August 2017, saw IDMC take the stage of the award winning Hideaway Jazz Club in south London.
From prior knowledge Bazil Meade and the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC), are the only other gospel act to have had performed there three years prior, therefore to John, it was important that the lead up, communication and preparation was right for this gig.
This proved to be so, with support given to IDMC from agent Graeme Mall, assistance from the venue, increased production rehearsals and tickets selling well, it all helped put a spring in the step of IDMC as they prepared a sixteen song show set.
John envisaged, taking the visitors on a journey through the music of IDMC covering their well known, popular songs. Who knew that when John was to ask how many people were seeing IDMC for the first time, that half of the audience would put up their hands!
The show that had sold out the day before was standing room only. The atmosphere was on point, the audience had eaten a hearty meal, and were ready to party!
John was joined on stage by a fourteen piece choir that consisted of ten vocalists, a four piece band and John, so room on the stage was pretty tight!
From the first track which showed off the vocal talents of long time member Courtney Hoilett, the stage had been set for a groovy, soulful, gospel experience and judging from the big smiles and positive responses to every song, delighted the audience.
John took a moment to celebrate the anniversary of the 55th
Jamaican Independence by doing a version of the Jamaican national anthem which had Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans alike standing to honour the anniversary.
As a mentor, John regularly shares his platform with up and coming artists and on this occasion, allowed assistant choir director, Shantéh to showcase one of her songs.
The first half ended on the big funk jam ‘Soul Food’ which not only boasted the vocal power of the choir, but also showcased the skilled band of musicians that IDMC are so proud to work with, which was headed by John’s sons Andre and Dayna Fisher.
The second half started cool enough and then exploded into IDMC’s version of US gospel icon, Hezekiah Walker’s classic song ‘Power Belongs to God’. The temperature on stage and in the audience continued to soar to the high 90’s!
Another high point in the show was the special guest appearance of long time friend, UK based, and well known on the gospel scene Junior Robinson. His soulful tone was an instant hit with the audience.
The banter between John, Junior and the audience was hilarious and led to another pinnacle in the show as together they delivered a masterful version of Rev. Al Greens’ classic, ‘Let’s Stay Together’.
The IDMC classic ‘Victorious’ finished a perfect night of music. John and IDMC have set the bar very high for gospel music, in what is an award winning venue, and notably earning them a return there very soon…
Three o’clock saw the arrival of IDMC at the amazing City Gates Church in Ilford.
The gig which saw a selection of the choir, specifically sopranos Maulin, Shirley, and Genevieve, altos Wendy, Fabien, and Elaine and tenors Courtney and Alex join John Fisher to be a part of a top gospel music industry awards evening.
As the largest group performing, IDMC had the stage fully setup for their show, and sound checks went well.
The evening was a great celebration of the UK Gospel scene, recognising those who were producing music videos.
With a host of categories, all the nominees were worthy to be nominated and the winners were definitely top of their game.
After a long evening and with great performances from Evans Ogboi, and Sam Moore to name a few, IDMC took to the stage just after 10 o’clock as the closing act.
With an audience who were preparing to head home, John was still able to command their attention and created a party atmosphere as they laid down two of IDMC’s funkiest joints, ‘Victorious’ and ‘Soul Food’.Working from live backing tracks on this occasion the choir delivered with force, which gave the audience no choice but to join them and created a fitting end to a great show.
After a two hour evening flight, fifteen piece IDMC Gospel choir landed at Marco Polo airport in Venice. Assuming to be picked up by a couple of representatives from New Generation gospel choir…however this was not the case!
Once assembled and ready to depart choirmaster John hera
lded, “ You ready gang, here we go!” the choir were not ready for what was around the corner.
To their amazement, in waiting were thirty members of New Generation gospel choir with welcome banners singing and dancing to an African Gospel medley!
To be overwhelmed was an understatement! In shock and awe, IDMC that little old choir originating from South London stood there gobsmacked that after twenty three years, they could be welcomed to Italy in such a way as this!! AWESOME!
