Still crazy after all these years, anthemic rock outfit Delirious? have fans a-plenty and critical acclaim from secular and religious critics alike. Radio 1 reckons them “pop’s best kept secret” and Q magazine calls their Christianity “forceful rather than force-fed”. From humble beginnings as an in-house worship band they’ve taken the music far and wide, including support slots for Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams, and now make a welcome return visit to Greenbelt.
If you’ve ever been in a church with more than just a pipe organ for accompaniment, chances are you’ve sung along with a Martin Smith composition. Smith and his co-conspirators started making music together in the early 90s, as a house band for a youth church event called Cutting Edge, on England’s south coast, and it was during this period that popular worship songs Lord You Have My Heart and I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever got their first airing.
The band eventually decided to go professional, adopting the Delirious? name in 1996 and releasing a string of albums, starting with 1997’s King of Fools. On the back of widespread grass roots support and with relatively little traditional promotion, Delirious? albums and singles achieved some pretty impressive chart positions – for example the single Deeper got to number 20 with virtually no radio play. They’ve spread their wings well beyond the UK, with a fanbase on both sides of the pond, and even a release of early songs translated into Spanish. Christianity Today calls them “a galvanizing force that changed the face of worship”, and over a decade on they continue to deliver.