The Church and Blue Aeroplanes bring a night of jangly guitars to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom


By Steve Newton

It was a real toss-up to decide which band—Australia’s Church or Britain’s Blue Aeroplanes—was the more entertaining at the Commodore last Thursday (July 5). The B.A.’s set was short and sweet; the Church took quite a while to get going.

One thing’s for sure: if you crave jangly guitars, you shoulda been there.

Bristol’s Blue Aeroplanes offered up a continuous four-guitar assault on ragged tunes from its latest release, Swagger, and the band’s dancer, Wojtek Dmochowski, kept the chuckle-quotient up with a manic, arms-a-flyin’ style that made him look like a short Peter Garrett with hair.

The Church took over in a flurry of smoke and well-choreographed lights, but could have done a better job of mixing up its repertoire. The first part of the show focused too much on the slow, dreamy tunes the band is noted for.

Things brightened somewhat when singer Steve Kilbey introduced “special guest” Jay Dee Dougherty, former drummer with the Patti Smith Group, and surprised the crowd with a version of Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot”.

Lead guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper was the best thing about the band, flailing away on his Rickenbacker, bustin’ strings and putting some show into the proceedings, which was sorely needed, given that Kilbey isn’t exactly Mr. Entertainment.

The band saved the best for last, rocking out on tunes from its earlier albums Heyday (“Tantalized”) and Seance (“Electric Lash”).


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