October has been a heck of a busy month for us!
Nigel Methodist Church fete
First off we were back at Nigel Methodist for the church fete. A great morning – great food, great people! We were lucky enough to play close to 30 songs, and we even got to try out some of the songs from our new album for the first time. We can’t wait to release these songs out in January – and playing them live for the first time made us all the more excited to be getting this cd done!
Boksburg North Methodist
The next morning we were up and at it close to home – Boksburg North Methodist, which is only a few minutes from our studio. Some crazy lightning (but hardly any rain) had knocked out the power in our area on the Saturday night, and when I went to sleep it was still off. I was worried that we might have to do an unplugged set – but everything was back to normal when I woke up, and so after grabbing our usual Seattle coffee, we arrived and started setting up our stuff.
We endured the usual abuse from our good friend Rev Doug Wallace as we set up – including ideas for me to set up my keyboard outside to avoid frightening the congregation, and taking our photos off our cd covers so that they might begin to sell better. The usual stuff!
Being school holidays, the church was a little empty – but we’ve always held to the belief that there’s a reason for these things, and we’re always glad to play for whoever arrives, even if it’s 5 people. There was a lot more than 5 here, and they all sang “Soldiers” loudly, and seemed to really enjoy the songs.
I’ve mentioned in the last blog how it fascinates me that different songs hit you at different moments. Well it happened again that morning. As we started Hammer No More I just got really choked up. Not sure how much of it was recounting our time in the US with Doug, and how much of it was realising that Jesus is looking at me with love and grace even as I drive in the nails. Perhaps it was a bit of both? Either way, I had to fight to keep it together.
It’s always good to play close to home – in our own community.
Having been interviewed on Eden Radio before our US trip, we were excited to go back and tell some stories, as well as share some new songs. And so we all headed out to Edenvale (in some pretty hectic rain) on Thursday afternoon and spent a great hour with Janet her “Spiritually Speaking” show. We spoke of the US trip and told the story again of how we almost stumbled upon Doug’s song by accident. We played some of the new songs from our upcoming album – Need, Jesus is Alive, Our Father – and then we ended off with Hammer No More of course! A big thanks to Janet for the support and the encouragement. We’ll be back!
Glory Festival Heidelberg
An event we’d been looking forward to all year was Glory Festival in Heidelberg. We were contacted early in the year to see if we’d be interested playing a Christian music festival with a few other local artists. Of course we agreed, and so on 7 October we joined worship leader Franna Benade and a handful of local artists from Heidelberg for a great Saturday afternoon of praise and worship to the glory of our great God.
The weather had been iffy all week – spots of rain, the odd thunder shower exploding out of nowhere – and so although we had planned for this to be an outdoor event, we decided to play it safe and set up indoors. No need to risk damaged equipment – not to mention trees falling down and crazy things. And it’s a good thing we did, because at 13:00 a massive electrical storm swept through Heidelberg, and we were all safe and dry inside the hall at Cornerstone House.
At 14:00 , just as the rain subsided, we kicked off with some rock n roll praise. We did the usual favourites – Walking With the King, Rock of Ages, Sinner’s Blues etc, and then we tried some of our new songs: Need, Lamb of God and I Know. So great to be playing these fresh songs!
We ended off with Jesus is Alive – a new crowd favourite! The big ending seems to really capture people, and I just can’t wait to play it next year as we travel around with the new album.
The second group was the Angel Voice choir- consisting of 4 singers and 2 talented musicians on piano and drums. As they sang their songs and danced to the glory of God, the crowd clapped along with the beat and loved every second.
Next on was Nelmarie, who sang two beautiful songs, accompanied by Dawid on the piano and two backing singers who added in some stunning harmonies. The crowd was still as can be as they absorbed the songs, and erupted in grateful applause as the set came to an end.
Following Nelmarie was Colin Usher, who sang two powerful songs and told some interesting stories in between. With his powerful voice bellowing through the hall we were in, he hardly needed a microphone! A moving rendition of “Jerusalem” had the people cheering.
And then to close the day, Franna Benade led a wonderful time of worship and ministry. Weaving moments of ministry and preaching in between his songs, he had the people singing their hearts out to God, and celebrating with joy. We raised the roof singing “Agnus Dei” and “I Have Decided”, and we danced and sang with all our might to the praise of our great God.
And then just like that it was done, and we left Heidelberg on a spirit-filled high. Here we are with Franna:
A big thanks to Renate for putting this all together. Let’s do it again next year!
Our next event was a radio interview on MixFm with Micahel Tymvios. His Thursday night show is all about old school rock and blues, and so we fitted right in as we chatted about our music and played some of our songs. We were the first Christian rock band he had on the show – hopefully, this can open some doors for other local groups to get their music out there.
Bikers’ Church Midrand
On the 21st we had the great privilege of kicking off a Christian music event held at the Bikers’ Church in Midrand. It wasn’t our first CMA event – we played at a Biker’s event at Wemmerpan a year or two back. But this was something new: being at the Biker’s Church with a crowd of people to sing with. What a blast!
We played mostly the hard stuff – Rock of Ages, Walking With the King, Soldiers – and then some songs from the new album – Need, Lamb of God, and Jesus is Alive (fast becoming a new favourite!).
After our set, Deep End from the Vereeniging Bikers’ Church played a great set of rock n roll praise, and then the Midrand team ended the evening off on a high. A memorable evening!
Primrose Methodist Church
Our busy month came to an end with a morning at Primrose Methodist Church. This was our third visit, after playing our Rock of Ages set and carols there last year. This time around we shared songs from “Walking With the King”, and we had a special time doing it.
One picture I always have of Primrose Methodist is of an old gentleman who sits in the front, and sings every word of every song, waving his hands and worshipping from the heart. And at the 8:00 service there he was! Just abandoning all self-consciousness and giving it his all for the King. That‘s what it’s all about.
I was searching for answers that morning. I remember saying to God “please speak to me through these lyrics today.” And so I searched the words as I sang – and 2 lines hit me: “I’ll proclaim Your love, and how You rescued me, I’ll sing of Your forgiveness, and how it sets me free” from You Walked a Mile in My Shoes seemed to just confirm that this ministry is what I need to be doing. And “take this life of mine only for Your gain” from Hammer No More really made me think about some of the choices I have to make in the next few weeks. I really want my life to shine for Christ – to be used for His gain, as I proclaim His love and sing of His forgiveness.
And so October is done, and we are edging ever closer to Christmas carol season! Keep an eye out for our upcoming gigs, and get ready… the new album is almost here!