When I first heard of him I was living in England at the time. I was going through a difficult time, discovering who I really was.
But I was also experiencing new friendships in a totally different environment compared to where I grew up. It is important I tell you about the setting as you will understand how much this meant for me.
In those days I discovered the calming sounds of gospel music which told me of peace, of Jesus, telling me about Him calming the storm. It calmed the storm within my heart and made me look around me and reach out so I could make friends that wanted the best for me. They became my real friends.
I had a nice room in Old Hall then, got everything I wanted and needed, like that huge radiator in my room in winter and Lord Nelson, my three-legged hamster to keep me company. From my first wages I bought a nice stereo set with a CD-player (a luxury in those days) and it still had a solid record player.
As I couldn’t afford any new CD’s from HMV’s anymore having spent all my money on the Sony set I went off to the city on my push-bike, down Kett’s Hill, left on the roundabout to that second hand record store somewhere in Norwich to buy my first record.
Browsing through the dusty old records, some of them had seen better days, I picked up this particular one -Listen to the peace- by Adrian Snell. Boy do I need peace I thought when I looked at it deciding if it was still good enough for a first record and I impulsively decided to look no further and buy it. And back ‘hum’ on my bicycle I went.
It was then that I became a huge fan of Adrian Snell’s music, his words spoke directly to my heart and I started to love his songs and bought more records (Fireflake, Alpha & Omega and more) and later I collected his CD’s.
Yesterday Christa and I went to one of his concerts and it was as perfect as this first album I bought in that second hand store in Norwich. We had front row seats and I took a few photographs of him and his daughter Carla Jae who accompanied him and also sang beautifully.
(Click on thumbnails for larger photos, all photos copyright © Leendert van Gemeren)
And Adrian, if you read this: thank you. Thanks for all your music throughout the decades of my life, from when I needed to be saved til today and have been safe for years now. Thank you.