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The Christians

Formed in Liverpool in 1986 The Christians went on to become one of the UK’s biggest soul bands with hits like ‘Ideal World’ and ‘Harvest for the World’.

A unique blend of soul, gospel and heartfelt acoustic pop, topped off by Garry Christian’s distinctive vocals. Still sporting the Raybans, incredibly rich and sultry voice and the string of gorgeous songs that made a million women swoon. 

Thanks for taking the time to chat to me ahead what looks like a busy summer for the band. How much have you enjoyed getting back out on the road with the band.

 

To be honest, we’ve been on the road since pretty much the time when I came back from Paris in 2000, it’s just that we stay under the radar.

 

We just go to venues that invite us, or we pick a venue that we like, and we go to it. We’re very lucky that all our fans seem to turn up and keep paying to buy the tickets and keep giving us lots of support, which we're eternally grateful for.

 

You recently performed at the ‘Sounds of the 80’s’ Live tour - what is it about the music of the 80s that seems to make it so popular?

 

I think there’s a whole generation of people that are completely lost in this world of digital media where people seem to communicate on social platforms and they long for the days where people used to talk to each other and listen to the one radio station and watch one TV programme.

 

There’s a whole landscape out there that people don’t recognise, so as soon as you play an 80's tune they tend to think this is something that I recognise and miss and I want those days back again. We’re very lucky that we were part of the 80's and probably contributes to why we’re still so popular now.

"We’re very lucky that all our fans seem to turn up and keep paying to buy the tickets and keep giving us lots of support, which we're eternally grateful for."

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I listened to your debut album again recently, prior to seeing you play at the Bath Forum (last Autumn). Instrumentally it has an 80’s sound to it, but the lyrics are as poignant today as they were 37 years ago.

 

We’re glad that people still listen to the album and they still love it. It certainly has stood the test of time, it’s still the highest selling debut album from Island records which is quite a feat when you think that there are artists such as Bob Marley et cetera, under that label. We are very grateful, as I said, that people are still listening to it and I think, yeah you’re right, when I sing 'Ideal World' on stage, I say it’s as relevant now as it’s ever been

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At the Bath Forum show you performed with Wet Wet Wet and Go West. It looked like you were all having great fun, was there much competition/rivalry back in the 80’s/90’s with many bands?
 
It’s hard to remember who we’ve performed with, because we are just so busy we’re incredibly lucky. This year, for example, we’re playing at Rewind but we’re also playing at Let's Rock and there’s quite a few 80s festivals that we’ve been booked onto, but we play anywhere where we think we’re appreciated, so that’s fine by us.
 
There’s absolutely no rivalry anymore. I think, back in the day, there was probably a little bit of who are these guys and why they selling more records - all that kind of thing. There was a bit of that sort of 'suspicion' around each other, but nowadays we’ve been backstage together for the last four decades so there’s not gonna be any handbags at dawn anymore. 

You are coming back to Bath in June with a show at Komedia, do you get to see much of the city when you are here?

 

Sadly, we don’t get much of a chance to look at the beautiful cities that we visit. I mean, this weekend, for example, we went to Valencia. We arrived here at 11 o’clock in the morning, we went to sleep in the hotel, did the sound check, did the gig and by 6 o’clock in the morning, we were back on the plane back to Liverpool. So, it’s a shame that we don’t get much of a chance to look around but that’s just life. We’re very lucky we’re very busy, but we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses unfortunately.

I loved your ‘Stings and Strings’ album where you reworked a number of your tracks. Do you always look to freshen up some of your big hits and can we hear any of these in this tour?

That was something that a small label asked me to do. It was supposed to be a stripped version of some of my original songs with some very organic strings and keyboards in the background. I might redo it at some stage. I’m not sure if I think it did it justice. I think I can do better.

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Do any current bands/music give you inspiration and if so, who?

I don’t think that really changes, for me, however old I get it’s always gonna be icon such as Sam Cooke, The Temptations, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Beatles. Occasionally, someone breaks through and I notice something, but not that many since 2000, if I'm honest. Invariably, it’s all the greats from growing up, where I was lucky enough to bear witness to some of the greatest musicians ever.
 
You famously covered The Isley Brothers  ‘Harvest For The World’. Did you ever hear from them and what did they think of your version?

Again, we’ve always been really lucky whenever we’ve covered songs, for example, Cat Stevens or Yusuf, as he is known now, listen to our version of 'Where did the children play' and he said it was better than his version. As, similarly, with the Isley Brothers. They listened to our version of 'Harvest For The World' and they absolutely loved it. I did say at the time of recording, why don’t you ask the Isley Brothers if we can do this song, the reply came back that they really wanted us to do it. They seemed to be really happy with the outcome, so yeah, I was thrilled with that.

Any other songs you wished you had written or would like to cover.

I’ve always loved Matt Monro, and I did a recording of the song 'On Days Like These' for my wife. It turned out really well and everybody said that I should record it. Maybe one day I will.


Have there been many covers of your songs, and if so, are there any you love or hate?
 
Do you know what, hardly anybody seems to have covered our songs. I’m told that it’s because they think they can’t do it better than I’ve sung them, which is a real compliment but I’d love some youngsters to get out there and re-record some of them. I think that they deserve to be heard, and whether that’s through us or through some new artist, I’d be absolutely over the moon if somebody did a cover of one of our songs.

Finally, where can readers keep up to date with everything ‘The Christians’?

We’ve got all the usual social media platforms. I think most of them are under 'The Christians Live' because if you try and put anything under The Christians you get lost in a maze of religious things. Of course, we’re not religious, we’ve never been religious, and we never will be religious, it’s just my surname. Go to thechristianslive.co.uk all the social media platforms and all of our gigs are here.

Win

For a chance to win two tickets to see The Christians at Komedia, Bath on 12th June, simply click on the link below and follow the steps to enter...Good luck!

To book tickets to see The Christians at Komedia, Bath on 12th June, simply click on the link below and follow the steps.

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