Songs that no one taught us

It was Sunday night with a difference at Hadleigh Temple Corps when the lights were lowered, seating arranged in cinema formation and the Alvin and Karl Show: Songs that no one taught us took the stage.

Those with longer memories were taken back to the 80s when brothers Alvin and Karl Allison belonged to the Blood and Fire rock group. However, this interactive three-screen show with edgy visual images contrasting with vintage film footage, plus live music from gifted musician Alvin and lyrics written and sung by presenter Karl brought the audience right into 2012.

With songs in a mixture of styles from rock to ballad, a series of thought-provoking sequences unfolded: a visit was paid to Alvin and Karl’s childhood, then to the heyday of the Blood and Fire group. Going further back in time William Booth’s voice issued a challenge to seek out and serve suffering humanity. A reminder came that there are many ways to obey this command in a fun, yet touching, feature on ‘Teacher Ivy’, one of those innumerable Sunday-school primary class teachers who laid the foundations of Christian belief and action for countless children.

With stunning, clever visual displays and songs, most written by Alvin and Karl, the spiritual and material needs of the modern world were presented, leaving the audience in no doubt of the challenge presented to Salvationists. Plenty of humour and hand-clapping songs made for a lively evening, while memorable words like ‘impossibly impartial grace’, and ‘the whosoever will won’t come unless we want them to’ made their own impact. In contrast, ballad style songs with lyrics such as ‘For you have been so good for me I’m gonna be good for you’ and ‘Bathed in his glory and saved by his grace’ brought about a tender spirit in the audience.

Earlier, the show had been presented at the Hadleigh Employment Training Centre’s tea rooms as part of Campaign Week 2012. The visit of the show to both the corps and centre was organised by Major Neville Andrew’s, the centre’s chaplain.

The show would have had William Booth’s blessing, for it is the essence of the gospel message presented in the up-to-date, challenging way of early-day Army tradition, and just Booth’s style!


words: Jean Bryant
pics: Robin Bryant

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