Steve and Tom meet at a Summer Camp in the New Forest, England. A mutual love of Jesus and guitar solos results in friendship being struck and the tentative formation of a band.
The rest of the year is spent not rehearsing for potential gigs in their local area, under the name ‘Icthus’, with a group of like-minded friends. First ever gig takes place in Portsmouth, England in November
Tom starts learning guitar and thus, begins writing songs
Concerts continue with an ever rotating rostrum of musicians
Cath Szymanski (nee Slattery) joins on keyboards and vocals
More songs written; recording begins in Steve’s bedroom studio for what will (eventually) become the first album
Gigs continue in the Hampshire/Dorset area testing out the first fruits of songwriting...
After a short discussion and a cup of tea, the band becomes ‘Crossbeam’, and the ride begins!
The very tall Pete Reeves joins on bass and Tom has to be persuaded against the uncool thing of being a singing drummer. Therefore, a year of guesting drummers of near Spinal Tap-esque proportions commences
The first ‘Crossbeam’ gig takes place at Romsey Baptist Church, Hampshire, England in October
Writing and recording continues
Crossbeam are invited on their first ‘overseas’ adventure to lead worship at a young people’s retreat on the Isle of Wight
The first album ‘Love to Live’ is released on Easter Sunday at the Celebrate Conference in Ilfracombe, Devon, England
Gigs continue around the South Coast, with Dan Ruddy briefly joining on rhythm guitar and Salv Lomanto guesting on drums. These gigs include the first live appearances of songs from ‘Love to Live’, particularly ‘You Are My God’ and ‘Tender Smile’
Towards the end of the year, work begins on the follow-up album...
Throughout the year, writing and recording continues...
Meanwhile, during the summer, Tom meets Liam while they are both youth workers in St Albans, North London, England. A mutual love of Jesus and pseudo-70s glam rock provide the impetus for Liam to join the band in September
Liam suggests the absurdly talented Dan ‘Dougal’ McDougall to assume the vacant drum stool, ushering in a new era and a new sound
After some actual rehearsals, the first Crossbeam (ver. 2) gig takes place supporting Superhero at the Xplosion03 festival in St Albans in November, with Ben Nichols guesting on keys and the next chapter begins...
Crossbeam’s second album ‘All I Believe Is You’ is released on Easter Sunday, again at the Celebrate Conference. The album is a collection of original material and specially requested worship songs featured in the band’s live set
During the summer, Pete moves on to pastures new and Stu Taylor joins on bass
This year also marks several firsts for the band:
- First of four appearances as main concert band at the Celebrate Conference, Devon;
- First of several appearances at the Bright Lights Festival, St Albans;
- First of several appearances at the Spirit in the City Festival, Soho Square, London;
- First use of Christmas lights as stage decoration
This year, eagle-eyed fans could also get their hands on a copy of the limited edition, now heavily sought-after Crossbeam Chord & Songbook; it is rumoured to change hands for a matter of pounds amongst hardcore collectors
The band make a return visit to Romsey Baptist Church, the venue of their first gig, which also heralds the limited edition release of ‘I Have An Idea: Vol. 1’ – Liam and Tom muddling their way through acoustic renditions of Crossbeam songs. Vol. 2 has yet to appear...
With the advantage of a full band, the band re-record and re-release the songs from the first album ‘Love to Live’, under the imaginative title: ‘Love to Live: Again’
Newly written songs are given their first airing during gigs this year, including future live favourites ‘Everything’ and ‘Key To My Heart’
Work begins on an album of new material
A hectic touring schedule during the summer includes the band’s first ventures to the North (Halifax) and the East (Norfolk), and the first appearance at the Firm Foundations Festival in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
This year also sees the band playing further afield – outside of Christian festivals and events – and venturing into the pub circuit around London.
The album ‘Home’ is released on a limited promotional run during the summer – the first album of all new material since ‘Love to Live’ – introducing concert goers to the songs that will play a huge part in the band’s sets over the coming two years
In June, Steve and Cath are married.
The band are invited to the prestigious CampFest in Slovakia. Unfortunately, they are a man down following one particular guitarist’s failed attempts at finding his passport – but the rest of the band have a great time. Guitar tech Dave Slattery Jnr. comes in Liam’s place.
Tom and Steve also play a number of acoustic spots around the South Coast, including a support slot for Cathy Burton.
This year sees Stu’s final gig with the band, at the Xplosion06 Festival in Hertfordshire
2007 is very much the year of the regional bass players.
