Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk

Archive for August, 2010

Reflections on a festival

After a festival I find it good to let all the bands settle in my head and decide who was good and who wasnt. I also enjoy writing this down so I can remember it again in the future.

At every festival there is always a band that surprises you, a band that is a discovery and band who is a crushing disappointment. So here is a brief review of who I saw and who I wish I hadnt seen this weekend.

So my surprise band were Limp Bizkit. They were really good live. They rocked hard and had a cynical crowd converted by the end of the first song. I wouldn’t buy an album but I would see them live again.

My discovery of the year was Local Natives. This band was recommended to us by a member of Paramore (sorry, did I drop a name?) so we wandered along obediently. Local Natives played fantastically imaginative pop music with drive and enthusiasm. I am definitely going to purchase some of their music. Worthy mentions include Everything Everything, amd the untweetable band (that’s not their name but my mum reads this blog).

My disappointment of the year was Guns N Roses. I was not at all bothered about seeing them but my stoopid kid brother talked me into it. They failed to meet my low expectations by being an hour late, pompous, out of tune, out of breath and devoid of new ideas. I am gutted that I miss Alkaline Trio for the awfulness that was GnR.

However, after all that, my favorite band of the weekend was Weezer. They put on such a great show. The total opposite of GnR because it was humourous, passionate and exciting! A close second to Weezer would be the Cancer Bats, who were ludicrously heavy and made me feel a little bit old and confused.

My guilty pleasure of the weekend was Mumford and Sons. They play folk, every song ends in a foot stomping hoe down and the lead singer wears a waistcoat but put that aside and they play a show of real passion and the NME tent was packed with 1000s of kids singing their hearts out. Very impressive.

Frank Turner met my high expectations with ease and even showed up on stage with NOFX the next day.

Also as a churchy christian wierdo there is always some lessons to learn from a hedonistic music festival. This year was no different from two years ago when pendulum opened my eyes. I will write about that this week.


Reading Festival Day Three

Well, it is all over for another year.

Today’s highlight was probably Weezer. I have been a fan of them for 15 or so years but have never seen them live until today. They were high energy, hit-laden punk pop. It was a lot of fun. They are the first band I have seen who used a trampoline on stage.

The discovery of the day goes to Local Natives. Very effective and imaginative power pop.

The obnoxious but enjoyable band of the day were Limp Bizkit. I wanted to hate them, I tried really hard to hate them but they were really quite good. Fred Durst is propped up by three very competent musicians but they had a large arena crowd jumping around.

So that’s another Reading Festival done.

Reading Festival Day Two

So far the two headline acts at Reading have brought the best out of an English festival crowd. Guns N’ Roses brought out the side of the English character that hates show off’s, ponce’s and those that aren’t punctual. Guns n’ Roses were rubbish and we told them, at length.

The other side of the English festival character. Thats the side the loves unpretentious but beautifully imaginative modern pop music. The Arcade Fire had the whole arena dancing. Honestly, I don’t think I have seen so many people dancing with a crazy grin on there face while Rebellion was being played.

The Arcade Fire are the highlight of the weekend so far.

The other days highlights include Frank Turner, Cancer Bats, a surprise show by NOFX and Everything Everything. The most obnoxious, talentless but entertaining performance of the weekend was Cerebal Balzy (seriously).

Reading Festival 2

What do you say about a band like Guns N’ Roses? Lets start with the fact this wasn’t GnR this was Axl Rose with some hired help. To put it in simple terms, they are a covers band.

I have never been a big GnR fan. My school friends saw them live when I was 14/15 but I never bothered because I liked Nirvana and you cannot like Nirvana AND GnR. You just can’t.

So I really wasn’t expecting much from them. The snippets of Chinese Democracy that I had heard had been largely underwhelming. So I was expecting to be underwhelmed. My expectations were confounded!! They were worse than I thought possible.

Axl Rose sounds like Vix Reeves singing club style crossed with a magpie. Honestly there were points when it made me twitch. For the first time ever I left a gig early (I wasn’t the only one) and went home. I put up with an hour but the point where the keyboard player came to centre stage to play an extended solo on a grand piano was when I could take no more.

The high points of today were Biffy Clyro, Mumford and Sons, Streetlight Manifesto, Crazy Arm and Two Door Cinema Club.

Reading Festival 1

Finally we are here. I am sitting in my Aunts house in Reading because I am way to old to camp and the first band goes on stage in two hours. I am going to post a report on my day later one.

Here is the line up.

The site is a mud bath, I feel old and my brother snores. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

Warming Up for the Sprint

It is a slightly fragmented life that I lead at the moment. Consequently this blog has lost a little direction.

What is slowly re-emerging in my mind (through the thick slime that is my brain) is September. The ninth month of the year is always a crazy sprint until December smashes me in the face.

CCM:City kicks off on September 5th and builds to a launch night on the 26th. The Chapel will reboot in late September with some open mic nights, dubstep nights and anything else that springs to mind between now and then.

When I re-energised this blog back in August last year it was so I could write about the progress we made with The Chapel’s meetings at Baa Bar. I wanted to be open about my/our failings, mistakes, and successes. I didn’t want to write one of those church leader blogs that only talks about how awesome the writers church is and how everything is going wonderfully. I want this to be a somewhere I can be creative, mouthy, argumentative, repentant and silly. So, a place to be me I suppose.

Anyhoo, I am working up to a jog and then Sept will be a sprint. I am nervous, insecure, wildly optimistic, faith filled and faithless all at the same time.

Newday 2010

I am going to Newday. I have not yet decided if this is a good thing or not.

I will be doing a seminar about going to University. So if you are at Newday and are bored on Monday afternoon then come and find me.

I am looking forward to the worship times. They are massive, utterly impersonal and way too mid-pace-rock but there is something stunning about 6000 teenagers really having a go. Honestly, every cynical thought in my head vanishes quickly when they all start singing.

Anyhoo, if you are at Newday come and say hi.

California Please

The number of people I know going out to Bethel Church in California seems to increase by the day! The call to move to California is obviously an easy one to hear!

Anyhoo, my friend Catherine is going out there for nine months to learn how to be supernatural. Follow her blog and be nice to her because she is awesome and I predict that when she returns to England God will call her to Manchester (another easy call to hear?).


I will definitely be following this series of blogs.

Settle for more

So after the craziness of our first year in Manchester I guess we decided that we only wanted more. So we are buying a house. Long way to go but, we found one, we bid, they laughed, we bid again, they laughed some more and finally the horses head convinced them to accept our offer.

We love Manchester, we love Levenshulme, we love our church and we are desperate keen to see what happens next.

Anyways, I met a guy today who loves Pendulum. I told him about how I once worshipped God at a Pendulum gig and how corporate church worship has a bunch to learn from Drum & Bass. Yet again we take a deep breath and wonder what’s round the next corner.