toilet.

Our record label LCMR managed to squeeze out only three 7” EPs for the year – one by a hopelessly obscure Toowoomba punk group, Brian, and two by Xiro, the Brisbane band of the early post-punk era who should’ve gone on to have a great international career but decided not to for the sake of art; or something.

It was a great pleasure putting them all together for those who were all too familiar and the ones who were brave enough to try some music that was completely unknown to them.

Baby steps on the way to church

baby grandeBaby Grande 1975-77 - Baby Grande (Hozac Archival)

The Brits call it Junk Shop Glam and the name’s derived from the piles of often obscure, sometimes quirky and lost ‘70s glam singles that littered their second-hand shops decades ago and now fetch crazy, collector scum prices. RPM/Cherry Red did a stellar job of bringing much of it to life on their “All The Young Droogs” compilation. 

It’s as good a label as any for Baby Grande, the band in which future founders of The Church, Steve Kilbey and Peter Koppes, cut their teeth in the mid’-70s. Chicago label Hozac Archival has exhumed a tape of studio sessions from somebody’s sock drawer and issued it as an LP. 

The Church keeps the faith with national tour

the church 2022Australian seminal psych-guitar masters, The Church have just announced a national headline tour of Australia - their first in four years - playing shows and will be playing shows in Sydney, Melboubne,  Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Margaret River this September.

Fans can access early bird tickets by signing up prior to pre-sale commencing here. Pre-sale starts Friday, June 17, 12pm local time.  General public tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 21, 12pm local time.

Entering their fourth decade of making music and playing live shows with all the fierce creative energy of their early years, ARIA Hall of Fame inductees, The Church will treat fans with two remarkable sets over 2 ½ hours with a taste of new songs from the band’s forthcoming 26th studio album, "The Hypnogogue" - plus performing a string of hit songs across their expansive music career including "Under The Milky Way", "Reptile", "The Unguarded Moment" and "Almost With You".

The 2022 epic five-piece line-up is bassist, vocalist and founder Steve Kilbey; with long-time collaborator Tim Powles, drummer and producer across 17 albums since '94; guitarist Ian Haug formerly of Australian rock icons Powderfinger, who joined the band in 2013 and Jeffrey Cain (Remy Zero), touring multi-instrumentalist who is now a full-time member of The Church since the departure of Peter Koppes in early 2020. The band has also recruited Ashley Naylor, long-time member of Paul Kelly’s touring band and one of Australia’s finest and most respected guitarists (Even, The Grapes, The Stems).

The Church of Spontaneity

eleven womenEleven Women - Steve Kilbey (Foghorn)

COVID’s pervasive impact forced Steve Kilbey to suspend the piecemeal process of assembling another Church album and instead make a solo record. It was done on the fly and from the ground up. 

Equipped with a loose but strong batch of songs, a modest budget delivered by PayPal from intimate online shows and willing collaborators in guitarist-bassist Gareth Koch, Roger Mason from the very borning Icehouse on keys and Barton Price (of the Models, Sardine v, Flaming Hands et al) on drums, Kilbey and His Winged Heels delivered “Eleven Women” in just three days.

I-94 Bar