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Spiritual growth?! | New purpose! | some history | loving Newsboys? | How came it?

Newsboys story | NB story continued | NB Germany connection ...NB Germany connection

Spiritual growth - a "hot" new issue?! :

every tribe / every tongue / every nationThat seems the issue of our time: spiritual growth! Since the Newsboys themselves as a band changed their ministry focus and activities over the years a bit it has become aware of the fans that this move was a blessed process. Their two "worship tinged" projects reflect that "growth" in a special way. I've already established a "message" section over here with "grace" (see header menu above!). Now it's time to develop it even more! I will add more resources for fans that can be used for personal bible study or for churches and youth groups. That will be topic and bible references charts and more collected bible studies and/or song reflections. If I got the time I will add some more "message" features in an nb-related way...

For me it was always clear that Newsboys rock for Jesus and are spiritual oriented. Most of their songs speak in an open way of the gospel so it's just a natural process to reflect that a bit more. That will be the great opportunity for this fan site project in the future. So keep watching this space and don't forget to give your feedback: How did NB songs and ministry affect or change your life? They did with mine! So what's up with your's? Just let us know!

...and: You may also visit our spiritual section called "grace" here on this project. There we've collected some NB bible studies and some other features ;-)

--David Decker, 2005-05-26 & 2005-06-09

New purpose for this "German Newsboys Page":

Once planned as an ultimate fan page experience it "crashed down" some years ago for several reasons. However, relaunching the site gives it a new purpose. Like its new title is saying it's an "archive" now! This means not so much in updates, no own news service and no own concert dates service. With the picture gallery comes another change: there won't be a big photo album any longer! We rather offer a few fine pictures from different eras in one or two small galleries. For all the die hard fans we have some other features enhanced: message board links, better chat interface, new guestbook in English language and lots of discography info for all Newsboys related stuff (most of that you won't find anywhere else!). And the best of all for you: it's all in English language now, the German parts are only playing the "second role".

We hope you like this new site and will us helping to promote it a bit and make its content even better (please report spelling/language mistakes!). Thanks for all your support in advance!

--David Decker, 2001-08-14

Some site history:

Yeah, this site is finally back. On March 3rd in 1998 it first started as "Newsboys - erste deutsche Newsboys Fan-Site / first German Fan-Site" [with its URL's http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/~dde/newsboys.htm and/or http://move.to/newsboys]. It was one of the first full enhanced fan sites for the band at all. What it made some kind of famous was its large picture section with about 500 different photos from the boys! There was also a newsletter and some other great fan-stuff. And it all started quite a buzz. Some fans in the U.S. spoke of it as "the mother of all sites" which I think is a great tribute of my work I even don't deserve… After my little bit of passion for the boys so many other fans came up and built sites all over the web. So Newsboys are one of the few christian acts worldwide with a wide range of fan pages right now.

I ran this "First German Fan-Site" over a year. The project used most of my time because I worked almost day and night for it in the beginning. This situation lasted about half a year and then there was big break. I began running out of time while focussing more on my study subjects at the university. Yes, in the end (spring 1999) it was like shutting down the whole thing but without deleting it from the server. The reason for that was also that I had not so much fun any longer with the whole Newsboys thing. It was like Newsboys here and there in my life and I couldn't take it any longer this way. So I stayed away from it for such a long time.

Now its still online since all these years and it will stay so. It's still like an archive and when you're there you can smile because of its childish design...

You may ask why a 23 year old guy loves the music of the Newsboys?

Good question, hehe ;-) But the answer is quite simple: I'm a fan of great hooklines, gentle melodies and big hits. And I'm a fan of wonderfully layered rock´n´roll. Newsboys do all that and even more. They provide one of the most inventive christian mainstream music. I love them for their funny but also serious lyrics, their decent Aussie accents and their always new touring ideas.

What should I say, it's a bit different here in Europe and Germany. In the United States the Newsboys (and Phil Joel as solo artist) are more remembered as artists in the christian mainstream pop genre with a fan base focussing strong on teenage girls and christian families... (don't make me mad about this statement... :-) Here in Europe Newsboys are remembered for their hard rocking live shows which they did a few in the 90s in various European countries (Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden). Their status here is some kind of an "alternative" band/music.

...and how did I came to listen to the Newsboys?

This story began in March 1993 when I got a tape from my cousin with the album "Not Ashamed" on it. My brother and I listened to it a bit and thought it was good pop/rock music. Then we didn't listen to it for some months but after a while I did check out the tape again and listened more carefully. Now I really loved what I heard. So a new Newsboys fan was born. At the same I checked out some promo article about the band in a German magazine from a christian music distributor here. This gave me some background and I could manage it all a bit better.

...and how got my Newsboys story developed after that?

Then we had already 1994 and I read that the "Going Public" album should came out at the end of the summer. So I ordered it at my bookstore. But the German distributor at this time was not able to deliver it right the way. So I had to wait until February of 1995! The very day I got this new album and first listened to it was just great. I loved this record from the beginning. It quickly became one of my all time favourites.

