Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Concert Review: The Church and Rob Dickinson, Park West, August 18

Unlike the Church's October, 1998 show, this one lacked the power to change my life, but it was a fine entertainment. Most notably, the band was cheerfully relaxed and informal. Where Steve Kilbey is usually taciturn, this time he was positively loquacious. The members frequently switched instruments, resulting in jokes about Marty Willson-Piper's tendency to break drum sticks. They messed around with arrangements, adding flamenco, English folk and jazz flourishes to familiar favorites to refresh them. Kilbey gave a shout-out to the recently departed Grant McLennan when the band played "Providence," by Kilbey and McLennan's side project Jack Frost.

Rob Dickinson, former lead singer for the Catherine Wheel, has a solo album and is, only slightly facetiously, recasting himself as a sensitive singer songwriter. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, he struggled mightly with his desire to recreate the thunderous wall of sound his old outfit generated.

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