In January, rehearsals begin for a new album, introducing Si Francis to the band on bass
In March, a gig in Hastings supporting Superhero marks the first appearance of Gary Sankey on bass.
April sees the band coming second in the ‘Ultimate Showcase’, a national television competition hosted and televised by GodTV. This TV appearance marks Phil Le Cheminant's debut on keys.
The album ‘A Time for Everything’ (featuring Si Francis on bass) is recorded from February-April, mixed by Paul Burton, and released, once again, at the Celebrate Conference at Easter, accompanied by a concert at the conference.
In August, Liam is married to Lisa.
Concerts continue throughout the summer, taking the new songs out on the road. This includes an appearance at the Soul Survivor Festival in Shepton Mallet.
In October, Steve, Phil, Si and Dougal provide the backing band for Tim Light's 'Resounding' album, produced and mixed by Phil.
The band gig steadily throughout the year, including an Easter Sunday show in Southampton, and a gig in Bristol. Steve and Tom (T9) also play an acoustic support slot for Audio1.
In July, the band play again at the Bright Lights festival, alongside YFriday and Matt Maher.
In June, Crossbeam make a fourth appearance at Spirit in the City, in the heart of Central London, Leicester Square, which marks the first appearance of Tom Burgess behind the drum kit
The band take the rest of the year off, to recharge, write, pray and see where they are being led next...
Phil appears on Godfrey Birtill's 'Hijacked Into Paradise' album, playing keys and designing the album artwork. Steve provides live sound for the event.
In May, the first Crossbeam gig in 11 months takes place in Hendon, North London, with Tom Pugh guesting on drums.
3 new songs are unveiled during a gig at Southampton Central Hall at the end of May.
Ben Nichols guests with the band on keys at Spirit in the City, Leicester Square in June, notable for the fact that in the audience was a dog wearing sunglasses.
Towards the summer, hearts and minds turn to a new album and rehearsals and recording begins in mid-August – the first album of all new material for five years.
Liam plays his final UK Crossbeam gig in Balham, London on September 25th. The occasion is marked by the unexpected almost-destruction of a specially crafted Fender Strat copy. Also, another new song, ‘Catch the Flame’ is played for the first time.
Dan ‘Dougal’ McDougall and Liam play their final gig with Crossbeam in Soest, Germany, on October 2nd. The gig is also notable for an 18 minute rendition of ‘Coming Home’ including a Gospel-breakdown to mark the end of an era... Fittingly (and purely the work of the Spirit), the last song played during the final encore is 'You are My God' - the first song Liam and Dougal ever played live with the band in 2003.
Tom Burgess officially takes over the drum stool.
Crossbeam lead worship at the Southampton Celebrate Weekend conference. During the same month, three and a half years after its release, ‘A Time for Everything’ receives a 9/10 Crossrhythms review.
This year, Godfrey Birtill's 'Ring Out Wild Bells' is released, featuring Phil on keys and Steve on lead guitar.
Work continues on the new album, now titled ‘Wake Up Call’
In February, the band play a gig entitled ‘Go For Launch’ at Southampton Central Hall, premiering songs from the forthcoming album.
In May, Gary and Tom play three acoustic dates in London, Essex and the Isle of Wight as part of the ‘Heart Gives Unto Heart’ Roadshow. The bill includes Charley Pinfold, Fr Stan Fortuna and Ooberfuse.
In July, the band are invited back to the Bright Lights festival, taking place at the Friars in Kent. Gary and Tom also premiere ‘There is Another Way’ from the forthcoming album at an acoustic gig in St Albans later in the month.
In August, Tom is married to Emma.
Crossbeam debut more new songs at Catholic Underground London in September.
‘Wake Up Call’ – Crossbeam’s first album for five years, and the first to feature Gary Sankey and Tom Burgess – is unleashed on the world on Easter Sunday at... you guessed it: the Celebrate Conference, Devon. Mixed again by Paul Burton and produced by the band, it is also the first time a new Crossbeam release has debuted as an online download.
The album features Ronan and Joanne Johnston on backing vocals and a bespoke ‘Christmas Choir’ on a number of the tracks. Response to the album is extremely positive, including a 4/5 review on louderthanthemusic.com.
The band plays two concerts to highlight the new release – first, a return to Southampton Central Hall in April, where some of the songs from the new album are played for the very first time; the second, a return to Jugendkirche, Soest, Germany at the beginning of May.
The Germany gig is notable for the band’s number being depleted somewhat by passport issues and illness; but, the show goes on as a four-piece with Ricky Whelan guesting on bass.