At the end of 1994 I already began translating Newsboys lyrics into German language that the fanbase here could better understand the band's messages. This work I continued on up to now.
In August of 1995 the band did their very first concert in Germany in the famous city Cologne. There were only about 100 (!) people there but it was one of the greatest gigs this year said the band. Painfully, I couldn't be there because I live at the other side of Germany and would have had a long way to Cologne which I couldn't manage at this time. Mmmh, beside this it was a real success because even some German mainstream media visited the event - the guys from music television VIVA were impressed by the guys and their cool music performances.
Also in this year I finally got the band's album "Not Ashamed" on CD format. And with this I also ordered the older stuff "Boys Will Be Boyz" and "Hell Is For Wimps" which really surprised me. I always thought it would be more "dancy" but this was real rock stuff from the 80s era - mainstream rock with an Aussie edge. But in the end I was just happy to have these albums.

Ok, at the beginning of 1996 "Take Me To Your Leader Came Out" and it was a whole new experience for me. I loved the rough sound of the album and its funny lyrics. Their sound was so creative I almost couldn't believe it.
Later that year I ordered their "old" video tape "Not Ashamed - The Video" which is a cool but not perfect output. The clips I think are creative but needed more and better production. The other stuff on the tape really made me laugh out loud - you will get in typical Newsboys mood!

In 1997 I heard and read that the Newsboys should come to Germany again to a big festival. Man was I glad! I was so happy all the months before the big event. When it took place it was really the greatest. Newsboys were the headliner of the evening and played a hard rocking show with a lot of songs from their "Take Me To Your Leader" record. It was Newsboys pure - without a big show, only some light effects and just the music. The crowd was so impressed I couldn't tell! They played after The World Wide Message Tribe which was Europe's biggest and best christian show act at this time, and what? They topped them! The band was very cool with their outfits and Peter surprised the crowd with the ballads played on his acoustic guitar! What was not so good was the notice that John James wasn't in the band! Some weeks after the gig I read that John James left the band and it was the first concert worldwide of the Newsboys with their new lineup! Until now I don't know which guy was the sixth man in the band (he had cool sunglasses) but they did play with six guys on stage!

Earlier in 1997 I finally got their first album "read all about it" after a long way of searching and ordering. It sounded not like I expected it to but I think it has a great sound if you remember this era in music bizz and their very own situation at this time. It's just a great debut for this band but not more! Also in the summer of that year I got their latest video up to this time, "Down Under The Big Top". Oh, that was a bit strange... I watched it with my brother a few times and we laughed out loud. It's so freaky and cute. You have to love it. And not to mention the two video clips at the end of it. Wow, fine stuff!! [Note: this video is hard to understand for us fellow German people because of its strong Aussie slang. To catch some of the jokes we really had (and have) a hard time...]
In the winter of 1997/1998 I started surfing the web extensively. From a computer magazine's article I got inspired to do a fan-site project for my favourite band the Newsboys. So in February of 1998 I began working on the pages and on March 3rd it started finally online. And the rest of that is history... [more see above]

Another big event in "my Newsboys year 1998" was their 3rd German live show! I heard of it in April and it was said to take place on August 1st. So this were months of joy and some work. I was glad they would come again for a single live show (no festival, but Newsboys the whole evening!) and worked out some promotions for them on my fan-site and so on... It all went very well and even better than I imagined. I managed it to take part in the press conference with the Newsboys which meant to meet them face to face...
This press conference took place after the soundcheck and before the show and I got to met Peter, Phil and Jeff. I talked a bit to Peter about my site and so on then we went into this special room. Then some people asked the standard questions and the three boys telled us a lot. They were in a good mood despite the hard journey they had this day to Germany. Ok, after a while I asked some kind of more "fan questions" and the boys really freaked out. No one had expected it (my questioning this way) but it was fun.
After that a support act called "on a mission" launched the show with a cool funk rock outfit. (Now they're big in Germany!) Then the boys entered stage and offered their happy music. There were about 2,000 people in the crowd this evening. They really rocked the house and the crowd went crazy. This time they played a bit more of dance rock sound (not so hard rock like in fall of 1997 in Germany) - also considered as the set list of the "Step Up To The Microphone Tour" in the fall of 1998 ;-)

In the summer of 1998 I finally got the "Entertaining Angels" maxi single which I absolutely loved (and love!). What a great new sound and two freaky remixes! "Entertaining angels" soon became one of my favourite Newsboys songs of all time. At the August gig I got the new "Step Up To The Microphone" album for free and really loved it. I only need to say "WooHoo", "Deep End" and "Always" and you know what it is all about.
What it made all really phat was the release of their live video "Newsboys Live - One Night In Pennsylvania". This is the thing fans waited for for a long time. It always remembers us that Newsboys do... do rock!

After that it became quieter ever more. I laid back fan-site activities and also from Newsboys town there were not so much news. They reported a new album for the end of 1999 but that seemed all to me. So I waited for this new release. After hearing the title cut some weeks before I really did freak out! Wow, they went disco again and this in 1999! They already made the 80s revival which was to get real big two years later! Any time I hear this song I can't help but smile! And the album around this cut is also worth checking out. They sharpened their songwriting skills again. Great songs with handmade disco pop.

