I’ll wait for you

We said we’d walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we’re walking a hand should slip free
I’ll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me
We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me
Now everyone dreams of love lasting and true
Oh, but you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me
Now there’s a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There ‘neath the oak’s bough soon we will be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
Darlin’ I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
Yeah, I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
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City in Ruins

Six years on from the devastating earthquake in my home city of Christchurch it was so very special to spend the evening prior to the anniversary in the care of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band who performed in Christchurch.
I enjoyed the whole three hour experience – the energy, the big-heartedness, the brokenness and the joyfulness of all that was offered.

20170221_205907But in particular I (along with the other 30,000 people it seemed) was moved to the core by his rendition of My City In Ruins.  The opportunity for collective lament in a sensitive ten-minute long rendition of the song was hugely helpful.  To be carefully lifted from lament to hope with the words ‘Come on, rise up, rise up’ was healing in the sense of being able to recognise from this distance that a rising had indeed taken place.  Slowly but surely a foothold in the future has emerged, for the city, for the majority of its people, and for me in my work and my other modes of life.  We have been held.

It was great to be invited into the kind of space where I could traverse the journey.  I hadn’t expected to be moved so deeply.  Thanks Bruce!  Thanks for the genuineness of your empathy and care.

Rubberband Begins

For all of those wanting to know what Rubberband played when they regathered after 35 years… here is a sneak look.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well we played but also how much we had improved over the years by not playing.  I am not sure that this is a good thing to have observed, should we now wait another 35 years until I am 90?  Maybe not… maybe we were simply not ready at the age of 20 and now we are. Continue reading

Rubberband Reforming

fame is coming closer
like a new dawn rising…
a phoenix rising from the ashes of a few discarded cigars

Rubber Band, our early 80’s band is reforming,
our one true song: the B-52s’ Planet Claire…
it goes without saying that if we had written and recorded it
we would have been better than them

fame was within our reach
on paper we had more talent than
Larry’s kitchen gathering Hype (U2),
but the songs had already been written
and we were not hungry enough
Timaru was not Dublin (or Atlanta)
(though we did go to school with The Exponents’ Brian Jones)

we went our separate ways
all that promise unfulfilled

but wait – there’s more
watch this space
crack open the Steinies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EPP3gkh_00  This song was made for Tony’s voice and it is as if he is singing it

The Decemberists: what a terrible world, what a beautiful world

I am loving listening to the latest Decemberists album…the worry is that I will wear it out!

My family have been Decemberist fans ever since we arrived in Australia with a rental car and only one CD – The Crane Wife which we were happy to have as the soundtrack of our holiday.  The Crane Wife Part 3 is important to all five of us and takes us straight back to that holiday.

Just like U2s latest, the second ‘half’ of the album seems to hold the treasure.  The earlier songs, while clever and witty and even downright naughty (Philomena!), seem more suited to the market and its appetites (their last album The King is Dead reached #1 in the US album charts), but the later songs are so very well crafted and vary in style in such contrasting ways that it seems a little like a collection of unrelated artists making an album until Colin Meloy sings – he is so distinctive!
As I write Easy Come and Easy Go with its hint of The Shadows is playing.  Earlier the glorious introspective The Lake Song prompted me to get around to writing this blog entry.  For me it is the stand out song of the album – lyrics and glorious bass playing…

The crowning glory is the final track A Beginning Song is referenced in an earlier blog… I love the invitation to celebrate life… and then the CD starts the album all over again… and life is good, very good.

the-decemberists-2015

the best song ever written

The headline attracted your attention – in truth what I am promoting is not the best song ever written, but it is jolly good!  It is for me the best song of the year so far and pertinent to my sense of being prompted to live life to the fullest… and it is by a band that does play the worst song ever written in their concerts!
The song is the last one in a very wonderful new album by The Decemberists called ‘What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World’ and is very well named for the last song… ‘A Beginning Song’.  It has the chorus ‘I’ve been waiting, should I be waiting’ and ‘I’ve been wanting should I be wanting when all around me…’ and then you have to wait until the end to get them to finish the question.  Should I be waiting or wanting when basically everything is already here?  Even the light is here…so live in it!
In a season where people have been cultivated as consumers there is always a hunger for more and more and more… but actually enough is already given…make something of that! 

I hope you enjoy it!  Very kindly, the words are included in the video!

U2 Songs of Innocence videos

I’ve enjoyed catching glimpses of some of the commissioned videos U2 have asked various  street artists to make… four of my favourite songs are wonderfully depicted…

Paper Magazine – “This Is Where You Can Find Me Now” by DALeast is amazing

DaLeast

Nowness – “Raised by Wolves” by Vhils – images below…

 wolves1 wolves4 wolves3

Juxtapoz – “The Troubles” by Todd James is a visual feast… wonderfully illustrating that the trouble is you!

large

Rolling Stone – “Sleep Like A Baby” by ROA is disturbing, just like the song.

