No Limits: The British R&B gospel group

Saturday 1st June 1996

Back in December 1989, Mike Ikwuemesi felt God prompting him to start a Christian band. He prayed and when he felt it was right he put an advert in Melody Maker. It was then that NO LIMITS was born. Stewart Dearsley reports.

No Limits
No Limits

Over the years the band has seen quite a few changes. Somehow they have always managed to come up with quality replacements. The R&B gospel team have gradually increased to their current nine members. Mike Ikwuemesi and Eddie Urrens play bass and lead guitar. They are well supported by Matthew David and Richard Smith on keyboards. Derek Wiltshire and William Thomas are on drums and percussion, whilst Josephine Aido, Paul Rhys Taylor and Samantha Rigg supply the vocals. I asked Mike about their first gig.

"It happened purely by chance when Tony Frankson was asked to perform at the Dolphin Centre in llford. He needed a support band and we were happy to do it." The band have since played a number of venues including pubs, schools, open airs and Greenbelt.

1993 was a memorable year for the band as it saw the release of their first album, 'Prodigal Child'. "An album was something the whole band wanted to do," comments Mike. "By recording we would be able to reach a lot more people and influence a lot more lives."

No Limits continued to go from strength to strength and in the summer of 1994 they embarked on their first tour, a 10-day trip to the Czech Republic to play seven dates. To get there though the band had to endure two days of driving across Europe in three vans. "We were well received and the concerts had been well publicised," recalls Mike. "We ended up playing to packed cinemas and sports halls. We were all challenged, encouraged and fulfilled. We saw the people's hunger and saw how powerful prayer really is. It was very tiring but we knew we had to put our trust in God. At the end of the day it wasn't what we could do but what God could do through us."

No Limits are really a ministry in themselves and I asked Mike how he would describe their music. "I don't think you can really put a label on it," answers Mike. "I am into jazz funk, rock and soul whereas someone like Eddie is into blues rock. We are essentially a crossover of many styles. On the new album we have a lot of groove orientated tracks, along with reggae and rock. So really it's a style that we have and are developing ourselves."

The album 'Here To Stay' was released in March. It also sees a slight change of direction with most of the songs being slower. "I feel it reflects the direction in which the band are going," says Mike. "Everybody feels more confident and relaxed with the style. We have also become more adventurous and tried new things which we like to think have come off."

So from fairly humble beginnings, No Limits are starting to go places. They are hoping more doors will open and that it will lead to a distribution deal. CR

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.

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