Report on Christian Music in the USA (BBC Liquid News)
Last modified: 05 Aug 2002
Source: BBC Liquid News
Author: Tom Brook
Date: 05 Aug 2002
A theme park in up state New York, taken over this week by Christians at one of the biggest Christian Music Festivals in the U.S. The headlining act, the British Christian band Delirious?
[Video clips of Delirious? singing 'Gods Romance' live, followed by clips from the 'I Could Sing' video]
Delirious? represent the new face of Christian music, slickly produced with a cool image.
Martin: We're all Christians and the perception is that its going to be happy clappy and people wearing sandals and all the rest of it. That may be so 30 years ago but now everything's moved forward and culture's changed.
[video clips from 'Waiting For The Summer' video]
Delirious? reject many of the trappings of mainstream rock: they don't indulge in groupies; their music reflects their deep faith in God; they're not preachy but they adopt a conservative position on abortion and gay rights and other hot button and social issues.
Martin: What is my position on premarital sex? Well I think its probably best not to!
The music and message of Delirious? have been strongly received in the U.S. where this year they've performed at more than 50 concerts.
Female in the crowd: Their message is strong, you know that they have relationships with God and you know that they're sincere.
Male in the crowd: They are so awesome, everybody should listen to their music. Delirious yeah!
Delirious? are just part of a booming American market for Christian music. The latest figures show that sales of contemporary Christian and Gospel music rose by almost 20% in the first half of this year. Impressive numbers when you consider that recording industry sales in general are declining.
[Christian music retailer]: September 11th had a great impact on Christian sales. A lot of people got closer to God because of the tragic event and this is the music that lifts their spirit.
There are signs that Christian music, more establish in the U.S. than the U.K., is beginning to cross over. Delirious? have followers who are non-believers. They have toured with mainstream rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams. They are Christian rock performers who have become one of the most successful British musical acts in America today, even eclipsing bands like Blur and Oasis.