What should I say, the band quite surprised me with their Y2k offering "shine the hits". Not only a great collection with the right "best-of" songs searched out but also five new tracks all in all. The three new studio cuts are some of their best songs yet! The "Mega-Mix" is really funny and entertaining. And then we finally got TobyMac rapping again and then first in a Newsboys song. Sounds really crazy, hey! But they did a good job on it and as final word you could say: the best christian best-of record from the year 2000! Yes, eealier this year we had Phil Joel jumping out with his solo debut. This album is a real winner in every way. Great songwriting, fresh arrangements and honest lyrics. Phil seems to have a bright future.

What is some kind of a painful experience is the German distribution situation for Jody Davis' new solo effort: up to this time we still have no company managing to get his album available over here! So I had to get the music from audiogalaxy.com and the lyrics I found on the web. I think it's a great album but one have to listen to it a few times more. He is a blessed guitar player and songwriter. He really should do more of that. Maybe they arrange to change labels because I wonder how Jody is not on inpop since it's Peter's and Wes' own label?!

So, what's about now? We just have to wait for the new albums. Yes, albums! Phil Joel is preparing his second solo effort and the whole band is already recording a new album. Let's see what the Newsboys future brings out for us... ;-)

What I'm dreaming of with the Newsboys is that they might release a live album and a true remix album (classic Euro dance format...) one day. That would really be the greatest ;-))

Some dreams aside other ones became reality: Newsboys came back to Europe in 2001 and 2002. In 2001 they played the recently established 'Winter Wonder Rock' festival in the Netherlands only to go to Germany one day later. Here they played a show at the very popular 'Christmas Rock Night' festival in Ennepetal. In 2002 they played the famous Flevo Festival in the Netherlands after a eight year hiatus!

--David Decker, 2001-08-14 & 2002-01-30 & 2005-06-08

My NB story continued:

Oh fellow fan site readers A LOT of things changed since I last messed up with this place here... Most of the above is reality for a few years now. So let's get some memories so far:

When "Thrive" came out I was absolutely happy. What a great funny and deep record! It was unbelieveable they got Steve Taylor back for most of the songs and even producing again. Songs like "John Woo", "Live In Stereo" or "The Fad Of The Land" are hilarious! Then, still in the same year, they released a book, a DVD and a long awaited remix project. This book was really a surprise with its fascinating take on issues of the christian faith in daily life. Wow, that Thrive DVD is a big winner when it comes to playing time and bonus stuff. The live performance is top notch but I still prefer ONIP over it... Ok, the remix album is a special one - with good takes and even bad takes on some of their best original songs. I wished the band would had the full creative control but Sparrow Records managed most of that special "product". I hoped for more popular remixers ...but this hope is still alive - for the next one in some years maybe... If that wasn't enough NB stuff in 2002 Phil Joel got his second project released through inpop Records. "Bring It On" was a more rough output than its predecessor but absolutely loveable. Produced by Joe Baldridge it had some good radio hits and is spiritually grounded in the process of a growing faith.

In 2003 the "Adoration" album got released. The cover art and package design really got me freaked out because it was so cool and this was "my" style. When I listened to the music for the first time I was a bit shocked I just expected totally other things... After getting ground under my feet again the project began to grow on me. I was at very sad time in my life so these little spiritual songs helped me not to give up my faith in God. It was the lyrics and these simple melodies that I really fell in love with. Songs like "In Christ Alone" I've already known from the 'New Irish Hymns' project but just developed them again - with my heart! "Devotion" later touched me in the same way but a little bit more optimistic. That is strange with me since the music has a more melancholic feel to it I think. It's great to hear Steve Taylor back in bandwagon; songs like "The Orphan" and "Landslide Of Love" are wonderful. The cover versions of Matt Redman and Tim Hughes really spoke to me with their lyrics. And, Newsboys did all these in their original sound which really fits to this art.

When I heard all the controversy with Sparrow in the last months it made me very angry about that industry thing. Regarding this issue I think Steve Camp is right with his 107 theses back in 1997. But that's another story... Ok, I really freaked out again when I read about their signing to inpop Records. Now they've finally find their home! We've got to expect great things to come from that liaison. May God bless this (and us) all!

After getting the inpop contract done they even found the time to come back to Europe again. So in May of 2005 they appeared at the 'Himmelfahrt Festival 2005' in Wustenrot (near Stuttgart). It was their first show over here with new guitar player Bryan Olesen. Casting Pearls, Bryan's other band, was also invited. They played a great show on the second stage which really got the attention of the crowd and all these media people out there. So they obviously got their ticket to conquer Germany in years to come... Later that month Newsboys headed over to the UK again and played two impressive gigs Cardiff and Alton Towers. In between these two dates they played their first ever concert in Switzerland! The swiss people really went crazy about the Boys when they did their set at the 'ICF Celebrationhall' in Zurich.

--David Decker, 2005-05-26 & 2005-06-08

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