Matthew Jacoby – Founder/Leader
Our first attempt at serious touring was in 2000. We managed to convince a whole lot of churches to host concerts for us. Our promotional material, all produced by CMCA, presented well and the idea of a concert of the Psalms seemed to appeal to pastors. We had concerts organised up the east coast as far as Coloundra, QLD. We also organised events in Adelaide and around Tasmania. I had seen a DVD about the Bible Society a couple of years earlier and I felt that it would be good to link with them for the tour. Given that our music was all about Bible engagement they loved the idea and were enthusiastic about supporting us. When the time came for the tour we headed off nervously to our first gig in Wollongong, NSW. There were six of us in all, myself, Rod Gear, Marcus Hayden, Richard Beechey, Richard’s wife Tonya and Richard’s brother Jeff.
We had a medium sized PA system with us and it took all afternoon to set up at the church in Wollongong. Then came time for the show. Only two people were there at start time with another couple of young guys from the local radio station arriving late. You can imagine how we felt after all the build up. Well, we played a short gig to our kind and intimate audience and then I reassessed what we should do for the rest of the tour. It turned out that this gig was an exception but at that stage I needed to make some quick decisions. If numbers were going to be down for the tour then we needed to send back the PA we had hired and use in-house systems in the venues. We decided that Rod and I should do the rest of the tour as a duo to cut costs, so after the weekend gigs the others headed home. Actually the weekend gigs went really well. A couple of great Sydney Churches had gotten behind us and they really made it work.
On the following Monday, Rod and I had a big task to pull off as we had never done a concert as a duo before. We checked in early at the venue in Newcastle to pull something together. That night a good crowd came out to see us and we were able to deliver a pretty good presentation. In fact the rest of the tour turned out quite well. Not huge crowds, not enough to have justified our original budget, but enough to leave us pleasantly surprised after each night, particularly after our initial reality check in Wollongong.