Rend Collective: A Wildly Imaginative Band


 by Katy Collins


"We wanted to push boundaries because our God is not safe or small:  He has a wild imagination.” ( 

Rend Collective isn't an underground thing; they're actually pretty big stuff. But UCB hasn't reviewed them yet, so we're gonna! 
Rend, as my hubby and I like to call them, is a group of Irish folk who have decided to represent God as they encounter Him- in a way that is imaginative and intimate. Their songs range from slow and steady, bringing the listener's heart into a balancing sway of melody and worshipful words, to the upbeat, almost wild, slam of the raucous and joyful lyrics and tunes that make for an unrelenting foot tap, at the very least. 
They released their first two albums in 2010 and 2012, but they are most known for their third and fourth albums. They chose to record "Campfire" literally around a roaring campfire in the woods of Ireland and did so live; "Campfire" was released in January of 2013. Their most recent album, "Art of Celebration" was recorded in studio and released to the public on St. Patrick's Day, 2014. 
By reviewers more adept than myself, Rend Collective has been termed "indie-rock" or "folksy" or the like. They apparently use wonderfully unexpected pieces as instruments at their concerts, which we can't wait to see. Fun instruments such as a keyboard in a suitcase, a large stick covered in metallic jangling goodies, famously known now as the "Jingling Johnny" staff, and even normal yet not-so-common instruments like banjos, harmonicas, and various string options of all sorts.  However, when asked, a member of the band described them this way, "We are not actually an indie-folk band, despite all the beards and bowties and banjos. We are a celebration band. It’s just a coincidence that folk music and celebration make a great pairing!"
The heart behind their music is one to encourage a world gone wayward to return the Church. (Even in the picture below the suitcase keyboard houses the phrase, "We are the Church" on it). The 15-member band that maintains a family-like ministry with one another, desires to bring a real experience of community back to the Body of Christ. They've created a sound that is both worshipful and intimate and yet appealing, creative and unique. 
Bandleader, Gareth Gilkeson, pastors the band and in one accord Rend seeks to be, "...a ministry for spiritually hungry young adults, desperately seeking an authentic, raw and real expression of church..." ( Whether you are into banjos or not, giving Rend Collective a listen would be a rad choice. You'll be blessed! Check out a couple YouTube links below and visit their site for more information. 
"In a sea of Christian music, yeah there's talent, but there's no art any more," my Hubby says. Rend Collective gives art (and imagination!) back to mainstream Christian music. Enjoy! 





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