Introducing Film Maker Pip Piper

One of my favourite mornings of 2017 so far was spent having brunch with Pip Piper. Pip is a Brum based film maker (with an imdb profile and everything), and I knew a bit of his story already. However, I’d never properly picked his brains before- and what brains they were to pick! I was hugely impressed…

When Bad Things Happen To Bad People (And We Enjoy Watching)

Earlier this year, Richard Spencer was punched in the head whilst being interviewed at the Trump inauguration in Washington DC. The clip soon went viral, with a number of people praising the attack and circulating musical remixes, among them rapper Killer Mike and comedian Tim Heidecker. For those who were aware of Spencer’s status as the…

An Interview With Author Mike French

When I first started sniffing around for artists in our particular network of churches in 2012, it was pretty tricky to find artists in any discipline who were making work that would be viewed as credible outside the church. When it came to fiction writers, this scarcity was most pronounced. A few children’s authors slowly crept…

Tim Keller and Christian Realism

As Christians are we supposed to be optimists or pessimists? Obviously, we’d all want to be realists, but unless we assume complete omniscience, we’re probably not the best judge of whether that title is suited to us!  My church background (charismatic evangelicalism) is largely quite optimistic in tone, although precise theological stances on what we can expect in…

Introducing The All New Mellor Band Classification System

Last week, I started sharing some thoughts about live music, and the importance of practising. Rocket science it was not. Today, I want to delve a bit deeper, giving both challenges and encouragement. To kick things off, I have crafted a hugely deficient classification of all live bands in the world, placing them neatly into…

Practice Makes Passable

One of the features of the coming year for Sputnik’s Birmingham Hub is going to be our ongoing but closer relationship with Impact. Impact is run by Oasis Church Birmingham and is dedicated to promoting Birmingham’s vibrant music scene. It’s essentially local church-as-live music promoter, and it has functioned so far by organising regular live…

To Make Others Happy Through Music

Easter holidays beckoning, todolist sufficiently shrunk, I sat down this morning to finally read Tim Keller’s ‘Every Good Endeavour’. Haven’t even made it to the foreword yet, because of the opening quote… During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller,…

New Art From The Network

Andy Crouch, in his excellent book Culture Making, listed different ways in which Christians respond to culture. Sometimes we condemn, sometimes we copy, sometimes we critique and sometimes we just consume. However, he encouraged us to adopt another ‘c’ as our primary posture towards culture. We should create! Well, today I wanted to focus on some of the…

Jemma Mellor will be Leading Our Intern Team!

  In September, we’re hoping to start out first ever Sputnik Intern Scheme. You may have heard of this already, this may be new to you, but just to bring us all up to speed, we thought we’d get Jemma Mellor, who’ll be leading the intern team to explain the plan. Hello Jemma, tell us a…

Brum Sputnik Hub Review: Learning to Collaborate Well

At our Brum Sputnik Hub gathering before Christmas, we set a project for us all to sink our teeth into. Sitting around talking about our work is worthwhile, but it’s also good to actually make some new work together sometimes. Therefore we initiated ‘The Future Project’. This is the brief: create a piece of work…

Reading and Writing (The Second Bit)

In the first part of this mini-series I explored something of how reading can connect us into earlier writers, who may well be making their own contribution to a conversation that has been going on for a while. In this second and concluding part I want to consider how we can make use of that…

Reading & Writing (The First Bit)

My artistic practice (and yes, I can just about write that without laughing myself off my chair) depends on two things: reading and writing. Reading, because what I write is connected with what has gone before, and writing, well, because I mainly write. (And before you filmmakers, musicians and visual artists turn off, you can…