Sunday 24 October 2004
Ah, but the stages have been more varied and better *or worse* as the years have passed. Now here, in the Belfast Waterfront Hall, we spent our day.
My day began with plans to study and then head down to the venue in the afternoon. A wee chat on the mobile with Paul Burton, the Front of House engineer for D: ended that plan. After being told to "get down here and move some gear." I hoped on my bike and down I went. A couple hours of schlepping speaker cabinets, running mic cables and laughing at Paul and Steph *the head tech* we were up and running. Monday I'm going to be sore. It's been months since I've schlepped gear like that. But Smee's drum mics were all in the right channels, and all the speakers worked, so I couldn't have been too out of shape with running gear.
D: always puts on a good show, but they also use it as a means for showing how they worship. this was the last gig on the tour so everyone was tired and Martin's voice was on it's last breath. But with fine help from Stu G, and a brilliant crowd, the music flowed and this was no simple "performance."
Although I heard the song just after it had been written, and it's on the World Service album, I had not yet heard them play Mountains High before a live audiance. Knowning the story of Big John Thatcher's sudden death in the mountains, I know how hard this one is for them to play. But once again, I was touched by the raw emotion in Martin's voice. And this rawness wasn't from horseness but the emotions. Watching the bass player Jon Thatcher's head drop as Martin started to sing this song about his uncle reminded me of the fact that these men are opening their lives up to the audience everytime they sing.
It was the crowd singing History Maker which got to me the most. This is Belfast, and here stood over 2000 people, kids mostly, singing "I want to be a History Maker in this land. I want to be a speaker of truth to all mankind."
That's what D: is all about. It's about singing Majesty, majesty, YOUR grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in YOUR hand. we're singing Majesty!