Delirious? to support BonJovi (Baptist Times)
Last modified: 18 Apr 2001

Source: Baptist Times
Author: Liz Hogarth
Date: 18 Apr 2001

A Goliath among rock bands over the last two decades, Bon Jovi, have chosen a David from the British Christian rock scene, Delirious?, to support them on their One Wild Night tour of the UK this summer.

The tour, starting at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on June 8 and finishing at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on June 17, is a big breakthrough at the top level for the five men from Littlehampton who make up Delirious? and whose prime desire is to worship God.

The tour will also provide the ideal platform for the launch of the new Delirious? single, due to be released just four days before on June 4. Called Waiting for the Summer, its authors are lead singer Martin Smith and guitarist and vocalist, Stuart Garrard.

"It's about good times, our expectations, it's very positive" says bass guitarist Jon Thatcher. "Basically it is a euphoric, pop number, it will put a smile on your face. It is not overtly Christian, but everything we do comes from a Christian perspective and it has those undercurrents running through it."

Their publicist, Jonathan Brown, confirms that Waiting for the Summer is essentially a feel-good number and is their least 'Christian' song to date. Some fans may be disappointed by this apparent switch to more secular music, but others will rejoice at the prospect of the band achieving a new fan base if the single climbs the charts.

It might even get playtime on Radio 1. Delirious? have been frustrated in the past by the stations' refusal to play their music. "Radio 1 are a bit of a law unto themselves" says Jon Thatcher. "We never discovered why they wouldn't play our tracks. It would be great if they helped us out this time. But, as far as we are concerned, it is not the be all and end all."

On the tour the band, who own their own record label, plan to play a mixture of Christian and secular music, "But, everything we do comes from worship" claims Mr Thatcher. "We will be up on that stage worshipping, though that will not necessarily be the perception of the majority on Bon Jovi fans. They will probably just see it as a great rock gig. But what we hope is that God will turn up and move people though our music."

The band comprise Martin Smith, vocals and guitar; Tim Jupp, hammond and keyboards; Stuart Garrard, guitar and vocals; Jon Thatcher, bass and Stewart Smith, drums and percussion. All the band members attend Arun Community Church, Littlehampton where David Thatcher, Jon's father, is the pastor. A pastoral ministry must run in the family because his grandfather Peter Thatcher was a Baptist minister in the Chichester area.

Despite chart success with the albums King of Fools and Mezzamorphis, Delirious? were still surprised to be picked as a support band, alongside Matchbox 20, for a major secular rock group like Bon Jovi, particularly as their most recent album Glo is very definitely about worship.

"I think it came about primarily because the booking agency we work with in the United States are also coordinating the Bon Jovi tour and they put our name forward," says Jon Thatcher. "But the band must have checked us out and given their okay. It really is amazing that Delirious?, which plays such overtly Christian music, should be picked for, what I'm told, will be the biggest rock music tour this year in the UK. We definitely see God at work here."

You might think that with the prospect of playing at venues such as the Royal Dublin Showground, the band might be tempted to spurn appearances at Spring Harvest, Soul Survivor or Greenbelt. But no.

"These venues are our roots and have provided life changing events," he says. "We have no intention of abandoning them, but we do feel the need to take up these new opportunities."

They also remain committed to supporting the charity Hope HIV which helps care for children suffering from AIDS in the developing world. Earlier this year three members of the band flew to Soweto in South Africa to open an orphanage and last year Stuart Garrard, Jon Thatcher and Stewart Smith ran the London Marathon for the same cause.

Just to add to the excitement of the last few months the band have also had, and continue to have, a film crew following their every move. "I'm lucky they're not filming me right now," says Jon Thatcher. "But they're great, they're Christians and we've all become friends. But they do try and film everything." The results of this intense filming is due to be shown on ITV or Channel 4 this summer.

However, he must hope the cameras have not recorded his own surpise that Bon Jovi are still so popular in the UK - audiences of 300,000 plus are expected at each venue.

"I was a big fan of theirs when I was younger," he says. "I just haven't been particularly aware of them recently. But, of course, I will definitely be checking out their recent music before we stand on stage together."

Related Pages:
Tours: Bon Jovi One Wild Night Tour