Moved by the plight of refugees in camps at borders across Europe, The Christians are donating a percentage of proceeds from the sale of ‘Rise’ to the British Red Cross to aid their work in this area. The band wrote ‘Rise’ in celebration of what can be achieved when people join together and work towards a common goal – a sentiment that underlines the need for positive action and understanding when dealing with so many displaced people in abject need.
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.
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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 nominated ‘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.