Countdown to Creation Fest '16 - KXC Worship Team
Some of the worship team from Kings Cross Church in London came to lead worship at Creation Fest at Eden earlier this year. Our friends at One Man in the Middle went to have a chat with Karen Gillespie and Tom Eccleshall about their EP they released in January, “Chapter Two: Flux” and to understand more of their heart for worship.
KXC are returning for the main Creation Fest held at the Royal Cornwall Showground where they will be leading worship On Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in the Big Shed.
What is KXC?
T: KXC is a church in Kings Cross, so it’s Kings Cross Church KXC, which is in London, Zone 1 right in the middle of London. It’s led by Pete and Bee Hughes and it’s an Anglican church plant that is 6 years old…
K: Yes, just turned 6 in February
So KXC Worship is just basically the worship band for the church then?
T: Pretty much yeah, just the worship team from our church.
K: We’re not like a set band in the sense of it’s always the same guitarist, generally though between Tom and I, and Rich di Cas(tiglione) we’ve done the EP. So yeah there are other people who lead sessions at the church.
So when you are going from Church to recording, how does that come about? Because you’ve just released Flux which is Chapter Two. How did the recording side of things come about and why?
K: All down to Tom, he’s brilliant and so passionate about recording…
T: I do just love it
K: and really drives us all to keep writing. So we’ve had writing nights and we very much test-drive all of the songs at church and if they are working within our church and we’re really passionate about writing songs for the local church and for our church family and the history that we have as a community there and writing into that environment, based on what we’ve been learning from Pete’s amazing talks or prophetically declaring something of the season that we are in, so it feels like we’ve really tried to get a grasp on that and write for that first and foremost. And then it’s just been amazing that other people want to sing them so it’s great. He’s just driven it forward and it’s all down to Tom.
So this is Chapter Two, what was Chapter 1?
T: Chapter One was called “The Father’s Love” which is on iTunes and Spotify and everything and we did that two years prior to Chapter Two: Flux. There are five songs on that and there are some songs like “Singing Over Us” that they put that on the Worship Central live album which Karen went and recorded and “The Father’s Love” for the New Wine Album. That (Chapter One) was produced by Ben Cantelon so we recorded it at Studios in London and HTB (Holy Trinity Brompton).
So Chapter Two is the next chapter of what’s been happening in the Church. Are there any particular songs on Chapter Two that really stand out as something that is a crystal moment in the church that has been turned into a song?
K: It’s really interesting because I think each of them carry a real weight for different reasons and actually the process to refine the songs from different writers was a really difficult one for Pete and ultimately Tom who was making those decisions. Purely because they were each carrying something of the season that KXC have been in so Flux is the title that we decided to go with. Practically as a church we lost a building that we were housing a lot of the ministries, and a lot of ministries were birthed out of, like Foodbank was there, a homeless brunch that was happening, a co-working space for creatives, all these beautiful things that were being birthed. Some parts of Kings Cross are a bit rough and it just felt like there was real life being birthed there, and then we had to actually give that building back! And from that there was just a real period of transitions and Tom had this song on his heart, “when my heart is in a state of flux I will lean on the constant love of Jesus”, that no matter how transient we are, God is always at the centre and the anchor in it all. So that felt like the really overarching theme, and then all these songs fitted in underneath for different reasons. So my song “Steady Me” was about anxiety that I had been through and a lot of the church had been through, and then “Sing It Out” was just a celebration song because actually we have seen some major victories in things too. So it was kind of really beautiful and really different to “The Father’s Love” but a good progression.
T: I don’t have much to add to that, one of the songs “Kingdom Come” is written by Rich de Cas who sings it on the EP and he’s had that song for ages but it has really connected with the church in KXC at the moment so we’ve been playing that week in, week out for a long time now. Well for the recent history and it has really been a chapter of worship in our church. What we are trying to do with these Eps is to try and capture the moment of what is happening in our church on a recording.
K: Kingdom Come has almost become an anthem in a way for the church as we are singing about our prayer and our desire for our community and for London and guess the UK that God’s kingdom would come.
T: We always want to do recordings because we’ve got the songs that we are singing in church. It’s often easier to set a deadline and say we’re going to make an album by this point and then try and scramble to have the songs, but we’ve always wanted to wait until we’ve got the songs and people from our church are asking for them and want to listen to them and we can feel that the songs are going to be heard further afield. Doing the recording is an outlet for that, we’ve always just wanted to capture the songs that have been working really well at our church. We don’t produce an album every year, so we’ve only done two EPs over two years now, but it feels like it’s important to get the right song.
K: Yeah we spend a lot of time, some would say too long, others would say it’s perfect, then we feel that they are really authentic. Some things don’t always, if you’re not connected to it in the same way, speak to you. We want to make sure these songs carry the authenticity and the heart of the church so it seems ludicrous to record something before actually letting it live and breathe within the church.
So what’s your heart for worship for the church in the UK as a whole, looking at your community, but that can often be multiplied out, what’s in your heart for worship in the UK?
T: I’d love to see a real passion. There are some amazing things happening in the UK, it’s been really encouraging to be here at CreationFest at Eden and see all the different churches coming together, I love that. But a real sense of God’s presence and His Spirit and a real passion as well in worship and faith in worship, it will be amazing to see that grow in the future as well. We would love for that to grow in our church and also across the UK would be amazing.
K: I would love to see a new sound come out of the UK, I feel like that’s maybe bubbling, just from conversations with different people. Something like, I guess, the time period of Delirious? when there was a real sense of God moving in that. I feel like there has definitely been a focus off individual artists and I don’t know what God is doing in it but there is a focus on collectives, focus on co-writes, a focus on community, so it’s almost not solo artist coming out. Things like Worship Central, like us, Rend Collective, groups of people who are passionate about praising and lifting God’s name, and you know with that comes a really interesting dynamic that I am really excited to see more partnerships develop and more unity across the wider church where there are no walls. A kind of partnership developing that releases a new thing here. Does that make sense?
To read more off their story check out the full interview with the KXC Worship Team.