Great stuff!!!

The Seekers Walk With Me

Perhaps my favourite The Seekers song – lovely melody etched in my head since I was a child and interesting words when God is the recipient  when it is a prayer… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb949fQVY-k

“Walk With Me”

Walk with me through the long and lonely night
Walk with me and my world is filled with light
Here I stand feeling lost and so alone
Take my hand don’t desert me now
Please don’t hurt me now
If you walk with me though’ I know the road is long
I’ll get by with your love to make me strong
More by far than a guiding star above
I long for you
Walk with me oh my love

Somewhere the sunbirds fly
In a clear blue sky
Only you and I there together
Love me now and for ever

Walk with me through the long and lonely night
Walk with me and my world is filled with light
Here I stand feeling lost and so alone
Take my hand don’t desert me now
Please don’t hurt me now
If you walk with me though’ I know the road is long
I’ll get by with your love to make me strong
More by far than a guiding star above
I long for you
Walk with me oh my love
I long for you
Walk with me oh my love

Somewhere the sunbirds fly
In a clear blue sky
Only you and I there together
Love me now and for ever

The Seekers 50 year concert

Anne and I popped along to listen to The Seekers in Christchurch last night.  It was great – great as in a nostalgia trip, great in that these clever people have been singing together off and on for 50 years and still sounded rather wonderful, great to be sitting next to a woman I knew from Oamaru who was at her first ever concert (and of a similar age to The Seekers), great to be among the youngest people there(!), great that there is a double bass(!) and great that we knew almost all of the songs.  Actually, I knew many of them, Anne knew all of them.  I found out afterwards that Anne spent quite a portion of her childhood wanting to be Judith Durham when she grew up.  Too tall Anne, too tall!
Anne’s parents loved The Seekers and purchased all the albums.  Two seem to have survived…
DSC_0090

For me the iconic Best of The Seekers was pretty much a daily presence in my childhood.  We listened to it many times, but I recall that it seemed to be the LP record that stored at the front of the stereo-gram and therefore part of the lounge furnishings.
seekers
Maybe the link to our childhoods was what was behind both of us feeling quite emotional in the first few songs (we admitted afterwards) – songs seem to link us forever to the feelings and events of our lives…many of The Seekers songs were written and performed when we were in our pre-school years – not much stays in the memory from those years but the songs have remained, and we were privileged to have that window opened last night.

Elbow in concert – Auckland 2 November 2014

elbow

Anne and I were privileged to be part of the Elbow (UK band) concert at Auckland’s Powerstation on Sunday night.  Elbow’s final concert for 2014.  It was an amazing experience.  We went with a bunch of friends including Alex who had introduced us to Elbow a couple of years ago.  Five of us are (or soon will be) Presbyterian ministers – we identified that there is something in the way Elbow perform that is like the curation/crafting of church worship.  One – listening; two – preparing; three – trusting; and four – executing, which combined make space for God to enter the room.  This crafting requires some sort of discipline and talent as well as humility, for what actually happens on the night is contributed to by what you bring to it but much more goes on than you.  There is a connection between (using Leonard Cohen’s phrase) the ‘Lord of Song’, the singers, and the congregation.  This long-winded introduction is trying to convey that something bigger than all of us happened on Sunday night.  It was a spiritually profound experience.

There is a real simplicity to Elbow – the music is carefully crafted but also quite minimalist – there is no covering with or hiding behind noise – there is no competition of egos – there is no hype… they simply performed their carefully crafted songs with a humility that conveys a posture of awe in what has come at them.

Are they religious?  I don’t know.  There are hints in many of their lyrics about the deeper things behind what we see and that seems to be enough.  There is no need to be overt… it could be a Manchurian thing – kind of appealing to kiwis – just being real.  They seem to be ordinary guys who you would enjoy a beer with at the pub who just happen to be immensely talented musical craftsmen.  They simply seem to handle joy and lament with aplomb as if these are everyday things – and, of course, they are everyday things.  There seems to be no ego stuff – no dark stuff, and no for its own sake rock and roll angst.  Maybe that had a huge part to play in helping the experience be bigger and worshipful.  This is a band who seem comfortable in their own skins.  The church can learn from them!

The highlights…  The warmth of Guy Garvey and his big arm welcoming the crowd in.  The perfect blend of guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, strings and voice… really perfect yet also accessible – they lifted the crowd to a place alongside, and sometimes the crowd literally took over the songs.  The new songs from The Take Off And Landing Of Everything were wonderful – bigger than the album.  Anything from their magnificient The Seldom Seen Kid, where we all seemed to know the hymns.  But mostly the sense that the crowd gave something back to the band – it seemed to be a genuine revelation to them that the best concert for them on this tour was this, the last concert.  That’s how it should be if you are growing and connecting – the best being the latest.  What a privilege to have been there and almost losing my voice having been swept up in it!

If they are new to you pop here for a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dELKUivJo4w