For Steve KIlbey, the opportunity to get back on stage after months away due to the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t come soon enough.
“Can you imagine for an egomaniac like me how I’ve been lacking all that applause? I’m fading away! I need sustenance from those clapping hands and those cheering voices,” Steve told Newcastle Live.
The frontman for seminal Aussie rockers The Church will return to the stage at Lizotte’s this month to celebrate the release of his second collaboration with classical guitarist Gareth Koch – Songs From Another Life (Music Of Antiquity).
Steve, who has gone down the live-streaming route to satiate that performance craving during lockdown, added that it was a pale, and much less raunchy, imitation of the real thing.
“It’s not the same as seeing all the hearts and flowers and all of that stuff,” he said.
“It’s not the same as seeing them yelling at you and throwing their knickers at you…and that’s just the men!”
The Lizotte’s show will see Steve and Gareth take to the stage with former Models and Icehouse keyboardist Roger Mason and Models drummer Barton Price in a set that will delve deep into the latest album.
“These three players are three of the best players I’ve ever worked with,” Steve said.
“I’ve known Roger quite a long time but I’ve never played with him. I was making a record and Barton was playing drums and Roger dropped in and he said: ‘do you want me to play some keyboards?’ When he got on the piano my jaw just dropped.
“I’m really excited to play with those guys.”
Songs From Another Life (Music Of Antiquity) is a concept-heavy record that attempts the ambitious task of imagining the musicality of such ancient civilisations as Babylon, Greece and Rome – explained through the prism Gareth’s classical background and Steve’s rock and roll sensibility.
“Well, Ziggy Stardust, is like David Bowie imagines an alien comes from outer space and he decides to communicate with the world through rock and roll,” Steve said.
“So, I’m imagining me as a guy from ancient Babylon and I’ve come to 2020 and I’ve got access to a modern recording studio and I’m trying to recreate that feeling of living in Babylon or being a Greek sailor on the high seas or a Roman senator through music.”
He added: “It’s all probably wildly inaccurate, but I’m trying to reconcile rock and roll with the feeling those people had. Instead of ‘get in my car, get in a fight, find a girl and drink some beer,’ this is more like ‘we’re going to the Coliseum and I’m in my chariot. I know the Senate want to have me murdered and I’m on the run.’
“Are Lizotte’s ready for it or are they going to be yelling out for Under The Milky Way? I guess time will tell.”
The album is the latest in a flurry of creativity for Steve who has released three albums in 2020 alone – Songs from Another Life and Chryse Planitia with Gareth and The Dangerous Age with Kate Ceberano and Sean Sennett.
And he has no plans to stop there, revealing that a follow-up to Songs For Another Life was already in the works.
“Yeah, actually next week Gareth, Barton and I are going into the studio to start work on the second one.”
Catch Steve Kilbey and Gareth Koch at Lizotte’s Newcastle on Friday 24 July. Tickets are nearly sold out, so get in quick. BUT if you miss out, never fear because live-stream tickets are also available. Head here for more info.