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Gospel Pub Group Gets into Gear

By John Beveridge

The Gospel Jamming Collective – never heard of them? Well, that’s because we are only just starting out on this new musical journey. ‘We’ are Chris and Rebekah, Leila and myself, all from Kensington Baptist Church – the core group. But the plan is to pull in other people with an interest in making Gospel music for performing in places like pubs, folk clubs etc.

Quite deliberately, this will be mixed in with secular music. Although we’re coming from a sort of folk/Gospel/ country background, I hope we might get involved in other genres over time – blues, rap, reggae, potentially anything. All this is a bit scary because some of us are on a steep learning curve. We have limited experience of playing in public but we did our first gig at the Dragon Folk Club, Shortwood (near Mangotsfield) recently. And guess what -  no-one threw anything at us!

Depending on the material about to be played, we will typically introduce a new number with a few spiritual comments, leaving it to people to talk with us afterwards if they want to discuss or challenge what was said. Another important theme is to use our (God-given) creativity to have fun – not such a bad idea when secular media sometimes write off Christians as a bunch of out-of-touch losers who don’t know how to loosen-up!

Yet another important theme is to practice the multicultural values we treasure at Kensington Church. So far the line up is one Iranian, two Canadians, and one Anglo-Scot, so I guess we’ve started on the right track.

Looking to the future, we hope to jam with a range of folk. But we particularly want people not from the UK to jam with us as they are clearly under-represented in our music scene and have so much to offer. So far we’ve had a positive public reception to our Gospel material, comments and Christian blues poetry, and useful contacts and friendships are being made.

The Dragon Folk Club (Friday evenings, 8.15pm) is acoustic only, so bear this in mind if you’re a wired-in rocker!  We’ve also started at the Cross Hands pub folk club, Fishponds. Please get in touch if you want to jam with us: my email address is in the Church directory or see anyone of us at Kensington.

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