Martin Smith’s New EP

Fans of one of the best bands ever, delirious will be happy to know that although the band aren’t together anymore, music from the English lads continues. One Sonic Society, consisting of delirious guitarist/songwriter Stu Garrard, have released their first album consisting of songs from their 3 EPs. It’s called Forever Reign and is available on iTunes.

delirious’ songwriter/frontman Martin Smith has also released his first solo EP, called God’s Great Dance Floor. So there you go.


Adam Young Interview

At Relevant, there’s a great interview with muso Adam Young, AKA Owl City about his faith and feel good, pop electronica music. My dentist actually got me onto his great work, and I’m glad I discovered him. His latest album, All Things Bright and Beautiful has just been released and it’s just as good as his first 2 albums, and this one comes with the added bonus of Ronald Reagan, and rapping!

Here’s my favourite part of the interview:

I’ve always just asked the Lord that this music be useful more than anything else, and really beyond that my job is just to remain steadfast in my relationship with Him, and just kind of let these songs write themselves more or less, and ultimately never be ashamed of my faith and of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So yes, it’s never been my intention to really overthink, “Well, am I going to write up tons of Christian songs, or am I going to try and skirt away from it a lot?” I’ve always just kind of prayed for like, “God, just send me the songs you want me to write, because once they’re written and recorded, I’m going to send them all back to you and point all fingers back up to you.” It’s like, it’s almost none of my business in a funny way. Once these songs are done, I just want the Lord to use them however He chooses.

Read the whole interview here.

Spirit Blade

I’ve been meaning to mention this for far too long, but never got around to it. It’d be a shame to never mention it as it does deserve some attention, so here goes. It’s a great audio drama called Spirit Blade that, although is the kind of future set tale in which the government controls everything, still offers something intriguing, with its refreshing spiritual tones and surprisingly, even a few songs. I must admit, I was rather taken aback when I first heard singing, as I wasn’t expecting it at all, but everything about this production is classy and professional. Now, I’ve never been a regular listener of audio dramas, but i did find this quite believable and entertaining.

I recently moved house, and before I did I used to listen to this on my hour long train rides each day. Since I’m now closer to work, I don’t listen to anything really as my journey is now made up of two much shorter train rides. That means it’s been a few weeks since I last listened to this, so I’ll let the team behind Spirit Blade explain it.

SPIRIT BLADE is a full-cast Audio Drama that uses cinematic sound design, a pulse pounding score, and dynamic acting and musical performances to unleash an action-packed experience for your ears and imagination!

In a future where the government mandates the spiritual beliefs of its citizens, only a few rebellious “Seekers of Truth” remain to free the world from deception.

On his quest for meaning, Merikk follows a path that leads him across our world, and into another. Against his will he is thrown into action alongside members of the Underground Liberation, standing face to face against forces human, alien and demonic. Science fiction and the supernatural collide in a genre-bending adventure! Open your mind and then brace for impact as you discover the power of the Spirit Blade!

Spirit Blade is designed to appeal to fans of science fiction, fantasy and big action films. It is a dark and edgy story with songs and a soundtrack that fans of industrial electronic music will enjoy.

The voice acting and sound effects are great and once Merikk has his eyes opened to the world he’s really living in, the pace and scale and intensity of the story ramps up considerably. For a long story, it’s always easy to follow and the creation of the world just by dialogue is convincing.

You can find heaps of freebies about this unique production here, such as previews and interviews, to see if it’s your cup of tea. Honestly, this is a great time for Christian produced art, with the likes of church driven Sherwood Pictures getting mainstream attention for films like Fireproof and the upcoming Courageous.

Spirt Blade is a 2 and a half hour audio drama and you can buy it in CD ($13) or Mp3 format ($10) right here, as well as other audio dramas, such as the sequel to Spirit Blade, Dark Ritual, which was produced more recently and seems more polished.

Trailer for Spirit Blade below.

Newsboys’ New Line-Up

Well, it appears the hugely successful band, Newsboys are changing their line-up again. It’s happened a lot these last few years. This is how it stands now – Aussie Paul Colman has left, former bassist Jody Davis is back, and surprisingly, baldie frontman Peter Furler has left and is being replaced by dcTalk’s Michael Tait. All these changes are amicable by the way. Below is the farewell message from Mr. Furler himself. You can find out more at their official site. I think this is good news.

Hello Friends,

Sorry for the delay in getting this brief statement out. As we say around the nb camp, “I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking.” It’s been a busy time helping the lads with this transition, while at  the same time finishing up the recording and mixing of the new CD in order to make the May 5th release date.

New Newsboys

As you know, I have come to a decision that it is time to stop.  I want  to thank you for your prayers and encouragement!  We have had many people write and call asking about my well-being.  Thank you for your  concern!  I am happy to let you know that I am not dying of some sickness or disease, nor am I in some sort of moral or spiritual crisis (Glory To God!). There has been no band bust-up or punch-out! All is well! (Although now that I think of it, I did accidently render Duncan unconscious one time in a play fight minutes before a concert!)  For me, the decision is that after traveling many thousands of miles across land and sea for over 22 years, along with needing to constantly keep writing and reach production deadlines-let alone feed my dog, It was time for something to give, and my booking agent and his GPS drew the  
short straw!

What are my plans you ask?  Well, at the moment, they are to encourage the lads in this here “passing of the baton” to Michael, as well as to continue songwriting, and most importantly, for Summer and I to continue doing what we are all called to do-that is reach the people that come across our path with the Love and Spirit of Jesus.

