Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Since the release of the dual artist project 'Reward' with Martyn Layzell in 1999, the rise in popularity of worship output by Tim Hughes has been nothing short of spectacular. The Holy Trinity, Brompton worship leader has had three solo worship recordings since that debut, but now, for the first time, we're presented with a full-length live recording from this amiable musician. And much is it welcomed - for though all of his studio releases have been highly acclaimed, it's only in a live format like the present disc, plus his many live moments captured on annual Soul Survivor outputs, that the full passion and energy of Tim and band can be experienced. This event in fact marked the first in Tim's Worship Central UK Tour in conjunction with fellow HTB musician Al Gordon. The tour was a great success, several dates being sell-outs, not least in Edinburgh where I was delighted to get to see them, and to quickly lose myself in worship, as the talented yet humble duo ably directed us into the presence of the King. That performance, like the Shepherd's Bush experience - the entire hour-long video of which is included on accompanying DVD - comprised a delightful blend of Tim's best known and eminently worshipful songs - "Here I Am To Worship" (co-rendered here, as on the original, with Martin Smith), "Consuming Fire", "Beautiful One", "Be My Everything" and of course, "Happy Day". Of the relatively new tracks, "When I Survey" is actually over 300 years old(!), but Tim's version does include an added, crescending structure and it's a moving performance. "Dance" first appeared on Soul Survivor Live 2007. Of the two newest songs, the opening "Jesus Saves" was co-written by Nick Herbert and is both vibrant and congregationally friendly; while the other newie, and one of Tim's own favourites, "Give Us Your Courage", is an emboldening song, but personally I find the "Whoa-oo, whoa-oo" chorus a bit corny. Wonderfully, as best suits live sets, Tim allows several anthems to build in intensity, and to transmute into compatible choruses, in what comes over a truly Spirit-led worship experience ("Here I Am", for example, flows for almost seven minutes). Hughes gives an informal talk about this type of "Song Flow" on one of four Worship Central Teaching video clips to be found on the DVD, where he also gives fine impromptu acoustic renditions of several tunes, and where, also, can be found creative "Worship Visuals" of five Hughes' songs. Musical ability, passion for Christ and real spiritual joy all ooze from this audio/visual offering - an excellent demonstration of Tim and co doing what they do best.
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|On a Tuesday evening mid-September, the famous London venue Shepherds Bush Empire was filled to capacity with 2000 worshippers. Led by Tim Hughes and a hand-picked group of musicians and singers featuring Stu G (Delirious?) on guitar, members of The 29th Chapter and the Sacred dance team London was set alight.|
The live album is produced by Nathan Nockels (Passion Live Albums) and the DVD is directed by Andy Hutch (‘Delirious?’ and ‘Facedown’ by Matt Redman).
The songs were a mixture of well established and some excellent new songs. Tim was also joined onstage by Martin Smith (Delirious?) for Here I am to Worship. New songs include ‘Remember’, ‘Jesus Saves’, ‘We won’t stay silent’ and ‘Give us Your Courage’. Also included are ‘Beautiful One’, ‘Consuming Fire’, ‘Here I am to Worship’, ‘Be My Everything’ ‘Happy Day’, ‘Dance’ and ‘God of Justice’, as well as ‘When I Survey’.
The specially commissioned visuals for the event added another dynamic to the message of the songs. It was an unforgettable evening, which also kicked off the UK Worship Central tour. The high quality release features all 12 songs on both the CD and the DVD, in a special digipack.