A fresh and loud approach to praise and worship is the achievement of DKF. Geoff Howlett reports.
Anyone who caught DKF leading worship at Cross Rhythms last year will know that this band are indeed a very different kettle of fish from the average praise band. While most worship aggregations play it polite and safe and a decade out of date, DKF explode in a joyful, cathartic, surging explosion of praise, which borrows, from R&B, grunge, rock and metal. Back this year at Cross Rhythms for a return visit and toting their debut album, the flock at Okehampton are due to be well and truly rocked. It all began for DKF in the late 80s when members of the Amblecote Christian Centre saw Australian rock praise videos and the young people's response. The result was a heartfelt desire to use contemporary music in the UK to praise and worship God.
"Music which is 20 years out of date will not encourage young people to praise and worship", explains singer/ guitarist Anthony Mills.
"What we have done is to totally rebuild the structure of well known worship songs, apply new chord sequences and bring in riff based links. This, together with a danceable beat, has given a total face-lift to dust-gathering praise classics."
This is born out by DKF's debut album 'Praizemungusworshiptastique'. It contains 15 tracks, including an amazing Queen-style rendition of "I Will Call Upon The Lord" and a near punk rendition of Kendrick's "We Believe". "We had Paul Hodson to produce it", comments Anthony. "He's worked with Seventh Angel and Detritus. Paul gave the sound a cutting edge".
DKF's other members are: singer Debs Mohabir (who has the most wonderful soul/gospel voice and as a member of the Mohabir Sisters cut BVs for bands of yesteryear like Giantkiller), Beaver Brown (bass), Nic Burrows (drums), Tim Cutler (keyboards), and Andy Rudall (guitar and vocals). Formed in 1991, they hired a riverside warehouse to run a non-alcoholic club where youth could bring their friends and hear quality contemporary music. The band would play a short set followed by an hour from a guest group. However, the hometown band became so popular that invitations to play elsewhere began to roll in. Anthony tells of one such gig. "Kids were getting up, dancing and praising God in front of their non-Christian friends, and not getting embarrassed. Those watching realised that there was something real to get excited about and that they were lacking that something in their lives. 15 of them made the decision to follow Jesus that night."
News of DKF's praise and worship revolution spread rapidly after the summer of '92 following an appearance at the annual teach-in Meltdown and Cross Rhythms during the next 12 months. Now the word has well and truly got around. As well as Cross Rhythms this year the band are playing Crossfire and the Kingston festival.
With most of the line-up having families, DKF's future vision is not one of mega-stardom but to carry on with their ministry for as long as possible without it going stale. In the meantime they continue to praise God with a LOUD cymbal.
If Heartbeat boldly went where no CCM had gone before, then DKF are the New Generation.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.