Hot Best Seller

No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and The Church: A Biography

Availability: Ready to download

For almost thirty years, the Church have crafted music that blends a rich variety of styles in a beautiful, multi-layered sound. They have encompassed pop, psychedelic, progressive, and straight-ahead rock, yet always remain distinctive, thanks to the inimitable vocals and lyrics of front man Steve Kilbey. Based on extensive interviews and featuring over 70 rare photograph For almost thirty years, the Church have crafted music that blends a rich variety of styles in a beautiful, multi-layered sound. They have encompassed pop, psychedelic, progressive, and straight-ahead rock, yet always remain distinctive, thanks to the inimitable vocals and lyrics of front man Steve Kilbey. Based on extensive interviews and featuring over 70 rare photographs, No Certainty Attached is the first comprehensive biography of Kilbey and his band. It charts their personal and musical ups and downs: the commercial heights of The Unguarded Moment and Under the Milky Way, the creative breakthroughs of the Priest = Aura album and Kilbey s underappreciated solo work, followed by the band s struggle to survive in the wake of bad business decisions and their singer s drug indulgences. One obsessive American fan attempts to get to the heart of the story, abetted by Kilbey himself, his family, band members, and friends and foes alike. What emerges is a compelling portrait of an artist and a band clinging steadfastly to their muse in the face of external and internal obstacles and the transformative power of the music they have created.


Compare

For almost thirty years, the Church have crafted music that blends a rich variety of styles in a beautiful, multi-layered sound. They have encompassed pop, psychedelic, progressive, and straight-ahead rock, yet always remain distinctive, thanks to the inimitable vocals and lyrics of front man Steve Kilbey. Based on extensive interviews and featuring over 70 rare photograph For almost thirty years, the Church have crafted music that blends a rich variety of styles in a beautiful, multi-layered sound. They have encompassed pop, psychedelic, progressive, and straight-ahead rock, yet always remain distinctive, thanks to the inimitable vocals and lyrics of front man Steve Kilbey. Based on extensive interviews and featuring over 70 rare photographs, No Certainty Attached is the first comprehensive biography of Kilbey and his band. It charts their personal and musical ups and downs: the commercial heights of The Unguarded Moment and Under the Milky Way, the creative breakthroughs of the Priest = Aura album and Kilbey s underappreciated solo work, followed by the band s struggle to survive in the wake of bad business decisions and their singer s drug indulgences. One obsessive American fan attempts to get to the heart of the story, abetted by Kilbey himself, his family, band members, and friends and foes alike. What emerges is a compelling portrait of an artist and a band clinging steadfastly to their muse in the face of external and internal obstacles and the transformative power of the music they have created.

