After their Spring Harvest gig the buzz was out. YFRIDAY are going to be big. Joel Lewis caught up with the Newcastle worship rockers.
The exciting waves of radical worship bands continue to flow from all parts of Britain. I caught up with Yfriday, who are currently in the studio recording their first project with top producer Neil Costello, after a gig in Prudhoe and at the monthly Yfriday event in Newcastle.
I began by asking what the name 'Yfriday' actually means. There does not appear to be a set answer to this question, and I get replies ranging from "It's a bit of an enigma!" to "Because Jesus died on Friday". However, if the origins of their name are uncertain, the origins of the band itself are easy to tell. They began through a monthly youth event that started out four years ago in Whitley Bay, run by Tyneside Youth For Christ. The event was called "Yfriday" and the band inherited the name. If this sounds a familiar story then perhaps it is - you only have to look to Littlehampton to see another band that started in a very similar way. Believe me, the potential is here as well.
So how has the band developed since those times? "I think we understand each other musically now," lead singer Ken Riley replies, "and that enables us to create a really nice dynamic when we're leading people in worship. We kind of specialise in the very quiet and the very loud, and we generally find that people respond in that way to that sort of dynamic." The band is dedicated to reaching out to both the Christian and the un-churched youth of the North-East.
The monthly Yfriday event is packed with teaching, prayer and activity. The hall is bursting with young people who worship enthusiastically, respond unashamedly and testify boldly about the work of God in their lives. The band is certain that their message is not just for the saved though. Ken is firm about this, "When we go to a smaller venue the hope really is, with the band, that there are a lot of un-churched kids there. It's amazing to lead people to Jesus, to see re-dedication of lives, to see - in some instances I've known - to see people being healed. It's fantastic to be used as an instrument of God."
So what is the band's objective, when they take the stage to play to a crowd of young people? "To tell it like it is. We don't mince words - we don't tell them 'Become a Christian and life'll be rosy.' It's important not to con people into Christianity by saying it's gonna be an easy ride. It's important to tell them the truth." Ken continues, "I had the privilege of leading a young lad to Jesus tonight after the meeting and it was incredible. To lead him through the steps, to explain what was happening to him, and encouraging him to go out and impact his friends. You could see the guy was ecstatic and excited about this new experience of Jesus he's had tonight. It's a very humbling experience."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.