Where our intrepid editorial team take an askance look at the weird and wonderful world of music and media.
For Cummings and Cole the best ever Greenbelt. The sun was hot, the music and ministry were hotter (Chagall Guevara, Eden Burning, Sounds Of Blackness, Sam Hill, the Electrics, PID, Martyn Joseph (love the new songs mate)! the violet burning, Caveman, Caroline Bonnett were their particular favourites this year. Meanwhile, the history-making-from-fringe-to-mainstage-in -one-year band The River Thieves is their tip for the top (look for a Thieves feature next issue). Cole said the theme "Wrestling With Angels' was "prophetic" (it was) and Cummings said it was the first sun-baked Festival he'd been to for years where his bald head didn't pink 'n' peel. He wore a hat. But being a Cross Rhythms baseball cap, (with Cross Rhythms logo, of course) it did bring forth comments about fat 'n' forty journos trying for hip-hop street cred.
One of the most dazzling Greenbelt promo efforts was with every can of
coke sold, you got three free wasps.
The oldest Swinger In Town, otherwise known as our editor, likes his finger-on-the-pulse beat, cultural street cred as much as the next man. So our heart went out to him when he espied Janey Lee Grace, a lovely lady whom he knows primarily as the presenter of a gospel music/church news show on GLR. He went up to her to congratulate her in becoming an acclaimed religious broadcaster or some such at a recent conference. The conversation went thus: "Congratulations, Janey." "Thanks, number eight's not bad." "Pardon?" "Charts, Number eight." "What?" "Seven Ways To Love." "Pardon." "Cola Boy." "I'm sorry Janie...l...er...l mean, what precisely are you talking about?"
It seems Cummings was the only man in Greenbelt not to have known that, a month before, Janie had been in the Top 10 as lead singer of Cola Boy (pictured) and the only man in the Western Hemisphere not to have actually heard their irritatingly catchy, throwaway piece of pop dance.
Worrying rumour to reach Cummings' ears this Greenbelt was that One Bad Pig have snorted out and called it a day. Expect a news story, (no hang it, a feature!) next Cross Rhythms.
This years non-appearances: It had to be Stryper for the second time (poor Robert Sweet's pneumonia), but did anyone bother to explain what had happened to the advertised Scaterd Few, iconoclastic favourites, No Laughing Matter. Still, if they'd come they'd probably have taken Cummings to task for telling Cross Rhythms readers they're from Canada. In fact they're American-born and breed.
So, there were Cummings and Cole sitting around with a tea in the 'hospitality tent1 (a place where you need a pass to go), when in walk this scruffy bunch of folkies and start jamming through a set of numbers at the next table. Impossible to talk further over the noise. Tony and Chris had to slink disconsolately out into the night to look for a quieter spot. And that was as close as they got to Rickey Ross and pop star friends.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.