I want to thank YOU! For you have always welcomed me, from the early days of criss-crossing the USA in a beat-up, old dodge van, to traveling in trains, planes, ferries, ships, (and of course the occasional motorbike) into some of the most amazing places on this planet!  Let me think: Morocco, Israel, Asia, UK, Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Uganda just to name a few.  Seeing your faces and hearing you sing has blessed me. Again, many thanks!

Now, I need to ask you a favor.  Please do the same for my friend, Michael Tait.  Welcome him.  Michael is a statesman in our industry, and he is who I have picked to carry on what I started as a teenager.

newsboys is more than a band to me.  It is a group of people: men and women, husbands and wives, sons and daughters pooling together their gifts and talents, making many sacrifices, and believing that together we are all making a difference in telling the good news of the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ to our generation.  I am happy to say that this has not changed.

I will continue on with the band as friend, songwriter, cheerleader, and prayer partner.

Please enjoy the new CD, In The Hands of God.  We poured our souls into it. I sang at the top of my lungs! It is for you!

Love and Peace,

Peter Furler
March 2009

Newsboys Live: Houston We Are Go Review

Newsboys Live CD/DVDI’ve bought every Newsboys live release from the VHS Step Up To The Microphone tour from a decade ago. I don’t buy every new album of theirs. Only delirious holds that honour for me, but Newsboys are a truly great band, and one of Australia’s most successful exports. Probably somewhere up with Hugh Jackman and The Wiggles. Newboys are one of the world’s longest lasting Christian bands. Of course, that label isn’t the best, as labels never are, but that’s the business of “Christian” music for you. Newsboys are a great band. They’re not a worship band, just a band that anyone can tap their toes to, with funky betas and quotable lyrics.

There have been a few line-up changes in the years they’ve been together, most noticeably the recent departures of Jody Davis and New Zealand bassist Phil Joel, to pursue family and mission interests. However, now they have the addition of Paul Colman, from the former band PC3, or the Paul Colman Trio. They managed to do quite well in the US before they split, and it’s great to see Colman on stage again, with his fellow Aussies, drummer Duncan Phillips and lead singer Peter Furler.  I saw the Paul Colman Trio live in Perth twice and it’s just awesome to see him strut his stuff once more, with much larger crowds than he was used to. That means the only Yank left is keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein.

Newsboys still have that larrikin nature about them. They’re the funnest and funniest band to watch, and its great to see Peter interact with the huge Houston, Texas audience, making them laugh with his recountings of the band’s humble beginnings, and later cry with his heartfelt testimony. The preacher’s kid has done good.

Frankenstein looks as awkward as ever on stage, but since he’s a Mac user, he gets extra points. Phillips is as madcap as ever, with his cheeky grin, Mohawk and the fantastic return of the spinning drum platform. Colman fits in beautifully and Furler’s voice sounds just like it does on the albums.

The 14 track DVD/CD combo presents the same songs, a mix of old and new, including a few from their recent Go release. Classics like Shine, Entertaining Angels, He Reigns and Breakfast are my faves. The show’s production standards are great, and the fairly young audience really get into it. How could you not? I imagine the fellas must lose a fair amount of weight after each show after the three huge screens, on stage lights and two spotlights must make them sweat like maniacs, especially considering they’re all covered in black. But for them, and us, it’s all worth it. Check out the trailer below.

delirious? Split Up

Sad news indeed. delirious? are one of the biggest Christian bands of the last decade, (and yes, the question mark is part of their name) They really re-invented what that term actually means. With songs you can worship to in church and songs you can shout out your car window, driving on a sunny day, they are a very anointed group of English lads. With I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever and History Maker they ushered in a new style of church music, but still managed to get mainstream radio-play at the same time. The ultimate cross-over band, though they were never really aiming for such. Just five humble guys serving God, who were amazed at the heights God took them to, which included touring with Matchbox Twenty and Bon Jovi. If you’ve never heard their sounds, most people make the U2/Coldplay comparison, which is probably the best one to make. I was blessed enough to see their first live show in Perth, but missed out on their second. However, Martin and the fellas kindly gave me a signed poster and copy of Mission Bell, one of their best albums. I’d also recommend Glo and their live CD/DVD, Now Is The Time, which includes an amazing doco on the band’s formation and success. Their latest, Kingdom of Comfort, was released in April and you can hear a sample of it here.

There won’t be another band like delirious? for quite some time. From the band themselves…

The End of an Era……

We would like to address all our fans, our friends and people around the world who have faithfully supported Delirious?

After 14 albums, thousands of shows in front of millions of people, and many extraordinary memories, we have decided that at the end of 2009 we will take a break from recording and playing as a band.

Our decision was triggered by a request from Martin to be released from the band to pursue new projects including his work with CompassionArt and the desire to be at home more with Anna and his children. We have of course honoured this request and made a decision together that now is the time to end this chapter of our lives.

We will continue to play and be excited about our current tours and bookings but will not be adding many more over the coming 17 months..

We are all so deeply grateful to our incredible fans who have sung the songs and allowed Delirious? the privilege of providing the soundtrack to many lives over the years. From the school hall in Littlehampton to the stadiums of the world we have many stories to tell our children’s children. Delirious also would not be what it is without our amazing wives and families, and our gratitude to them is immense. We will now move forward to the next part of our lives where new challenges unfold and greater stories will be written.

We want to make it absolutely clear that although this decision has been extremely painful and difficult, we are still great friends and our respect for each other is unquestionable. We love playing in this band together and know that even though 2009 will bring an end to this current journey, there will be more adventures together in years to come.

We always used to say that we were ‘taking it wherever it goes’. The music ended up going further and deeper than we could ever have dreamed, yet we are now at a point where our creative futures will spread out and take on different journeys.

Thanks again for believing in us through all these years. We believe the best is yet to come.

Jon, Martin, Paul, Stu G and Tim