30 review for No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and The Church: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    No Certainty Attached is written by long time fan musician and writer Robert Dean Lurie, who in 1990 at the tender age of 16 saw The Church live on a tour of the U.S. Thirteen years later Lurie contacted Kilbey to ask if he’d be involved with this biography and to Lurie’s surprise he said yes. Fittingly the biography begins with some words from Steve Kilbey himself: Lurie attempts to come to some kinda understanding of my paradox. That is, I can be so nice, or I can be not so nice and hardly anyt No Certainty Attached is written by long time fan musician and writer Robert Dean Lurie, who in 1990 at the tender age of 16 saw The Church live on a tour of the U.S. Thirteen years later Lurie contacted Kilbey to ask if he’d be involved with this biography and to Lurie’s surprise he said yes. Fittingly the biography begins with some words from Steve Kilbey himself: Lurie attempts to come to some kinda understanding of my paradox. That is, I can be so nice, or I can be not so nice and hardly anything in the middle. And it’s funny that Lurie puts the boot in at the end and he reckons that the fambly manne (sic) thing is an act, and my everyman pose is faux, and really I’m the same old prick, and Rob, you’ve hit the nail on the head, actually... As a long time fan of both The Church and Kilbey’s solo music, the question of whether Steve Kilbey is an asshole is something I do not particularly care about (as interesting as that is). For me the music is the main consideration and I consider The Church to be one of greatest Australian bands of any era. What the above quote reveals is that No Certainty Attached is not one of those sycophantic and superficial biographies. The fact that Kilbey’s ego is not pandered to and that Lurie himself is part of the story makes No Certainty Attached one of the most enjoyable music biographies I’ve read for a long time. It’s easy to warm to Lurie, his writing style is unpretentiously affable and over the course of the book his relationship with Kilbey and The Church progresses to the level of friendship. Lurie’s life is very much tied up with Kilbey in terms of being a source of inspiration and ongoing fascination. Lurie recounts his first meeting with Kilbey in 1998 as a support for a solo gig, a meeting that provided him both disillusionment and a certain level of fulfillment. The book contains several interludes in which Lurie ponders the ambiguous boundaries between fandom and his burgeoning relationship with Kilbey. Bravely Lurie recounts how during one of their interviews for the book Kilbey openly tests him for evidence of sycophancy; a test that Lurie fails, much to Kilbey’s displeasure. But Lurie later admits that it taught him a valuable lesson. Although Lurie’s presence in the book is welcome, it’s Kilbey’s story and the history of the band that makes the book an essential read for Kilbey/Church fans. There’s the usual childhood background, with Kilbey emigrating with his parents from the UK in 1957, eventually settling in Canberra. Steve Kilbey the child was a Doctor Who fan and as Lurie notes was, for better or worse, a smaller version of his adult self. Kilbey became a reluctant teenager, recalling that he was disappointed when he realized that his childhood had ended. Lurie notes that as a teenager Kilbey dated a girl that he was attracted to because she looked like Roger Waters circa the 1971 Meddle album. Hilariously he couldn’t understand why this didn’t go down well. Recollections like these give the biography a welcome level of charm and warmth. The tale of how The Church came together as a band is a fascinating one. Lurie does a fine job recounting the history of The Church, but one of the best things about the book was that I found out about Kilbey’s many obscure side projects that ran parallel with both the Church and his solo career. It’s possible I could be spending a lot of money online searching out these records. Kilbey’s career is like a labyrinth with many rooms containing obscure treasures. No Certainty Attached also contains a few revelations; including that incredulously the first lineup of the band included a guy who bullied Kilbey in high school – Nick Ward. Lurie’s interviews with Ward reveal that twenty or so years later he probably would still be bullying Kilbey had he stayed in the band. What is it about drummers? I was also amazed to learn that Kilbey’s endured (well, the way Kilbey tells it he quite enjoyed it) a ten-year heroin addiction, which began post Gold Afternoon Fix (1990) - naughty Steve, but I’m glad he survived to tell the tale. Lurie’s serpentine tale of strife, inspiration, failure and musical brilliance ends in 2006, where again he meets with Kilbey on tour. The meeting is friendly and you can detect that fambly (sic) man vibe between them. At the end of the book Kilbey has the final word in a hilarious stream of consciousness via his blog in which he refers to Lurie as having been “…some seriously uptight fanboy” and how he divested himself of that and wrote “a good book”. Kilbey is correct and Lurie should update it soon as The Church released one of their best albums in 2009 (Untitled #23) and are still touring to this day. I advise Church fans to read this book, but no doubt many have already. Also it’s more readable than Kilbey’s deliberately obtuse blog! From my blog http://excelsiorforever.blogspot.com.au/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ben Clohesy

    Quite enjoyed this - it’s for the fans rather than a true rock bio. Nonetheless there were plenty of interesting aspects that I’d never known. I’ve been long time follower of the Church and loved their music for years - although I’m nowhere near a rabid fan. This is a pretty unvarnished look at Kilbey which was nice. The actual writing was good - Lurie has written an engaging and easy read. Fascinating was that the view of the Church is from an American fan. Definitely recommended for Church fan Quite enjoyed this - it’s for the fans rather than a true rock bio. Nonetheless there were plenty of interesting aspects that I’d never known. I’ve been long time follower of the Church and loved their music for years - although I’m nowhere near a rabid fan. This is a pretty unvarnished look at Kilbey which was nice. The actual writing was good - Lurie has written an engaging and easy read. Fascinating was that the view of the Church is from an American fan. Definitely recommended for Church fans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim Jones

    The Church was one of those bands whom I have always liked, but never loved. I have most of their major label records and always enjoyed them. When I saw them on their 1999 tour, they were incredibly boring, playing with no energy or enthusiasm. I ended up spending most of the concert sitting in another room waiting for the show to be over. I always wondered why they just didn’t seem to care. I knew almost nothing about them except that they were from Australia and that they had had one mega hit The Church was one of those bands whom I have always liked, but never loved. I have most of their major label records and always enjoyed them. When I saw them on their 1999 tour, they were incredibly boring, playing with no energy or enthusiasm. I ended up spending most of the concert sitting in another room waiting for the show to be over. I always wondered why they just didn’t seem to care. I knew almost nothing about them except that they were from Australia and that they had had one mega hit in the US. This book really filled in the gaps. Although it is written by a fan (who inserts himself in the story too much), the author is quite critical of some of the things the band and Kilbey have done (like giving a lot of half assed concerts). I never knew Kilbey was a heroin addict, that he did several albums with The Go-Between’s Grant McClendon, or that he was romantically involved with a member of The Bay Area’s Loud Family. Overall it didn’t make me like the band any better, but it was a very interesting read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    The second book I've read by Lurie (the first was his R.E.M. book Begin the Begin). I really enjoy his conversational writing style and I personally love when the author inserts himself into music related non-fiction, as music and the way we feel about it is deeply personal and I have no interest in simple dry facts. Steve Kilbey is intriguingly drawn and his complexities and human faults are definitely well portrayed. The reverence Lurie feels for the Church's music gives the whole book a feeli The second book I've read by Lurie (the first was his R.E.M. book Begin the Begin). I really enjoy his conversational writing style and I personally love when the author inserts himself into music related non-fiction, as music and the way we feel about it is deeply personal and I have no interest in simple dry facts. Steve Kilbey is intriguingly drawn and his complexities and human faults are definitely well portrayed. The reverence Lurie feels for the Church's music gives the whole book a feeling of passion and intimacy. Very good.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Smith

