Profiles: Steve Kilbey~Musician, Poet & Painter

Steve Kilbey

STEVE KILBEY

Steve Kilbey (born 13 September 1954, Welwyn Garden City, England) is the lead singer-songwriter and bass guitarist for The Church, an Australian rock band. He is also a music producer, poet, and painter.Steve Kilbey 

Kilbey began his professional music career at age 17 when he joined a “cabaret band”. He then joined Precious Little, a rock band featuring future Church bandmate Peter Koppes on drums. Kilbey followed up with another band, Baby Grande, around 1978 while he lived in Canberra. Soon after, he formed The Church along with Koppes, Nick Ward, and Marty Willson-Piper.   After some success in their native Australia in the early 1980s, Kilbey and The Church went on to international fame when “Under the Milky Way” (from their 1988 album Starfish) became a hit.

Kilbey has released six solo music albums and collaboratively written and/or produced recordings with the late Grant McLennan (of The Go-Betweens), Stephen Cummings, and Kev Carmody. Earthed, a book of fiction, was published in 1986, in conjunction with an album of the same name of instrumental electronic music. His book of poetry, Nineveh/The Ephemeron, was released in 1998 and was later republished.

Kilbey lives in Bondi, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, with his wife and three of his five children.  His brothers, Russell Kilbey and John Kilbey, have also led successful Australian bands.  

A biography of Steve Kilbey titled No Certainty Attached was released in June 2009 by Verse Chorus Press. Also in June 2009, an album with Martin Kennedy (from All India Radio) called Unseen Music, Unheard Words was released. Kilbey’s first solo record in eight years, entitled Painkiller was released in North America on Second Motion Records in early 2009.

~ Wikipedia

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rocknroll gave god to you

the light still pours out of me

the need to experience everything

the most sacred place the most dirty place

the place that is no place at all

the emptiest place where the soul stripped bare of skins

and  hardly recognisable  to that naked  i

they have sold you a lie brothers and sisters

and the rock and the roll is a path to that lies heart

ladies and gentlemen is it not best that we rock and rock on?

i strap on my plank with wires but its a stradivarius of a plank

boom boom boom my amplified notes that have busted my ears

i am an old soldier still fighting in his legion

my sword is my music

my arrows are my words

my integrity is my shield

my failures and mistakes scar me but i fight on

such a grandiose metaphor  such is rocknroll

you can be high n mighty

you can be down and low

you can be gay or junkie or christian or  fool

you can be lovely or ugly or rich or poor

self taught or conservatory it doesnt matter

rock put the power back in all our hands

now we the people can select our heroes

and we choose em from rocknroll because its all we got

you cant trust actors n politicians speaking someone elses lines

you cant trust rocknroll singers either …what the hell do we know?

but rock aint asking for your trust

rock aint asking for your vote

but it is asking for your money

and in return it gives you something

so sublime there is no word to describe it

some revelation some bliss some divine insight

some release of the feeling of love

some excitement some hope some pride some joy

only a few can ever invoke such things and that music we treasure

it brings the holy to even the most heathen of hearts

it sets the scene for an epiphany

it guides you towards a splendid feeling of being in the know

it creates a world for you

each record by the beatles built on and expanded from the last world

the initial solid modern construction would begin to sprout strange new wings

consider “the end” by the doors

who has ever conjured this mood before except maybe arthur rimbaud?

a journey within decadence and failure and random images of dissolution

when its all over you feel like you experienced something, eh?

oh that jimbo quite a poet and those lovely instruments

hear them embellishing and weaving the threads of the story

hear that voice leading you all over the place

through time and nightmare

its a play its a poem its a story its a vision

in this we somehow get glimpses of  the supernatural world

the world inhabited by spirit by the dead by the drugged by the insane

a wild world oh baby baby

there is magic in this world and 3 short cuts

are sex drugs and rocknroll

all three together taken in regular large doses will open up your chakras

or something

the profound shift in any direction away from this dismal reality of here

when i was 16 i worked on a building site as a labourer

for 6 weeks of school holiday one year

at work it was brutal and hard and so male it was disgusting to me

everything was coarse and vulgar and loud and brutal

i got home and my antidote was to enter the world of “a beard of stars”

yeah marc bolan was the opposite of the guys on the site

here was romance and tragedy and strange strange magic

a middle earth set to some mixture of the weirdest rock

these songs seemed dragged from another continuum

where eric claptonesque forms are laid over baroque tapestries

where fey means faery and miracles are materialising

and the love oh my goodness

the love the love the love

bolan is in love with his babe

he is donovan playing romeo playing legolas playing caspian

away from the concrete dust and the muddy carpark and blokes

bolans world opened upon the first note of the record

it was not a world like a book to be explored once maybe twice

it was a world expanding open in breathtaking jumps

the more you listened the more you heard and ditto in reverse

this was not the hamfisted thump of your zeps and purples

nor the grammar school feel of yer yesses n genesises

nor the rebellious strut of the stones

not even the beatles

in all their trailblazing wanderings had hit upon this world

not even druggy not even deliberately weird

bolan had taken rocknroll instruments and techniques

and used them to outpour babylon and greece and narnia and druid

like half remembered books from childhood

with the witches and black cats and its elders and m m m magical moons

and against this backdrop bolan invokes youth and love and an ideal idyll

fuck its not everyones cup of tea

but the marvel is nonetheless that he pulled it off

and it gave me a chance to see the possibility

of reconciling all my favourite things into song

and somehow locking them there to be taken out when needed

i take bolans blueprint and i sometimes reassemble it in my own materials

thats alright thats what its all about

thats the business thats the way it s’posed to be

you take the best stuff and recombine it

thats what we do

thats what you like

~ Steve Kilbey

http://thetimebeing.com/blog

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http://youtu.be/-Q6nKP10j4s

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