RSCM – A church music organisation with local interests

May 12, 2019

Before I became Director of Music at St James, I had already heard of the RSCM – an organisation dedicated to developing and preserving the very best in church music in the UK and overseas.

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What I didn’t realise was how interested they are in their local members. Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas. Carols. Beer. Excellent.

November 17, 2013

It’s been in my diary for a little while now, but I’d like to take this opportunity to plug Ales Beers and Carols 2013 again. What a fantastic opportunity to drink beer and sing carols. For a concept, this one scores highly for simplicity and ease of execution. Read the rest of this entry »


Ales Beers and Carols 2013

September 28, 2013
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Less silent though the clink of glass,
In Walsall pubs this year.
As we sing carols and have fun,
While also drinking beer!

Read the rest of this entry »


Good Friday – and Rock and Roll is also Dead.

March 29, 2013

In the beginning there was music. And it was mostly good. Except for the music that was bad. And you could decide for yourself what was what. So long as your mates didn’t find out you’d bought an Osmonds LP / Bros tape / Take That CD / One Direction download with your pocket money.

OK, further back than that was rock and roll. It deserves capital letters. It’s a proper noun.

Rock and Roll.

Read the rest of this entry »


Right then, let’s sing some carols. In pubs.

December 5, 2012

Hurrah! We’re back singing carols in pubs this year.

The Lazy Hill – Aldridge. We’re here on Friday December 14th, from about half eight, singing carols and drinking beers.

The Black Country Arms – Walsall. Tuesday December 18th and we’re in Walsall doing much the same.

The White Lion – Walsall. Thursday December 20th is our last date for a final pint or two and a bit of carol singing to boot.

PLUS… I’ve recently heard some lovely people are taking over the reins at The Wheatsheaf. We’ll sing there too if we can find the time.

If you click on the pub names, you can see the location of the pub and register your intention to attend via Eventbrite. You don’t need to register to attend, it’s just me trying out something to see what uptake is like. The map and address, however, might be useful to you.

The small print:

We’re singing carols and drinking beer. You may choose to drink wine or even go non-alcoholic, but the point is to have fun and sing carols. If you get really drunk and behave badly at the very least you’ll regret it in the morning, so please don’t. The pubs are letting us wander in and do some singing. They and their staff deserve the due respect. It’s Christmas. I’m not suggesting you tip heavily, but all that loose change will weigh you down otherwise, eh?


The Theology of Christian Worship Music

November 8, 2012

Could somebody explain the purpose and underlying theology of music in contemporary church worship? It strikes me I’ve been doing it for a couple of decades and although I kind of get it by instinct, I have little real understanding. Read the rest of this entry »


Ales, Beers and Carols 2012

September 24, 2012

Just a quick note to say some people are already asking about Ales, Beers and Carols 2012 in Walsall and the surrounding area. Read the rest of this entry »


Approved hymns, limits on creativity

August 30, 2012

I spoke with a friend this evening at the pub. We meet regularly, over a pint (admittedly, mine usually a pint of water due to the new regime) and we talk about most things.

He told me that his church has approved thirty songs for use in worship on Sunday mornings, to use for a season in the church. Read the rest of this entry »


Clued up church worship.

July 5, 2012

I’m a huge fan of “I’m sorry, I haven’t a Clue” on BBC Radio 4. One of their famous games, and one we’ve tried before is “One Song to the Tune of Another” in which, well, you can guess.

As it happens, organists have been playing this particular game for years, dropping alternative tunes onto the unsuspecting congregation, sometimes without even the foreknowledge of the presiding minister, and occasionally without warning the choir. Read the rest of this entry »


Touring with the Band

June 9, 2012

The Grey Goose Blues Band are on tour tonight. We’re actually doing an international leg of our 2012 programme of events. Read the rest of this entry »