Sunday, May 28, 2006

My life continues to revolve around trains so little time to blog. It's Sunday night and I've just finished going through work emails so a few minutes to do something more fun! In spare moments I've been celebrating Liverpool's anniversary of winning the European Cup for a 5th time by watching the match again. At the moment we are losing 1-0 but I'm hopeful we can sneak a couple of goals late on!

I've been reminiscing over the last week about my youth which I can just about remember. This was triggered by Helen deciding we should clear the attic (she decides, I clear!). I found all my old photo albums and slide collection which covers numerous concerts as well as Greenbelt from about 1979. Seeing all those old faces brought the memories back. Days at college, youth group weekends away, sharing a flat with Trish in Brixton (probably the worse dive I've ever lived in), various trips around Europe, and my life at Greenbelt. It is quite fitting that most of the concert pictures I have of Greenbelt are Steve Farnie & Bev Sage in their different bands. Farnie was a huge influence on me at the tender age of 17 when I first turned up at Greenbelt. I'd never realised Christians could be so normal, and abnormal, all at the same time. It was the early days of punk (although Saturday Night Fever was all the rage) and Fish Co, as they were then, took main stage (the only stage in those days) by storm. I rushed out and spent all my food money on Beneath the Laughter. Probably out of date when you listen to the songs and compare them to the band live, but still today an excellent album. I've always likened it to Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits which came out about the same time. When I first heard Dire Straits on the radio I thought it was Fish Co.

Sadly Steve Farnie died over a decade ago now - his influence on others was shown by the turn out to his funeral - over a thousand people turned up. I hadn't realised how wide this influence had gone - the closing lines of the Zoo TV show were "I have a vision... television", borrowed from Farnie. In the funeral book of condolense Bono wrote "You have the vision, I just had the television". I discovered this recently in an interview given by Willie Williams who started out life on the road with Fish Co, Famous Names, Writz..... It's a great article and I really recommend you spend time reading it - you can see just how much Steve Farnie influenced Willie Williams, especially in the world of art. When Willie's on tour with U2 his first port of call seems to be the nearest art gallery - something that seems to stem back to the many hours spent with Farnie, who taught him the relationship between art movements and music movements.

You can find the link here Farnie

I've just found your site after doing a google search on Willie Williams to try to answer a question I have about him at Greenbelt some years ago. It's wonderful to see Steve Farnie and Bev Sage namechecked - I remember seeing them many years ago at Greenbelt. Seeing U2 bound on the stage in 82 totally revolutionised my life and my idea of what Christian music could be. I'm off to click the link and read about Steve, I didn't know he was no longer with us - it's been a long, long time ...
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