Sunday, October 29, 2006

Iona Concert - Eastbourne 28th October 2006

Last night I went to see one of my favourite bands. I have been an Iona fan ever since seeing them at the Green Belt festival back in about 1990/91. The concert was held at the Kings Church Eastbourne. This is a large warehouse type building on the large Eastbourne Industrial estate.

The gig was organised by a charity called Computers for Charities which recycles old PC's for schools and people in countries that would otherwise struggle to get access to a computer.

Iona were as usual quite brilliant in their performance and musicianship. The choice of songs was a little strange I thought. They obviously did quite a few from the new Album 'Circling Hour'. However I thought they did too many of their instrumental tracks and too few vocal ones. Joanne Hogg, the lead singer, was coughing occasionally and kept drinking water to maybe her voice was not at full capacity. However when she did sing it was clear, emotive and powerful as it usually is.

The latest album is not my favorite album they have done. With several tracks seeming quite flat in their recorded form, not the usual emotional impact their songs normally have. However live they sounded better I thought. They did perform my favorite track from the new album called 'the factory of magnificent souls' which was apparently written for Nelson Mandela about his incarceration on Robin Island.

They also performed the usual array of complex jiggs which are always impressive to watch. Seeing Dave Bainbridge's fingers moving at a blinding pace around his guitar fretboard is always jaw dropping with Troy matching him note for note on the Uilleann Pipes. Frank van Essen on the drums and Violin was also a sight to behold. As a drummer myself I just sit and stare in unbelief as I watch him move around the kit. It makes you just want to give up and never play again. He doesn't play violin and drum at the same time by the way.

Well that was the gig, overall a good solid performance and sound, mixing could have been better but thay may have been down to the hall possibly or where we were sitting. Awlays a pleasure and inspiration to watch professional musicians do their thing and to be glad there are Christian musicians who care as much about the music as the words.

Now a rant: Flag waving!

Now call me Mr Angry of Horsham but when it comes to waving flags I have to draw the line at being calm and nice. In case you are wondering what I am talking about there is this Christian phenomenon of waving coloured flags in church. Now it is one thing that really winds me up to the point of wanting to shout at whoever is doing it. (Please note of course I would never do this and am only expressing my immediate thoughts!) I know, I know not very Christian. Hey I am on this path of becoming more like Jesus but I am still human and imperfect. I find is distracting, annoying, and dangerous and there are some who think it has some spiritual power, or the colours represent some character of God. Utter theological NONSENSE!

The reason I bring this up is there was a bloke last night at the gig who evidently was chief flag waver at this church. Through the whole concert he was waving different coloured flags down near the stage. Some of the time at the front. Now call me old fashioned but when you go to see a gig and have paid money for the tickets you want to see the band, not have them obscured by some person and a flag. The folks at the front to the left must have had the patience of saints to put up with it.

DON'T DO IT.....................................EVER!

Rant over! Breathe and calm!

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