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A youth band with a difference

Gospel is the way to go for aspiring rock band

Gospel band 'Messengers' performing in Kolkata. Peter Gomes is holding the microphone Gospel band 'Messengers' performing in Kolkata. Peter Gomes is holding the microphone
  • Julian Das, Kolkata
  • India
  • May 23, 2011
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Messengers, as the name suggests, is a youth rock band which presents modern songs based on gospel themes.

“We were used to singing secular songs under the name of ‘Illusion’ until we got an invitation to sing at a gospel meet in January 2010,” explained Peter Gomes, who initiated the youth gospel band.

After that performance we changed the name of the band to ‘Messengers’ and started spreading the gospel through music and songs.

“Modern day youth likes pop and rock and we thought why not give them what they like but in our own way,” said Gomes, who is also the vocalist and keyboard player in the band.

The band has 12 members - three girls and nine boys - from eight parishes of the Calcutta archdiocese.

"Most of the time we sing songs based on the theme of the youth umbrella organization Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM). In 2010, the band performed some 20 times on the ICYM theme of ‘transformed by faith,’ Gomes said.

He said the group had composed two original songs but improvised other traditional devotional songs in rock or pop style.

“The response we get from the audience is amazing, and when we are on stage and sing gospel themes, we feel the difference,” he added.

West Bengal regional youth director Father Sukumar Sarkar said he guided the band members and helped them launch their first audio album, The Messengers in February 2011.

“The effort of the youth to form a gospel band was incredible,” he said.

The band is an inspiration to the youth of the region and it has been appreciated nationally and internationally, the priest added.

He said that due to his inspiring role in the band, Gomes has been invited to Denmark to provide exposure to a gospel band.

The band also plans a regular evening of gospel singing, preaching and counseling for local young people and anyone else in the neighboring areas.

Paul Mondol, another member of the group, said that only he and Gomes of the earlier band were left after they decided to perform only gospel themes.

“Performing in a gospel band was a touching spiritual experience,” the 21-year-old commerce student said.

Mondol, who plays guitar in the band, said “earlier not many people knew us but after we started performing songs based on gospel, people have started inviting us for concerts.”

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