No sex ‘n’ drugs… just Jesus

Christian rock is losing its happy-clappy image and picking up a flock of fans with a plunge into heavy metal – to the horror of pop pundits
The Observer (England), July 21, 2002,2763,759159,00.htmlOff-site Link

York Membery

A Christian rock band from a tiny seaside resort has eclipsed both Oasis and Blur to become one of Britain’s most spectacular music successes in the United States.

While most British bands struggle to make an impact with American audiences, the Littlehampton-based DeliriousOff-site Link have sold more than 300,000 copies of their most recent album in the US, outselling stars such as Michael Jackson and R.E.M.

But despite playing live to more than 600,000 people in the past six months alone and supporting Bryan Adams on his current UK tour, they have made little impact in Britain. Their fans blame the refusal of British radio stations to give Delirious airtime.

Delirious are the latest addition to the Christian rock market, which has exploded in the past two years. Last week EMI signed a five-year worldwide distribution deal with the band’s label, Furious Records.

The popularity of bands such as Delirious and Payable On DeathOff-site Link (POD), a US heavy metal band, has made the Christian rock scene worth up to £20 million a year, according to one music business estimate. Crucial to the resurgence of Christian rock is a more youth-conscious approach.

But for all their desire to be viewed as a rock band, as distinct from a ‘Christian rock band’, it would be hard to mistake Delirious for the likes of the badly behaved Oasis or the laddish Limp Bizkit. Outside their rehearsal room, a poster proclaims the Christian message: ‘Love God. Love One Another. Love the Lost.’ Their songs have titles like ‘Deeper, Promise’ and ‘I Could Sing of Your Love Forever’. One of their live favourites, a catchy punk song, includes the lyric: ‘I’m not ashamed of the Gospel, I’m not ashamed of the one I love.’

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday July 21, 2002.
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