Mega Update 2: The Present
Being a fan of the great sport of Ice Hockey, I am pretty familiar with the concept of having a good Transition Game, that is being able to turn offense into defence and vice versa, quickly and effectively. Well … theREIGN are currently playing their own transition game and looking to operate with equivalent speed and effectiveness.
As discussed in part 1, Paul, Rachel and Kev have been summoned to the Big Smoke for the next phase in their lives/careers/ministries, leaving some pretty big shoes for others to fill. In the short term, we have been incredibly fortunate that all three have had a little difficulty in letting go and have felt able to fill in for us during this interim period, particularly where commitments have already been inked into the diary. However, as we reach the final end of their tenure we finally have identified some replacements.
New Lead Guitarist
Having driven down several blind alleys in a search for a likely candidate, and even flirted with the idea of taking a crash course and doing it myself, we have found a willing victim … sorry, soul … to step in and take on the thankless task of following in Paul’s footsteps, who originally only joined us for one gig, but is still here some 6 years later at the time of writing.
The new axeman is a young guy keen to spread his musical wings and get involved in leading worship in new and exciting ways. However, until he gets the chance to do that, he is happy to play for us!
I will reveal his identity once we have completed transition, and he has had the chance to play with us and begin to settle into the new lineup.
We always had a replacement drummer in the back of our minds should the need arise and for a time it looked as though we would experience a fairly simple transition from Kev to a new skin-basher. However, for a variety of reasons it just didn’t work out, which left us in a bit of a hole.
Suffice to say that Hull’s Christian music scene is not massively endowed with players – the fact that we are the City’s only itinerant worship band probably says all that needs to be said about the talent pool. However, one name did come to the top of the list, a drummer that Kat and I had played with in the past (and who had played with a scratch version of theREIGN several years ago, and he was keen to get involved if he could.
Both the new members are set to make their debut on Easter Sunday evening when we lead worship for East Hull Easter Praise, and we would greatly value your prayers for this event and, particularly, for our preparations and the integration of the new musicians and all the exciting (and scary) changes to the dynamics of the band that are sure to come with them.
John Osbourne and I have had several conversations over the past year about how we can once again freshen up the sound and feel of what we play and continue to move forward rather than just playing the same old songs in the same old style all the time, and the quick-fire addition of new piano/keyboard player Richard Fuller, along with a new lead guitarist and new drummer means this is almost bound to happen quite naturally. God is good like that, sometimes!
Since releasing part 1 of this mega-update, our long standing (suffering?) sound engineer, Jon Cole, has made the decision to move on, most notably as he is about to take up a job as a sound engineer at Butlins in Skegness. Given that he was in the final year of this university studies, this was a conversation that was almost bound to happen in Summer 2011 anyway, it is not unexpected, just a few months earlier than anticipated.
Jon moves on with our heartfelt and genuine thanks for the time, effort, energy, skill, dedication, patience and creativity he has brought to our ministry over the last several years. He will be missed, and we are extremely grateful to Tim Canty for being prepared to step up and take on more of Jon’s responsibilities in this area. It is also a valuable opportunity for Joel Cooper to really get his teeth into the job in a way he hasn’t been able to so far.
Personally, I am excited by the prospect of playing with new people. There is always an underlying joy in discovering how other musicians play, and hearing that taking shape around you is always a pleasure. However in seeking not to disappoint anyone who already has theREIGN booked into their diaries the next few months will surely feel a little disjointed as the lineup changes around a little before settling into its new form come the Summer.
Even before we play together for the first time, there are already three new songs for the new look lineup to call their own which I hope will help in giving the updated version of theREIGN its own identity and voice, whilst never letting go of everything we have achieved over the last 8 and a half years.
We will take a look at some of the stuff on the immediate horizon, as well as some of our aspirations further afield, in part 3.
on behalf of theREIGN