Once again, I’ve picked a song from what was Belfast’s stonking “Christian music” scene in the late 1990s. (Excuse the scare quotes — I was very cautious of using that phrase, since it comes with so much baggage that doesn’t really fit any of the names who were gigging in and around it at that time and the years preceding: Iain Archer, Peter Wilson/Booley/now Duke Special, Juliet Turner, Brian Houston. Also, I couldn’t find a better word than ‘scene’. Forgive me.)
The Maroons only released one album, the short but near-perfect 3 miles. A consequence of the small, local band and the pre-MySpace (and everything else prominently internet-y) era is no streaming for you to listen to. In fact, a quarter of an hour’s searching suggests that the internet is barely aware that they existed. A shame.
“Come What May” forms the spine of the album. It’s track four of eight, it’s noticeably longer than the rest, it opens with the slightly sombre strings that mark it out as different to the other songs. It’s lyric of hope, come what may, provides the context for everything else that is sung.
It’s also a song that I never really got until the band was no more. I was at their farewell gig, a stormer at Strandtown CFC, and when they played “Come What May” it seemed to go on all night. It felt like everyone there wanted it to go on even longer, but like the band that was only around for a short time and one brief disc, it finished.
3 miles is still one of the most loved records I have. I come back to it regularly and get immersed in it all over again. It really is a shame I can’t find any to stream for you.