Another Blog Hop post hosted by The Waiting. This week: Remember the time we went to that concert.
At sixteen years of age I was basking in the warm glow of my first love, still a few years off doing all the things that would cause my mother to think I was heading towards a bad end, and enjoying a social life that revolved around a large group of like minded friends and the church. In the eyes of the older generation, I was a good girl.
Even good girls want to have fun. When my boyfriend suggested that we go to a concert, I was well up for it. I can’t remember how many of us went to that first one, but it was awesome. The band were called Moral Support and they had just released an album called Zionic Bonds. Within a few weeks of first hearing them, I had bought the album and could sing along to all of the songs. They were boppy and rocky and I loved them.
That first concert was held in a church hall, which we drove to in my boyfriend’s mother’s car. He hadn’t long had his licence so this freedom to travel was still a novelty. The hall was pretty full but not packed, and we were able to get up close to the stage and drink in the atmosphere. I had never been to anything like it, especially not linked to the church. The music may have been gospel but these guys were no choir; they were raucous and brash and I was smitten.
I can’t remember how long they performed as a band, but my friends and I went along to concert after concert, never tiring of hearing the same music being played as we danced and cheered in the church halls and school halls that were hired for the occasion. Even the weekend I spent at the Greenbelt Festival couldn’t compete with the fun I had at these Moral Support concerts (although, to be fair, I was throwing up in a tent for a lot of the time I was at Greenbelt). I may have queued up at 4am to get tickets to hear Cliff Richard when he came to Belfast, but his acoustic set couldn’t challenge the adrenaline rush that I felt in the hot and crowded mass of teenagers lapping up those secular sounds with the Christian vocals.
When my heart was broken by my beloved boyfriend wanting to go out with another girl, my group of friends took me along to another Moral Support concert to cheer me up. Here we came across the happy couple (we moved in a small world back then). Zionic Bonds was the soundtrack to a time when I was on the cusp of change; those happy times and then that first heartache were, unbeknown to me, the swan song of my contented membership of the Irish church.
The front man of Moral Support was called Andy McCarroll. After I had moved to England I heard his name mentioned again when my sister and her husband got to know him and his family through mutual friends of theirs. He is still making music and we now follow each other on Twitter (@andy_mccarroll).
Although I subsequently attended many, huge, stadium concerts to hear the massive bands of the time, the fun I had at those earlier concerts was hard to surpass. And that album name? It wasn’t until my own children started talking about Ionic bonds in recent years that I realised it had any meaning. Talk about a Doh! moment…