Inspired by the optimism and energy that Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected Labour party leader has evoked in people all over the country, The Christians‘ new single ‘Rise‘ is a celebration of what can be achieved when people join together and fight for good. Rise is an anthem for our times, uplifting and inspiring, with Garry Christian’s unmistakeable vocals giving the song an emotional depth that few other artists can equal.
Vocalist and founder member Garry Christian explains “The success of Jeremy Corbyn shows that people have had enough of the world of PR they want a real person, someone they trust. Age is immaterial, Jeremy is someone who isn’t a mirage of spin doctors and whitened teeth he’s just a bloke who’s pissed off with the ‘us and them’ mentality of the country – the rich getting richer as the poor get poorer. I think RISE says we’ve all had enough so we’ll get together and make a few changes. Jeremy Corbyn was the start of that message from the people of the UK.”
Described by one rock critic as “the Temptations in ripped jeans” The Christians exploded onto Liverpool music scene with infectious melodies, warm harmonies and a deep emotional undercurrent. Feeding on accusations, protest, despair and even self-doubt, their “socially aware soul” made a big impact on the complacent music scene of the late 80s. The band’s name came from the surname of the three brothers that were originally in the line-up (Garry, Russell and Roger Christian) and was also, coincidentally, their songwriter/guitarist/keyboards player Henry Priestman’s middle name.
Their 1987 double-platinum debut album ‘The Christians’ entered the album chart at No.2 and featured the Top 30 singles ‘Forgotten Town’, ‘Hooverville’, ‘Ideal World’ and ‘Born Again’. A sell-out tour of the major British cities followed, including consecutive nights at the Hammersmith Odeon, with additional appearances in Holland, Germany and France. In 1988 they released a cover of the Isley Brothers’ ‘Harvest for the World’, with all proceeds going to British Third-World charities. The band also performed with other Liverpool artists Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson and Gerry Marsden on a version of ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’, released in aid of those affected by the Hillsborough football disaster. The record stayed at No.1 for three weeks.
Their second album, ‘Colour’, was released in 1990 and went to No.1 in the album chart, followed by 1992’s ‘Happy In Hell’ which reached No. 18 in the album chart. The band continued to tour and released a greatest hits album, ‘The Best Of The Christians’ which featured a new track, ‘Perfect Moment’, and a version of Bob Marley’s ‘Small Axe’. Lead singer Garry Christian moved to Paris in the mid-90s to produce a solo album (1998’s Mercury Prize niminated ‘Your Cool Mystery’) with the band reforming and touring at the end of the decade.
The early years of the new century saw the band performing largely acoustic sets around the country whilst working on another studio album. ‘Prodigal Sons’ was released in 2003 and showcased on a nationwide tour. Garry found time to release a second solo album ‘How Does It Feel’ in 2004. By now, Garry was the only member of the band from the original line-up but accompanied by a number of guest musicians, The Christians continued to tour and released several live albums.
Their fifth studio album, aptly titled ‘Soul From Liverpool’, featured a number of new songs plus noteworthy versions of other artists’ songs. Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’, The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and a powerful ‘Where Do The Children Play’, originally by Cat Stevens, confirmed the band’s ability to reinterpret other’s work to great effect. 2012 was the 25th anniversary of their first album’s success and The Christians released ‘Speed Of Life’ to mark this milestone. DE LUXE versions of both their debut album, ‘The Christians’, and ‘Colour’ were also released including a number of bonus tracks and remixes. Sleeve notes from Garry Christian and some rare images from the time completed these attractive packages.
The Christians continued to tour extensively in the UK, Spain and France receiving rave reviews for their live performances. Chris Evans described The Christians set on air in December 2013 as “the best gig I’ve ever been to”. Another album, ‘We’, was released in late September 2015. This involved their loyal fans “crowdfunding” the album in advance with the band themselves covering all of the production duties. The band are currently touring with Roachford to promote their new album from which this single ‘Rise’ is taken from.
Oct 03* – The Electric Palace, Bridport
Oct 04* – Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury
Oct 09* – The Muni, Colne
Oct 10* – Whitley Bay Playhouse, Whitley Bay
Oct 11* – Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe
Oct 13 – Words & Music Festival, Nantwich
Oct 16* – Dorking Halls, Dorking
Oct 17* – Islington Assembly Hall, London
Oct 18* – Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
Nov 06 – Oran Mor, Glasgow
Nov 07 – Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Dec 12 – Merrie England Showbar, Blackpool