One of my favourite discoveries on the UK festival circuit this year was Oh My God, It’s The Church! I’d heard good things about them from friends in summer 2016, and knew I must get myself to a service as soon as possible. Sadly for me I missed them at Glastonbury, sometimes that just happens at festivals when you’re trying to go with the flow! So when Bestival came around there was no way I would miss them again. Not even slightly exaggerating when I say they blew the roof off the Big Top, I was right at the front dancing away and I lost myself in the sermon.
Post-Bestival I knew I just had to get in contact and ask for an interview, and to my luck the Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson was more than obliged to speak to me! I’m extra excited as I get to see them live again this week on their Seven Deadly Sins tour at the Oslo in Hackney (there’s a few tickets still available, grab some here)
Oh My God, It’s The Church – interview
Hello Reverend! Tell me about OMG It’s the Church! What’s your story?
Well, it all started many years ago when I was little more than child. I’d grown up in a convent but at some point the nuns decided it was time for me to leave, because my inquisitive and mischievous nature was ‘distracting for the other children and upsetting the delicate temperament of the older nuns’ – Like for example when I set Sister Mary Catherine’s skirts on fire whilst trying to recreate the story of the burning bush…” – They got really upset about that.
So after they kicked me out, I decided to start my own Church which encouraged people’s mischievous spirits, and accepted people of all faiths and backgrounds. Along the way I picked up my merry band of Bible Geeks and Jesus freaks who travel the world with me in Oh my God! It’s The Church – turning sinning into winning, turning pain into cocaine, and transforming regret and hesitation into Kentucky Fried Salvation!
We’re the Church of the People, and our Holy Spirit is Absinthe.
Who exactly IS Sexy Jesus?
Our Sexy Saviour! Our Lusty Lord! Imagine if David Ginola and the twins from FunHouse had a baby and it could perform magic tricks.
What can we expect from your shows?
Confessin, blessin, and undressin. Oh, and our holy water- absinthe. Lots and lots of absinthe!
If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be?
The Chuckle Brothers. Oh wait- I already did that! #LifeGoalAchieved
I’d start my own supergroup with Shania Twain, the Appleton Sisters and Tina & Bradley from S Club 7. But I think that my spirit animal is James Brown.
What’s your most sinful UK festival story?
Oh, I hear a lot of festival confessions in my line of work! The best one I had this year was a young man at Boardmasters Festival- he confessed to taking a dump in a Pringles can in his tent as he needed to go so badly. Then, his loyal companion drop kicked that shit-missile over the campsite to land on some innocent camper. Shocking stuff.
If you mean me personally, I once woke up naked in a ditch at The Secret Garden Party with no idea of how I got there.
Who has the most disgusting tour habits?
Well Morgan the Organ leaves mouldy old sandwiches hidden around the tour bus. Like a dog burying a bone, you can find a Greggs Tuna Crunch in the glove compartment. Except it’s now two weeks old and looks like some sort of science experiment.
My photo of OMG It’s The Church on the Big Top stage at Bestival
If you were Beyoncé-famous, what would be in your fantasy rider?
A real life donkey! I just love donkeys. We have a toy donkey on our current rider request which means every venue/ festival we play has to get us a toy donkey otherwise there’s no way in hell I am setting foot on that stage! We have all sorts- cuddly donkeys, a piñata donkey, a donkey that fires cigarettes out of it’s asshole, so a real one would really top off my collection.
If you weren’t touring the world spreading the message of Sexy Jesus in song, what job would you have?
What’s your favourite UK festival? Where did you have the most fun this summer?
Mmmm that is such a tough question. You guys over here in the UK have the best festivals, that I know for sure. You guys got some crazy shit going on- obviously Glastonbury blew my tiny preacher mind- I am pretty sure that I was chased by a giant robotic fire breathing spider for a few hours but perhaps that was the LSD. Also Sister Mary Lou met David Beckham backstage- she was a bit upset as she was dressed like a frog at the time so there was no chance of getting him into her trailer for some late night whiskey tasting. And by whiskey tasting I mean hot steamy caravan sex. We also had a lot of fun at Swingamjig- in our home away from home Birmingham UK with our good friends Electric Swing Circus! But also we’ve had some great times this summer at some smaller festivals I ain’t ever been to before; Nozstock & Leopallooza- if you ain’t been check them out! Our Sunday night service at this year’s Shambala was also a massive highlight- espeically when we found two members of the congregation dressed in glow in the dark Morgan Y Fronts! Our favourte festival venue though is the BeatHerder District Working Mens Club. Holy Christ- the stuff that goes on in there is a real eye opener!
What are your plans for 2018?
Ooooh shit we have some exciting services planned for Spring next year- I can’t say much right now otherwise my agent is slap me on the ass with a Bible! But keep your eyes peeled for announcements very soon! We’re also praying hard to be allowed to stay here in the UK for another festival season. Top secret news is that we have been working on some brand new original hymns with my full live funk band- so keep your ears open for that!
Thank you Reverend! I’m feeling blessed. I can’t wait to see you for confession on your tour in London this week!
Thank you Jessi- meet me in my vestry 😉
Check out part of the sermon from Bestival 2017, you may even be able to spot me in the front row! (hint: I’m wearing a rainbow pom pom headband!)
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