Where our intrepid editorial team take an askance look at the weird and wonderful world of music and media.
Any band out there looking for a name? May we suggest that they turn to their Narnia Chronicles? For we can report that Kent-based Asian, having played the Cross Rhythms Festival, have decided to call it a day meaning the most tried-and-tested band name in Christendom is up for grabs again.
Asian first turned up attached to a rock band, rather than a lion, when a Californian team did some recording in the 70s under the moniker for Maranatha! Music. By 1984 Buzz magazine was able to comment that there were three different Asian bands - one in Southampton, one in Cambridge and one in Preston.
A few years later a secular team called Asian cut an album and some singles for EMI. And for the last year or two the Kent-based Asian have been playing the Rock Garden and looking for the break that never quite came. Maybe if they'd called themselves Pity The Small Thumbs it would have been different. After reading The Ichiban Story' in a recent issue of British blues magazine Juke Blues we were amused to see that our venerable editor had an unwitting part to play in the blues/soul/gospel record company's history. Ichiban is run in Atlanta, Georgia by one-time editor of British Blues And Soul magazine, John Abbey. John reports: "the first thing that got me into the business was doing some journalistic work for a Tony Cummings' magazine back in 1964-65 whatever, and it is a funny story. I sent an interview that I had done with Irma Thomas to him and he never responded. So I said 'to hell with this, if he doesn't want it I'll put it out myself!'" So Abbey formed Home Of The Blues magazine which led to Blues And Soul which led to Contempo Records which led to Ichiban Records. So it seems even when Cummings doesn't reply to his post something happens!
Earlier this year one American mega-million-selling magazine ran a feature The 50 Most Beautiful People In The World 1992'. Included in there were Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. We heard a heartening tale about new Christian recording studio Rainbow Sound And Production in Brighton. While in the middle of a recording session with a local non-Christian band the team suddenly produced an occult-derived lyric. The engineers switched off the mikes and told the band they weren't going to record it. They told the band "go away and think about it, we'll go away and pray about it". When the band came back the next day, they had decided to drop the offending song.
Marc Catley, the satirical strummer with the longest face in Christendom scored plenty of points in his new 'Make The Tea' album (see our review section). But we thought the comment on the inlay card Toipsitting by Cross Rhythms Magazine' a little below the belt.
Anyone squelching through the mud bath that was this year's Greenbelt might have espied two teams of lunatics playing volleyball in conditions only suitable for planting rice. One of the teams of grunge-coated sporting heroes was your very own Cross Rhythms, who, led by assistant editor Gavin Drake played brilliantly in a close match against a team of Greenbelt punters, before losing (ahem) 15-1.
Odd that Kingsway should currently be distributing two albums (one by Anthony Ray and one by Jules Riding) both called 'Revelation' and both inspired by John's apocalyptic vision but odder still that Word should be taking new albums by Jeff Sheetz and Adam Again both titled 'Dig'.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.