Variously plagued by ill-health and injury, the performance at our first live performance in many years was missing key members Jez and Russell (who ended up acting as sound man). Old friend and sometime keyboard player for the band, Paul Hazell, manfully deputised on drums (with no rehearsal!).
Paul – vocals, guitar, bass
Andy – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Steve – vocals, guitar
Paul Hazell – drums
The gig was ambitious. Held in the daytime, it lacked a little atmosphere and most of the guests were deep in conversation rather than listening to the band. The initial set was patchy but the second set took off with a barnstorming Sweet Home Alabama – and the rest was history!
The gig was ultimately quite a rousing success. It was notable for the only outing of the most recent collaboration between Paul and Russell – Something That Will Last. This reflective song looks back over past years of being a Christian, and then looks forward to the believer’s glorious destiny in heaven. The track is a big favourite of mine!
It snowed that night. It was coming down thick and fast over Grove Village Hall on Saturday 18th December 1999, but the band played on. This was one of our most memorable gigs in the village where it had all started, although a ‘homecoming’ would be putting it too strongly – we hadn’t ventured out of Oxfordshire at this point in time. It was, however, a fantastic event as many friends, and even workmates and family, braved the elements to come to the 11th Hour’s Christmas/Millenium celebration.
The set-list became a template for our extensive gigging in 2000 and early 2001 when we performed at Cross Rhythms, at a youth event in West Sussex, and played live to the radio at UCB in Stoke on Trent. These were the glory days!
The gig sees the first live performances of Paul’s ‘Marred’ and ‘My Inspiration’. Steve is on top form with classic renditions of ‘Lucy’ and ‘Walk Away’, while the entire gig is bookended with Russell’s energetic ‘Pushin’ and the poignant ‘Hope in the Saviour’, which closed all of our subsequent gigs. Jez shows his trademark drumming genius and guides the band through some ambitious, yet classic, cover versions. The gig also features our sometime sideman Paul Hazell on keyboards.
A lot has happened since this gig. I suppose that many of us will be incredulous at the thought of the Millenium fireworks being ten short years ago. What have we done for God in that time? What has God done with us? Many of us have been blessed, but some of us have had to face very difficult situations. We’ve been through good and bad. But the God that inspired the band to get together is just the same. We still praise Him for His faithfulness to us.
Where are the band now? Although never officially splitting up, the gigging stopped in 2001. A retrospective studio album, Milestone, was issued in early 2006 after an intensive year of recording. The songs live on in cyberspace….but you can never rule out a reunion gig or a solo project, especially with a 40th birthday coming up!
If you were there – thanks for coming. If you helped out – an even bigger thank you! We hope you enjoyed the party. And if you can’t remember, then we hope this will jog your memory….
May God bless you
Wiltshire, December 2009.
I Can See Her Face
A Beauty I Can’t Picture
Spirit From Above
There She Goes
Hello, Mary Lou
Old Red Eyes Is Back
Don’t Throw Your Love Away 2
Don’t Throw Your Love Away 1
Reminds Me of the Son
Hope in the Saviour
Recorded on Fostex R8 8-track at Grove Village Hall, Oxfordshire, 18th December 1999.