The Gate

Last night I got along to the trial gig of The Gate: It’s an experiment. It’s an experience. Some of Sydney’s best music in our backyard.

The premise of The Gate is an occasional event seeking to uncover and showcase some of the bands buried around the North Shore and Western Suburbs at an interesting DIY space in the inner suburbs.

First up on the bill last night was Telafonica. They style their music as “traditional (&non) song structures utilising live instruments, soundmachines and computers” while asserting that “the pop song lyric book is never far from hand“. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the stuff they played. To me it appeared to be an attempt to get as many unusual instruments and sounds as they could and mash them together into something that wasn’t particularly musical. Throw in some seemingly nonsensical or meaningful lyrics and there was the performance. The only real satisfaction I took from them was the pre-produced beats they had which were pretty jazzy and almost funky.

Garage Hymnal was the other act on the bill. Having only really seen them at KYCK twice, I was interested to see how/if they were any different as a performance band rather than a worship band.

They played a number of songs from their three albums, including Father’s World, The Light Has Found Us, Love, Like A River, Child’s Play, I Am, Take My Life and Hallelujah.
Despite the cold of being outside, the band really seemed to have fun with the gig, giving some insights into their writing process amongst other things. The members are all greatly talented musicians. I didn’t notice a great difference in their performance compared to leading worship, which I think was a bit of a shame, as I believe that there should be some kind of segregation of the two. For Garage Hymnal it is a hard line to draw, being a band that was formed to be a worship band.

I’m interested to see how things develop for The Gate down the track. It would be good if they are able to have a wide range of musical stylings as they continue to grow and develop this idea. Being a fairly intimate area though, some kind of a more personal touch would be nice. Last night felt a bit stand-offish having people from all sorts of places in attendance.


Engage 09

On Friday evening I drove up to Katoomba with Josh and Ivan to Engage; a conference run for Christians with a particular focus on work. This year the speakers are Matt Chandler from The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas, USA and William Taylor from St Helens, Bishopsgate in London, UK. Their overall topic is A Faith that Works.

I won’t go into the talks in this post, each one of them require a post to run through the content and application.

The worship sessions were encouraging as we lifted our voices to God in song, there were a number of older songs with a new spin. We sang a hymn called O, Thy fount of every blessing written back in 1764 which contained some older language like interposed, fetter and Ebenezer. When we sang the word Ebenezer; I, along with the majority of the congregation I assume, was confused at the meaning. A google search led me to Apologetics Press which gives a great explanation that Ebenezer means stone of help, and originates in 1 Samuel 7. This was explained by one of the committee members on Sunday morning, after we’d sung the hymn several times over the weekend.
I was a little upset by the balance of instruments and vocals from up the front. The vocals weren’t pushed loud enough over the instruments, so there was times where I wasn’t able to follow the lead of the song leaders due to not being able to hear them. This is particularly difficult when a large proportion of the songs aren’t familiar.

Overall it was an enjoyable weekend of great and challenging bible teaching, fellowship with church family and reflection and reorientation to Gods agenda.