Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jacobs Ladder

I have been too busy buying and moving house recently to blog. I didn't get a chance to review of the Bruce Springsteen gig last week. It was an amazing, up-lifting, life-afirming show (note: I didn't say 'transcendent'!).

Instead here is the first 'top ten' of my blog. I've been to many concerts in my 26 years so here is a record of some of the best bits.

Top 10 spine-tingling concert moments:
1. U2 : Slane Castle 2001- The end of the concert when 'Walk On' has finished and choruses of 'Hallelujah' ring out around the 80,000 people.
2. U2 : Croke Park 2005- With my mates around me, an Irish flag on my shoulders, singing 'Miracle Drug'
3. Bruce Springsteen : Odyssey 2006: 18-piece band blasting out 'Jacob's Ladder for about 15 minutes through five key changes.
4. Damien Rice: Ulster Hall 2002- Singing 'Delicate' on a candlelit stage with his amazing backing vocalist.
5. Coldplay: Odyssey 2005- 'Fix you' encore.
6. Reef: Ulster Hall 1995- One of my first ever gigs. When they played 'Consideration' I knew I would attend many more gigs in my life!
7. Incubus: The Point 2001- For pure musical genius the drum solo takes some beating.
8. Foy Vance: The Spirit Club 2006- The first time I had heard 'Gabriel and the Vagabond'. It still warms the cockles of my heart when I listen to it.
9. The Frames: Ulster Hall 2003- I love their annual Christmas show. 'Fitzcarraldo' in 2003 stands out.
10. Foo Fighters- Birmingham NEC 2002- Expected slightly more from the Foos but 'My Hero' alone was worth the ticket price.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Birthday blues (and greens)

I'm not sure I enjoy birthdays anymore. I tend to look back too much and wallow in nostalgia, thinking of different turns I could have taken in life, different choices I could have made. I'll be over it in the morning. I prefer New Year as a time to look forward.

Anyway I had a great birthday weekend with the lads in Dublin capped off by an awesome win by Ireland. I don't think it is pushing it to say that Ireland are the second best team in the world right now. I've been down to Lansdowne Road many times but this match was more significant as it was the last time I will be there. It's being flattened for a super new stadium which is great for Irish rugby but sad at the same time. There aren't too many international stadiums left with a wee cottage in the corner and trains driving past one side. I'll miss standing silently listening to the 'Fields of Athenry' reverberating all around me.

my blog has reached 5,000 hits.
As Apu would say....Thankyou, come again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thursday's show

Nebo are playing a fundraiser gig for the Rape and Sexual Crisis Centre in Lavery's this Thursday night. Doors open at 8, we're on at 10. £3 entry. Come along sand shake your stuff to the sound of the big bass drum.......

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Common Road

I have observed a common road for many young Christians :

They spend many young years in fear of God and of upsetting other people by not appearing Godly. They believe everything they are told in black and white...becoming what they are told to be.
As their conciousness deepens they see that there is a lot of grey. Things begin to crumble around them. Deconstruction begins. The 'rock' they are standing on is artificial and is crumbling...

They find relief in the 'nothingness'....there is no they implode.
They fall into (or back into) the relief of numbness provided by drink, drugs, parties.
When this stage is reached they realise that all that was built up surrounds a void.
The void needs to be re-filled.
And so after the deconstruction, construction begins.
They start to work out their salvation for themselves.... starting with questions like:
'Do I believe there's a God?',
'Am I a believer?'
Their doubt makes way for faith.
They are born again (again!). This is second life!
The world becomes new and they experience life to the FULL.
The fullness of joy and pain, of love and loss, of clarity and frustration.
Feeling returns to a soul that was numb, and they begin to live.

This was my road...a common road that I want to help others to travel.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Got a sweet fairtrade t-shirt from GAP. I know of GAP's reputation but any change should be applauded. If you aren't aware of the (RED) campaign check out Using commerce to eliminate AIDS in Africa.

My inspiration this weekend came from a couple of mates.
Not while having a pint together as usual but when they were on stage.
My two uganda muckers Dumb (Al) and Dumber (Grant) were on top form on sunday morning speaking in church.

3 points I took away:
  • That evangelism should be incarnate...something that we become, that we live and breath, rather than just turning it on at an opportune moment (Al you have to get a few blogs out of this!).
  • The church fathers interpretation of the trinity ('Perichoresis') as an eternal dance between Father, Son and Spirit that we are invited to be part of... beautiful.
  • Grant's admission he was 'creaming them'. We may have smiled at Grant's poetic grasp of the English language, but anyone who was willing to take hold of what they were saying would have felt exactly the same.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Need a night out?

Upcoming NEBO shows:
  • 3rd November- SevenLive (Opening of a new music bar in the Odyssey, Belfast).
  • 16th November- The Bunker @ Lavery's, Belfast.
  • Also in the pipeline is our first ever Lurgan gig! (U2 would say it's a sort of homecoming).
On a different note I have put some more of my favourite photos on my flickr site. More to come, it takes an age to upload them.