Parked outside was a fifty-three seater coach waiting to take choir members to their respective hosts homes where one was treated like royalty!
saw both IDMC and New Generation Gospel Choir come together for a workshop session led by both choir directors. The choirs were preparing the finale songs for the end of the concert.
The atmosphere was already amazing, the sound fantastic and the fellowship was lovely. Under the leadership of Federico F
e Fiorentin, New Generation gospel choir have always viewed IDMC as it’s mentor choir and sing a lot of John’s songs in their repertoire, hence the love for everything IDMC, and as a choir in their own right, they have an awesome sound.
Later on in the day the choirs moved to an amazing auditorium where the sold out gig was being held. The sound checks went well with the IDMC band, which was MD’d by Andre and included legendary UK gospel bass player Steve Yarde, and one of the UK’s top female keyboardists Sharlene Llewellyn which created an tremendous sound.
At opening time, the doors let in a massive sea of people and the venue was flooded real quick. New Generation choir were first to hit the stage and set the foundation for the evening and they were excellent. With a very strong vocal sound and fantastic band, Federico’s vocal was on point and his skill of leading his choir was fantastic.
Next to rapturous applause came IDMC. John hadn’t yet got his Italian together, so a slow English speaking voice had to be the order of the day, but honestly speaking, it wasn’t about what John had said, but more about what IDMC would deliver.
From the opening song and throughout the set, IDMC were able to translate Gods’ message by delivering passion through their song set. They sang, danced and clapped, and the audience responded in the same way.
People were in tears as IDMC worked their way through the passion on ‘Love’
medley, which showed the UK singers that their message was getting through.
The finale was off the chain with both choirs coming together to lift the roof. IDMC’s now classic ‘Victorious’ is the much-loved song doing the circuit in Europe. It was an astonishing end to a great show.
The third and final day of the Italy tour saw both choirs on a day out together in the romantic city of Venice. It allowed the team to enjoy a beautiful time, touring the city, having a ride in a gondola and even singing on the roof of a shopping mall! A totally perfect day, although this made the end journey to the airport and the final goodbye so very difficult.
The bond that had been built up over such a short time has guaranteed a return trip to Venice in 2018.
This four-day excursion began with John and MD and second son Dayna traveling to Munich.
Met by our German cousin and John’s namesake Svenja Fischer, the beautiful day was spent in town, where a great meal was enjoyed, and talks about the weekends program (which was looking great) took place.
saw the crazy gang (yes IDMC lol) join John and Dayna in Munich to get the party started!
Upon arrival there was a lovely fellowship meal together with the members of Gospel & Soul choir, after which the guys settled in for a restful night.
At the commencement of Day 3
, it was time to prepare both choirs and come together for the morning workshops and rehearsals.
Svenja spent a long time in the UK studying and joined and became a member of IDMC in 2010 for 18 months where she both toured and recorded. In this time her vision became clear and she established, developed and lead her own choir back in Germany, therefore it came as an honour to share time and passion with a wonderful set of people who really honor and revere IDMC.
The venue looked beautiful, a 500-seater church in Parkstadt Munich. The choirs spent the morning going through the finale where they would unite to perform a few of IDMC’s songs.
With a good amount of free time, the members of IDMC were taken out into the town by the host choir members and enjoyed visiting sights, a bit of shopping and relaxation.
While the team were out production manager Andre Charles worked alongside the technical team to ensure the sound for the night was correct, after all it was yet another sold out show! (wink, wink).
The sound checks went well and both choirs went through their paces. There was a moment in IDMC’s preparation where the choir were going through a few songs and John was picking the choir up on some technical points to make the sound even tighter, it was then noticed that the host choir stopped in their tracks to just sit and observe IDMC’s rehearsal.
Many of the members of Gospel & Soul were in tears as IDMC sang the ‘Love medley’. You could literally cut the atmosphere with a knife.
