Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk


Contextualisation sounds like this

Here is the CCM:City take on Jesus Saves –

I think this is my favorite one so far. It has a fair bit of cross over and so is probably not pure dance music but it really thumps!

We want Manchester to hear us and be surprised!

All three songs that Mike has re-imagined are here –


Further experiments in dance music

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the experiments in dance music we are attempting at CCM.

Our hope is that the music that we worship God too will be missional. We want people who don’t know Jesus to see and hear us worship and to be able to identify with what is going on. Also, I want our worship leaders and musicians to feel very free to be creative. I don’t want them to feel in the slightest bit restricted by my personal taste or by any expectation of what worship music should sound like.

I want our corporate worship to be Jesus focussed, Spirit powered and God inspired. After that I want creativity that makes God smile and that Non-Christians will be surprised by.

Anyways, Mike Bradley has finished another song. Fancy a listen? Of course you do –

Your Love Never Fails is by Jesus Culture.

Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to post a version of Jesus saves which is probably the best song we have done so far. No pressure Mike. No pressure.

The Rapture, Superman and a Lunatic

This rapture thing has got me in a bad mood. It has been fun to take the mickey out of Harold Camping and his crazy eschatological maths but a serious point needs to be made.

He makes us all look stupid.

By “us” I mean Christians. Christians across the planet who have no idea when Jesus plans to come back because Jesus himself had no idea as to when he would come back. Did any of the disciples or apostles spend hours working out the maths of Jesus return? Nope, they went on mission like he might show up at any point.

What frustrates me most is that we are now on the defensive. We have to explain that no we do not believe the rapture (whatever that is) will happen on May 21st and no the Earth won’t be destroyed sometime in October. In a nation that views the church with crushing indifference we could really do without having to defend ourselves against this rubbish.

Anyhoo, I have a Superman suit to put on. If this rapture thing really happens then I am not going to pass up an opportunity of flying in a Superman suit.

Sounds Good To Me

I have a brother. He once threw a stone at my head and knocked me over. We got past that stage and now I can go to a music festival for three days with him without punching him in the face. Progress.

Anyhoo, we love music and we now have a proper website where we write about music – Follow us, put us into your feed reader and always believe what we tell you.

We are the musical snobsguys from Hi-Fidelity, who look down from on high at everyone else and sneer. See the clip below (Sensitive Christians – Jack Black may use the work “fudgecake” so tread carefully).


There is no other reason to post this apart from the fact its beautiful and oddly worshipful.


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.

Worship with The Beastie Boys

So I wrote the other day about God Gigs. That is a secular gig where you just worship God. I remember friends of mine telling me how they would worship while clubbing and I can remember a number of gigs where I decided to worship God because I was having such a good time already. One particular Beastie Boy gig sticks out in my memory.

Anyways, the venerable Simple Pastor asked a good question –

What at a Beastie Boys concert was directing you to God?

The Beastie Boys are not Christians. In fact I am fairly sure they are Buddhists. So they are not your conventional Worship leaders. But the music is incredible, and he atmosphere created has the feeling of a large community event.

So what at a Beastie Boys concert directed me towards God? Well, I love the music. It gives me chills when played at volume. So I guess I just decide that I am going to praise God. Simple really. I am sure I could do this at any music event (apart from at a Jonas Brothers gig, then  I would probably be crying out for the end of the world, some sort of rapture or maybe just plague of frogs…).

To be honest I applied the same principle at a recent Christian Conference. This time the music was a little outside of my taste (like Rio is just outside of Manchester) so I just decided to worship.

The problem with the argument about worship music is that so much gets discounted on account of personal taste. Usually the taste of the Church leaders.

Quality Video

I like the idea of churches trying to engage in and communicate with their local culture and community. I also like it when it is obviously gospel.

CCK in Brighton have done this video. It is engaging stuff. The wide variety of people questioned (it looks like a good cross section of Brighton) and the broad range of answers they give is genuinely fascinating. Everyone has an opinion on Jesus.

God loves dubstep

Something that I wanted to get out of The Crypt was some inspiration.

We have a few very talented Muso’s and worship leaders at The Chapel and I really wanted them to see the possibilities and opportunities that a gifted DJ could present.

I have a bee in my bonnet about the music genres used in worship. I think sometimes we miss massive mission opportunities by not using different styles of music.  It is easy for me to say that but I have never managed to actually put my money where my mouth is. I am desperate to see Drum & Bass, Dance, House, Hip-Hop, Dub and Dubstep used in a conventional worship service. Lets not forget the need for some proper rock, punk, metal and indie. Not to mention the need for some gospel, funk and dance hall. I want to see Worship leaders and musicians who love to innovate musically and love to allow the spirit to lead the worship time.

Anyways, at The Crypt I annoyed my musicians all evening by pointing out how good the DJ was, and how easy this Music is to worship too.

My hope is that the culture we create at The Chapel will spill over into CCM:City.

Tales from the Crypt

There was a point on Sunday night, around the time when I was wondering if my spleen had been moved by the relentless bass assault, when something unexpected happen.

I say unexpected because I go into these sort of ventures either having no expectations or expecting disaster (I am a “glass half empty and may be used as a weapon against me” kinda guy). Anyways, the unexpected thing was that people started wandering in off the street and dancing. That’s right people, DANCING! I double took.

Thankfully B+ (the DJ) is way cooler than me. He took it in his stride, barely blinked and started taking requests.

So this raised a question in my head. These guys have wandered unwittingly into a church organised event. How do I get them to understand who we are, what and why we are doing this? Short of just wandering up to people and blubbering something incoherent about “being saved by the blood of the lamb” and scaring them off I came up with nothing.

Having said that, one of The Chapels more gregarious girls just wandered up to one couple introduced herself, got talking and then invited them to church. They agreed to come along and were blown away that a church would run a free club night.

A tiny piece of culture and community was created at The Crypt.

God loves Dubstep.