Rend Collective Experiment Explained

Rend Collective, previously known as the Rend Collective Experiment, is a Northern Irish, Christian experimental, worship and folk-rock band. They originate from Bangor, Northern Ireland. The group consists of:

Gareth Gilkeson; Band leader and drummer
Chris Llewelly: Lead vocals and guitars
Ali Gilkeson: Percussion and keys
Patrick Thompson: Plays electric/lead guitar and other stringed instruments. 
(Former members of the band include Bridget and Will Heron).

The bands’ first studio album was titled "Organic Family Hymnalwas" - released 28th September, 2010. Their second studio album titled, "Homemade Worship by Handmade People", was released on 10th January, 2012. Both albums were produced by Kingsway (formerly Pilgrim Records - for those of us familiar with 1970s and 1980s gospel music in N.Ireland).

The band progressed their music career by releasing their first live (and third) album on 29th January, 2013 - titled "Campfire" (or Rend Collective Experiment Campfire). The "Art of Celebration" became their fourth album and was released on 14th March, 2014. 


Rend Collective was established between 2002 and 2003. Gareth Gilkeson described this particular point in their lives as "the time we were trying to figure ourselves out". Even though they consist of some 15 members, at any one time only 6 members will go on a Rend Collective Experiment Tour and record Christian worship songs together. The other members are there purely for spiritual support and encouragement. Those remaining also provide input on the type of music they produce and the future direction of the band. 

Rend Collective Experiment have stressed on numerous occasions the hostility they endure in an increasingly secular world. This is one of the reasons they create Christian songs that provide guidance and spiritual encouragement. In essence, they want their music to bring ever more people closer to the Church. 

Uniquely, the name "Rend Collective Experiment" suggests a collective all gospel lyrics approach. Added to this is their unique blend of folk-rock. This enables them to remain at-all-times-spiritual, yet employ a popular musical genre that attracts a wide audience. The group was formed by a number of friends who were struggling to deal with all of the pressures of the 21st Century. They were "highly confused" and desperately trying to find "enlightenment". This is what led them to gospel music. They started by recording in churches till they found a record label to produce their music.

Rend Collective are more like a family than a band. They want the world to recognise their music as organic worship, and an honest and natural connection to God. In a world that is full of "artificial" musicians, many gospel music fans find Rend Collective original and authentic. They strive to create a platform where the individual can enjoy the freedom to express their spirituality.

Since forming back in 2004, Rend Collective has been on a "road to discovery". They formed from a group of confused young people trying to find their spirituality. They experienced the need to create and write songs with lyrics that echo the love and blessings of God. And now, due to their gospel music achievements, they've gained acclaim across Northern Ireland and the rest of the gospel music world. Now they seek more people to become part of their Rend Collective experience. So why not join them?

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