Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Live music has always been an important part of the foundation of Zac's Place. The Gig last Friday night, an excuse for a belated 40th birthday bash for me and a fundraiser for the Trust, underlined the exceptional standard we have set for ourselves over the years. It really was a magical night, with ten artists taking part bringing a beautiful blend of acoustic styles.

Phil James kicked things off. Phil's been receiving a lot more radio play in recent years, but his performances have always been firm favourites for the Zac's audiences. Rob Ash joined him with some great guitar work and did some of his own stuff too. They also dueted Tom Petty's 'Won't Back Down' which is a real fave of mine. Julia Harris demonstarted why she's getting so much attention, whilst Mike Toulcher emerged as Swansea's best kept secret as a songwriter delivering two great piano based songs. Allen McCarthy - small guy - HUGE voice and two fantastic songs including the Zac's CD track, Waterfalls. Bill and Rachel Taylor-Beales were joined by Karen Chalk for additional flute/keys and vox and performed a six beautifully moving songs from a combination of Rachel's Brilliant Blue album, Bill's forthcoming Scratch The Sky plus Dylan's 'Shelter from the Storm'. Lorraine King, my original co-founder of Zac's together with my wife, Jayne, as usual worked brilliantly together for four tracks and finished the night with Phil James & Rob Ash performing 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'.

About a hundred people crammed into the venue, travelling from Belfast, Leicester, Manchester, Exeter and beyond, creating an intimate atmosphere and thoughrally enjoyed what was a great night of superb live music...

Thankyou to everyone who played, helped, came and gave - your support was and is much appreciated, especially as the Trust will benefit to the tune of around £2000 as a result of the gig. THANK YOU

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Easter Bunny Get's Slaughtered On Rubbish Dump

I started this blog around this time last year with an Easter reflection. A chaotic lifestyle leaving little time for marshalling thoughts into an ordered fashion to share with the expactant few, is a little frustrating to say the least.

As we approach Easter time, the lead up has continued to be hectic and I know I will struggle to find much space to truly reflect on this glorious celebration of reunion of creator and created. Amid all the Easter imagery of the butchered and bleeding Christ in various states of undress we can still be missing the greatest pain of all. 'Why have you forsaken me?' The pain of the severing and separation of the Father and the Son renders the brutal physical torture and humiliation of Christ a mere stubbed toe on the redemption journey. One day, maybe one day we'll fully appreciate it.

Breaking down of relationships at any level is a painful experience. Just this past few days and weeks one of my kids has experienced bullying and I believe a betrayal of trust from friends. How hard it is to see the disappointment and pain in a young life. But how sweet it is, to see signs of reconcilaition, apology, forgiveness.......

At Zac's Place on Tuesday night half the group has been looking at the New Testament letter of Paul's to the Ephesians. One of the reminders in these pages is that the non-jews, the non religious, were as welcome in God's family as anyone - the curtain separating the holy from the not so holy in the temple was torn in two on that crucifixion night. The way continues to be open for the religious and non-religious, the hurting and the lost, the betrayed and belittled, the bullied and the thug........

Happy Easter? Depends how grateful you are I guess.