    Recommended reading for music fans with an interest in unique Australian music.. Robert Lurie partially unravels the enigma that is Steve Kilbey, fulfills his teenage ambitions of WTF! makes these 'rock gods' tick and establishes long lasting friendships with other similarly inclined fans under the beloved milky way.. what a trip 🇭🇲 Recommended reading for music fans with an interest in unique Australian music.. Robert Lurie partially unravels the enigma that is Steve Kilbey, fulfills his teenage ambitions of WTF! makes these 'rock gods' tick and establishes long lasting friendships with other similarly inclined fans under the beloved milky way.. what a trip 🇭🇲

  6. 4 out of 5

    James Loftus

    What can I say, I've been a Church fan since high school. 1980, 'Unguarded Moment' when you heard it on the radio you just wanted to turn the nob up full-blast. Alternative music had energy, stye, individuality, freshness, and The Church did not do just one great song, they did it again and again. I heard Steve Kilby being interviewed and quizzed on his, "I'm the best song writer in Australia." And, not shy away from it. Well, in Australia, and I suppose many places it is deemed kind of pointless What can I say, I've been a Church fan since high school. 1980, 'Unguarded Moment' when you heard it on the radio you just wanted to turn the nob up full-blast. Alternative music had energy, stye, individuality, freshness, and The Church did not do just one great song, they did it again and again. I heard Steve Kilby being interviewed and quizzed on his, "I'm the best song writer in Australia." And, not shy away from it. Well, in Australia, and I suppose many places it is deemed kind of pointless and senselessly egotistical to make self-aggrandising statements. Mostly people who say, how good am I, are just rubbish! Steve Kilby, is a great song writer, perhaps, Australia's greatest, and The Church, I saw them live many times, were (I don't know about now) magical/sublime. They genuinely created magic! Now, to the book, a very good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author knows his subject and writes in an effortless style that captures the man, Steve Kilby, and his band, The Church, with three dimensional clarity. Fans are lucky to have the book which discloses the human story which is fascinating and deserves recording historically. The Church are a major Australian, piece of art, not just musically, they go beyond music, into another realm, truly amazing music takes the senses to a place no other art form can. Finally, thanks, The Church, thanks Steve Kilby, and thanks, Robert Lurie, for the trip. The world needs more Robert Lurie's. Outstanding to write a book that good, mate.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Blackmore

    NO CERTAINTY ATTACHED is the first and only book (so far) to examine the career of Australia's acclaimed and beloved rock group The Church. While it focusses heavily on bassist, lyricist and lead singer Steve Kilbey, the book offers important insights into all phases of the band's career with plenty of information on Marty Wilsson-Piper, Peter Koppes, Richard Ploog and Tim Powles. Absolutely crucial for the Church fan, and a great read for anyone interested in Australian rock, NO CERTAINTY ATTAC NO CERTAINTY ATTACHED is the first and only book (so far) to examine the career of Australia's acclaimed and beloved rock group The Church. While it focusses heavily on bassist, lyricist and lead singer Steve Kilbey, the book offers important insights into all phases of the band's career with plenty of information on Marty Wilsson-Piper, Peter Koppes, Richard Ploog and Tim Powles. Absolutely crucial for the Church fan, and a great read for anyone interested in Australian rock, NO CERTAINTY ATTACHED is highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dunedin

    Academic fan does the hard yards of research to reveal and recount the rise and fall of the band. From my Medium review at: https://medium.com/music-voices/the-r... Academic fan does the hard yards of research to reveal and recount the rise and fall of the band. From my Medium review at: https://medium.com/music-voices/the-r...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Illuminating, very well-written biography of a fascinating yet underrated modern rock band and its leader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Canty

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laila

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bo Walker

    Strictly for die hard Church fans but really good read if you are one of those few that love this under rated band.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kisko

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan Risko

  21. 4 out of 5

    Warrnambool Brian

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Collins

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linkpead

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zachary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shane

  26. 4 out of 5

    Coucho_marx

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  28. 4 out of 5

    Space-2

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Helbing

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brent Aliverti

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...