Friday 23 April 2010

Clandestine Classic I - Constant In Opal

The first post in an occasional series that is intended to highlight songs that you might not have heard that I think are excellent - clandestine classics, if you will. Maybe they'll be by bands you've never heard of. Maybe they'll be by more familiar artists, but tracks that were squirelled away on b-sides, unpopular albums, radio sessions or music magazine cover-mounted CDs. Time will, undoubtedly, tell.

First up, a little gem from Aussie synth/prog/goth-leaning rockers The Church. Yes, they've been described as all of those things in their time, and that's quite a time - Wikipedia tells us that they formed way back in 1980, so it must be true. Thirty years on, they still have three of the four original members, thereby ensuring that the box marked "sack drummer" was ticked... several times.

To some, The Church sound a little gloomy - I have heard comparisons with 80s contemporaries Sisters Of Mercy and The Mission, and they're hardly what you'd call perky, are they? But they're lazy, simplistic and frankly inaccurate comparisons that are as much to do with Steve Kilbey's vocal delivery as anything else. I liked them though, and bought a lot of their output in the 80s and early 90s, at which point they started to get a little too prog for my palate. Their albums Remote Luxury and Starfish would still sit well in many a collection though, trust me.

And that brings me to the clandestine classic: Constant In Opal, from 1983's Remote Luxury. It highlights everything that is good about The Church, with a hypnotic Kilbey bassline and Marty Willson-Piper's 12-string guitar chiming away in the background. A grainy old copy of the promo video is on YouTube, below, whilst unscrupulous downloaders may be interested in this link (in which case, you ain't seen me, right?). Either way, enjoy.

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