A Very Loud Night In With Rend & Redman

Posted by Sam Hailes  ·  1 visitor comment

Saturday night saw the end of Matt Redman and Rend Collective Experiment’s eight date UK tour.

Finishing in what Matt called “the greatest city in the world”, 2500 worshippers packed the London venue.

10,000 Reasons

(c) Josh Hailes

Organised by The Big Church Day Out – the annual summer festival which attracts 20,000 Christians of all ages – each of the events was dubbed The Big Church Night In.

Christians young and old joined a lengthy queue on a wintery December's night as anticipation built.

Once the capacity crowd had filed into both ground and balcony levels of Jesus House in Camberwell, the evening kicked off with Rend Collective’s Come On – which contains the simple refrain “Come on my soul let down the walls and sing my soul”.

Build Your Kingdom Here

(c) Josh Hailes

Fans didn’t have to wait long to hear the Irish Collective’s most-loved tune Build Your Kingdom Here. The audience shouted, stomped and jumped along to the anthem with just as much energy as the band.

Despite never officially releasing it as a single, the band's song has spread like wildfire in recent months. A representative from the band’s record label later pointed out to me that Rend’s appearances at summer festivals including New Wine and Soul Survivor had catapulted them to newfound recognition in the Christian mainstream.

With a full 45 minute set to play with, the band were able to showcase new arrangements of songs expected to appear on the collective’s first live album Campfire, due for release in early 2013.

Rend’s rendition of In Christ Alone with a unique and pulsating drum beat in the final verse was well received, as was the weighty and powerful Alabaster Jar, taken from latest album Homemade Worship for Handmade People.

Throughout the evening the emphasis was on people of all denominations and backgrounds joining together to worship. Rend’s humility shone through as they took time to speak honestly between songs.

The phrase “worship isn’t just about singing” has become somewhat of a cliché in recent times. So rather than just saying it, Rend’s bassist Patrick Thompson proved it by encouraging people to give toward the work of Compassion UK.

Judging from the show of hands, an impressive 90% of people had already heard of the child sponsorship charity. Around 30% of the room indicated they already sponsored a child, before Patrick asked the remaining Christians to consider giving £21 a month (more info here)

Matt Redman

(c) Josh Hailes

After a brief interval, Matt Redman and band took to the stage. Opening with his most well known song Blessed Be Your Name, Matt led the congregation in passionate praise.

The Brighton based worship leader has just released new compilation Sing Like Never Before: The Essential Collection. At least 6 of the 15 songs on the album were played on the night including Holy, You Alone Can Rescue and Never Once.

The man who is arguably the most experienced worship leader in the world today emphasized the evening was not about the people on stage, but everyone joining in singing praise to God.

“It’s been an amazing summer hasn’t it”, Matt said.

“What have we had? We’ve had the Queen's Jubilee. We won the Tour De France! Even with those massive sideburns, they aren't great aerodynamically but we still won," he quipped.

"The Olympics, the Paralympics. Summer has been great year of celebration and triumph in the UK. We had One Direction’s second album. Is that a reason to celebrate? I don’t know. The third season of Downton Abbey. And today we won the rugby!”

A huge cheer went up after each sentence but none as big as the shout that followed Matt’s next words:

“We've got something to celebrate in this place! God has paid for us to draw near to him.”

Both artists interspersed profound thoughts between moments of intimate and serious worship. But they also made room for light hearted comments and even the occasional joke.

The Queen

(c) Josh Hailes

Matt Redman’s electric guitarist (confusingly also called Matt) had flown in from Atlanta to play on the tour. Revealing in mock shock that “in America they don’t even have a queen”, Matt Redman offered Matt Podesia a face mask of Her Majesty. The audience laughed before Redman joked “now take it off, we don’t want any wrong chords from you”.

As the evening drew to a close, the Rend team joined Matt on stage for a powerful rendition of 10,000 Reasons.

The Big Church Day Out team are the king of anti-encores. Both the summer event at Wiston House and Saturday ended with the question “do you want some more?” and the unanimous reply from the crowd of “yes!”.

“Well, you’ll have to come to The Big Church Day Out in May next year”.

You’d have forgiven the audience for booing the presenter off the stage.

Instead they patiently filed out of the building, as only a Christian audience can.

Leaving the venue, I overheard one teenager say to his friends “that was siiiiiick”.

Older delegates can be reassured the comment was a compliment.

The evening, and entire tour, was first and foremost an opportunity to worship. But beyond that, it was the best advert for the summer event that the organisers could have ever hoped for. The UK’s premiere Christian festival just keeps getting better.

2,500 people worship

(c) Josh Hailes

All pictures (c) Josh Hailes

3rd December

December 3rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes

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Kevin Button

Kevin Button

Posts: 1

Great review, love the humour aswell, was a great night indeed.

Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 6:06PM

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