While Steve and Phil take a well-earned holiday, the one-off band ‘Verticalbeam’ forms for a unique appearance at the ‘Spirit in the City’ Festival, which takes place at the newly refurbished Leicester Square in June. The line-up for the day features Ben Nichols on keys and Eden Shadow’s Ryan Elliott on guitar.
Crossbeam’s last gig of 2012 takes place in Plymouth at the end of June, and the band continue writing new material over the summer and for the rest of the year.
Towards the end of the year, Tim Light's 'Even Greater Things' album is released, featuring 'Seasons' and 'Step Out', co-written with Tom (T9) and Ben Ord. Tom also provides backing vocals and vocals on a number of tracks.
The end of the year proves not to be the end of the world as some might have us believe, but does mark the departure of Gary Sankey from the band to new endeavours.
At the beginning of the year, Crossbeam rehearse new songs and welcome new bass player, Gary Blackman.
On March 23rd, Crossbeam play for the third time at the newly relocated Catholic Underground London in Soho Square, introducing new songs ‘Seasons’ (written with worship songwriters Tim Light and Ben Ord), and ‘Still Running’ (written with Ricky Whelan the previous summer). This marks the first gig with Gary B.
On April 3rd, Crossbeam make a return appearance at the Celebrate Conference, Ilfracombe, playing a set in the bar. The gig marks a ‘one-night-only’ reunion with Liam who shows off his rap skills during ‘Coming Home’. Also, Anna McDougall and Eliz Cooke contribute backing vocals and Will Wells has his trombone up his sleeve to add to the praise party atmosphere.
Writing continues during the year and into the summer...
In August Steve, Phil and Tom play an acoustic worship evening in Christchurch, Dorset. The evening sees the band play acoustic arrangements of songs from the Crossbeam archive, alongside hymns old and new, and the public debut of two new songs, 'Arise' and 'You Are There', which were written with worship songwriter Tim Light the previous weekend. The band are joined by special guest Jacob Knight on percussion.
'Arise' is later recorded live at the Celebrate Southampton conference in September and made available as a free download.
In May, Steve, Phil and Tom (T9) return to Catholic Underground London for an acoustic worship evening. They are joined by special guest Ben Nichols on percussion and cajon.
At the beginning of the year, the band are invited to Festival Jota in Portugal which takes place in late July. An annual event for young Catholics, the band plays a very well received set and are later invited back to the Festival for 2015. In the words of the organisers, the band 'do not leave anyone indifferent'. The band take this as a compliment. The gig is notable for several reasons:
- It marks the debut appearance of Simon Burnett on bass;
- It is the first time Crossbeam have played in Portugal;
- Phil, Tom and Tom are interviewed for a Portuguese Catholic TV channel which surprisingly, goes quite well;
- A stuffed sheep contributes backing vocals;
- The band almost don't make it to Portugal at all, after leaving for the airport too late. Once the band arrive at the airport (30 mins after the flight is due to leave), they find that the plane hasn't left yet and they can sneak past the queuing passengers because they remember they have 'speedy' boarding. Miracles do happen, folks...
Towards the end of the year, thoughts begin to turn to a new album project. Watch this space...
In July, the band returns to Portugal to play again at Festival Jota. This year it takes place in sunny Faro. It is another well received set which includes a cover of Israel Houghton's 'You Are Good'. The band are joined by guest drummer Joe Connell and Tom (T9) guests with Portuguese band Xpression Cross. And the singing sheep makes a reappearance...
Once back in England, the band continue preparations for their new album, to be recorded live at the Freedom Centre, Jersey on Friday August 21st.
Catherine Szymanski (née Slattery) (keys and vocals 1999 – 2005)
Ben Nichols (drums and keys 1998 – 2003; sessions 2004; percussion 2014)
Peter Reeves-Toy (bass 2001 – 2004)
Salv Lomanto (guest drummer 2002)
Dan Ruddy (guitar 2002)
Laura Sheasby (guest keys 2005 – 2006)
Laura Olden (guest keys 2005)
Stu Taylor (bass 2004 – 2006)
Si Francis (bass 2007)
Ben Smith (guest drummer 2007 – 2008)
Tom Lockley (guest drummer 2009)
Dan ‘Dougal’ McDougall (drums/trumpet/multi-talents 2003 – 2010)
Liam Lynch (guitar/lynchpin 2003 – 2010)
Ricky Whelan (guest bass 2012)
Gary Sankey (bass guitar/solid rock 2007 – 2012)
Jacob Knight (guest percussion 2013)
Gary Blackman (guest bassist 2013)
Joe Connell (guest drummer 2015)