The launch event for “the largest mission to young people in a generation,” Higher Tour, will take place at Manchester Apollo on 17th May. Set to play at the event will be worship stalwart Matt Redman and his band and urban evangelists Twelve24. The Higher Tour will visit 60 high schools in numerous cities over the next five years starting in Manchester in March 2016. For more information visit www.highertour.com.
The conference for all Worship Leaders, Musicians and Worshippers
The Kingsway Trust is excited to host another year of Mission Worship from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November at The Devonshire Park Complex in Eastbourne, East Sussex. During the weekend there will be 4 Main Celebrations, 2 Late Night worship sets and 36 Seminars/Workshops. This year’s theme is: ONE VOICE • ONE CHURCH • ONE MISSION
Listening to somebody pray has to be the moment when you hear them at their most transparent. This is the place that naked hearts are seen in all their vulnerability and raw passion. God knows that heart, so honesty is inevitable. What is expressed in the depth of this kind of intimacy is something worth noting, because it doesn’t get more real than this…
Jesus prayed in John 17, and the recurring theme of his conversation with the Father was the ONE-ness of his church! He prayed passionately for a community of faith that would be so united they would be unstoppable. Diverse in character and culture yes, but one in mission, purpose and worship…united in him! This year’s Mission Worship Conference wants to take seriously the prayer of Jesus to see a church standing in Worship and Mission…as ONE. How dare we allow blinkered agendas, and small-mindedness, to rob us of living the life he prayed that we would enter and enjoy. He came that we would have life to the full and we only experience that when we as the whole church dare to be ONE…
Book now at www.missionworship.com
Book before May 31st and save £20!
ANDY MAYO : Lavish. (www.turquoisetracks.com)
Having spent several years living in the Balkans, it’s fair to say that London born Andy Mayo has seen quite a differing spectrum of life. He’s played concerts in universities, café bars, and even prisons, as he tells his audience about God’s goodness and meaning in today’s world. On most tracks, Andy uses a jazz/funk style that, at times, sounds not unlike Level 42. However, on the beautiful ballad ‘A Place’, the smooth delivery is more reminiscent of the great Matt Munro. ‘Calling’ is a nice, catchy opening track, that benefits from a super saxophone break, courtesy of Nick Beston. At Easter time, Christians focus on the cross and remember that Jesus died at Calvary. ‘A Hill’ looks at His death, and paints a picture of what it was like to be there. I liked the funky backing to ‘Broken Man’, where Andy almost narrates the story, rather than sings. “This broken man stands before a mirror and he stares at who he really is. And in his heart, he kneels, overwhelmed”, as Jesus reaches out. There’s more saxophone sounds on the title track, while ‘Hide’ dips into the easy listening genre. If you’ve never realised just how special you are to God, then heed the words of ‘You’re That One’. It’s an intimate little number, and Andy delivers each word, with such meaning. Closing proceedings are ‘Wedding Song’ and ‘Show Me’. The former is a celebration of the marriage, while the latter has a hint of Southern Gospel about it. Both are smashing songs. I, sometimes, find it difficult to enjoy this style of music but that wasn’t the case with this album. Fine writing, impressive production, and likeable vocals, make for an appealing collection. 8/10.
SPEAK BROTHER : Speak Brother EP. (www.speakbrother.co.uk)
The Rugby trio’s music has earned comparisons with Mumford & Sons and Athlete, and features “driving melodies and infectious hooks… [which] stay with you long after hearing them” (Loretta Andrews, Premier Radio). They have appeared across the UK from coffee shops to the city-wide Birmingham Artsfest and Coventry Godiva Festival. This 4 track EP was released at the back end of 2014 but, for some reason, has only just made its way to NFN. Certainly, James Herring’s vocals are direct and a little raw at times, but they sit well with style of each song. The rousing, folk/celtic ‘Dry Bones’ is the opening track, and what an engaging sound it is. Listen, and you will soon start stamping your feet, or taping your fingers, along to the driving rhythms. ‘My Love’ tells of the promise of God’s love. It’s a quieter, and more cherished sound, before ‘Break In’ starts up’s the tempo again. This time, the story tells of leaving your old life behind, and stepping out into life with Jesus. The only downside to these songs, in my opinion, is the lack of percussion but, maybe that’s being to picky. The final song features just a mandolin as backing, and what an epic it is. ‘Two Bands of Gold’ tells of an old couple who, for them, marriage has been a lifelong bond. The promise of their marriage vows have been the backbone of their lives together. It’s one of the most touching songs that I’ve heard for a long time, and worth the purchase of the EP on its own. Apparently, there’s more releases planned for 2015 and this taster should wet many an appetite. 8/10.
(Capitol Christian Music Group : B00M8B893E)
The Identical is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father’s desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success and failure, and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really is. Elvis Presley impersonator, Blake Rayne takes on the leads roles in the film, and I was absolutely blown away by his songs, on this double CD. His delivery is eerily close to the king of rock n roll, and these new songs actually had me thinking that I was listening to Elvis! ‘Gypsy Man’ has a modern country sound, while ‘Boogie Woogie Rock n’ Roll’ has a great tempo. ‘City Lights’ is simply superb, while ‘Be Boppin’ Baby’ and ‘Building My World’ stand alone as classics in their own right. Other artists featured include The Morph Kings, The Ricky Reece Band, and Darcey & Mo. I’m not sure what to make of the Morph Kings. On ‘Strange Love’, it’s almost back to 60’s Psychedelia. Then, with ‘I’m Gonna Die Tryin’, they sound like Def Leppard! I enjoyed the hoe-down ‘Burning Rubber’ by The Ricky Reece Band, but thought that Darcey & Mo were a throwback to 70’s disco. I’ve yet to see the film, but I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more of Blake Rayne. 8/10.
It’s an exciting time for NIGEL & ROWENA STEADY as not only are they supporting Philippa Hanna in concert, they also have a new EP coming out! The concert is a great opportunity for people to see them perform in the wonderful ambient atmosphere of Holy Cross Church in Mark, Somerset. The church acoustics will be fantastic and there’s food! Saturday 16th May is the date. Tickets from firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 07725 149581.
HILLSONG UNITED’s newest project, EMPIRES, is now available for pre-order. After revealing the album cover by launching it into space, they’ve launched the new song “Touch The Sky” as an instant download when you pre-order the album on iTunes or Amazon. When asked about the album’s theme, Joel Houston explained, “EMPIRES is the story of two worlds. We wanted to create songs that first seek to listen, then speak the good news of Jesus and His grace into the dichotomy, tension and hopeful-collision of this broken and fragile world we see here and now, and the unshakable and mysterious reality of the Kingdom we can’t see. Our desire has been to simply create the most honest project we could.”