Doors opened at 7:00pm and the audience came in, around 45 minutes later every seat was taken and there was just about standing room!
Gospel and Soul began the evening with a collection of great gospel covers. The choir is only a few years old, but have a very mature sound already.
The IDMC family made a rapid costume change so they could be in full support from the start of Gospel & Soul’s set, and made sure that their new friends knew they were there in support.
Without a break, IDMC took to the stage 50 minutes later. The sense of anticipation was very evident. John took the expectant Munich audience on a gospel musical journey, which took them through praise and worship to gospel joy, with dancing, clapping their hands and singing along with the choir.
With our host choir singing along with IDMC the vibe was awesome, and then came the finale where both choirs filled the stage.
The audience didn’t know what to do with themselves as the choirs lifted the roof with the sound of full high-octane gospel singing – another incredible night.
Sunday morning saw the team at Church of the Ascension in Untergiesing – Harlaching. A beautiful service saw IDMC minister a few of its worship songs for the service and also creating a Pentecostal praise session, but the audience were not allowed to clap
The afternoon progressed into IDMC and Gospel & Soul relaxing and enjoying a wonderful meal together including a massive sing-song in the traditional German pub before leaving for the airport.
Another remarkable weekend with so many highs, John and the choir were once again overwhelmed by the love demonstrated by a group of strangers where the only thing they had in common was the love of God and gospel music.
Well, John and the South London IDMC Crew showed their passports at London Bridge, and headed North, while Rhoda Morson and Chloe came in from the West and Nathan from the East and we all converged on NTCG Cathedral Of Praise, Woodgreen for their monthly Praise night.
Numbers wise at the start was quiet but as the sun went down the numbers swelled to make a good-sized attendance.
Sound checks went well with the IDMC team working things out, and the band settling in, a few hitches but nothing Howard the house engineer and former engineer for IDMC couldn’t handle
The evening opened with the resident praise team lead be sis Brenda Emmanuel handling things, and they were really good, creating a great atmosphere.
With the praise team, Albert Brown and Sister Angie creating and setting a Caribbean feel to the whole night, i have to admit, i was struggling with what we were going to present. It was made even worse in a good way when, in the midst of Sis. Angie’s set, see went into an old school Jamaican gospel medley, which had the old mothers kicking off their shoes and doing a gospel reggae train around the building. It was brilliant to see, but gave me things to ponder, but you know i got the booking a month before and God gave me the set list 2 days after, so we stuck to the script.
IDMC took to the stage with Maulin, Shirley & Chloe in Soprano, Rhoda Morson and Jo in Alto and Courtney and Nathan in the tenor section, and didn’t they do well. Big props to Jo Bega, who had to learn the alto parts to some of the songs in sound check.
Our song set included, Welcome in this place (Power praise classic), Sacrifice of Praise (IDMC original) This is my desire (Hillsong) as a foundation to the set, laying a warm rug for God to be relaxed as the church erupted in worship. This led to IDMC’s version of “It is to you” the Duke Kerr/ Remmission classic worship song, but with a dose of Red Bull. The vibe was great with the audience responding and getting their praise on. The set was completed with 2 more John Fisher originals, “Cry” which was masterfully delivered by long time member Rhoda.. and “Don’t lose your song” which is going to be a massive 2012 song for the choir.
With a brand new band led by John’s first son Andre and including Enoch & Matt Smith on Keys, Aaron Forbes on Guitar and second son Dayna on bass, the guys provided the right vibe behind the choir. I understand that Matt had a bit of a struggle with the Hammond organ that stopped working, and Aaron broke a string, well guys, i didn’t notice, and the shows me that you manz have got skills.
The choir was well received, and were well looked after.
IDMC look like having a ball this year as they cook up a menu of mouth-watering performances around the UK, make sure you reach one of our shows and feast on some musical delights this year
Big Love Always.. Jofish…