Delirious? (intentional question mark) are a pop/rock band who hail from Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK. Three of them - Martin on guitar, Tim on keyboards and Stew on drums - started life in 1992 as the band for a worship event called 'Cutting Edge'1, which was the idea of the Arun Community Church. As these events progressed, it became clear that more and more people were becoming interested in the band - tapes they made sold out quicker than they could make them, and the organisers of Cutting Edge were continually trying to find larger venues for their event to accommodate all the people who wanted to go. It was around this time that Stu Garrard (guitar) joined with the original three and the music began to take a more rocky turn. Not long after this came their famous summer beach gigs performed to audiences of around 10,000 people at various venues on the south coast of the UK.
The next major event, although horrific, shaped the history and gave us Delirious? as they are today2. On August 30, 1995, Martin was driving his wife Anna, and Jon (Anna's youngest brother) home from a late night gig. They'd almost reached Littlehampton when they had an accident - as a result of tiredness from the long journey, Martin fell asleep and drove the car straight into a wall just around the corner from his house. Jon and Anna escaped with minor injuries but it took the rescue workers a few hours to get Martin out of the car, and it took a couple of months for Martin to rehabilitate in hospital as he had suffered a broken leg. During this period he spent a lot of time on his own thinking things through. He also read Bill Flannagan's U2 at the End of the World, and this inspired him into a decision, to which the others agreed. They found a bassist - Martin's brother-in-law Jon (In fact, he's Tim and Stew's brother-in-law as well. Confused yet3?) - and on April 1, 1996, Delirious?, and their own independent record label Furious? Records, was born.
So What Happened Next Then?
Since then, Delirious? have moved on quite considerably. The year 1997 saw their first studio album, King of Fools, followed by a full-scale tour of the country, including a set at the 'Champion of the World' event organised by Noel Richards at Wembley Stadium in June, 1997. During 1997 they also released three singles, two of which went in at number 20 in the popular music charts in the UK, despite no particular support from UK radio stations, particularly Radio One. In 1998 they widened their scope of playing to include the USA, a country to which they are now relatively regular visitors. In 1999 they took on a new producer and began to shape a new sound for themselves, shown in the different style of Mezzamorphis, released in June of that year. The singles released from that album again went in to the top 20 without any airplay on mainstream radio. The year 2000 saw them release a new Christian worship album called Glo, and also saw them in the studio preparing for the next release, Audio Lessonover? (see if you can spot the humorous anagram4), which was released in summer 2001, after the first single from the album had reached number 26 in the Top 40, and the second single from the album was released as an MP3 file and reached the top 10 on mp3.com. They were invited (along with Matchbox 20) to support Bon Jovi's tour in 2001 and went down well there, and did their own tour of the country combined with a single release at the end of 2001.
Do They Sound Like any Other Bands I Might Have Heard Of?
That's a good question. The similarities between Delirious? and U2 are not just in the beliefs that particular members of each band have - their music is at times very similar too. Delirious? have been described before now as 'a poor man's U2', which, given U2's current status in rock music, is probably a decent compliment! Delirious? also have influences from elsewhere in modern alternative rock: Radiohead and the Manic Street Preachers being two prime examples, and you could also compare them with plenty of the guitar bands that are around at the time of writing. But their sound is certainly distinctive, with the prime features being Martin's voice and Stu G's 'octave distortion' guitars. They are sometimes unfairly described as being derivative of newer bands, such as Travis, which is unlikely to be the case.
The Members of Delirious?
The frontman of Delirious?, he also plays guitar, keyboard and mandolin. With the help of Stu G, he writes most of the band's music and lyrics. His wife's first impression of him? 'Nice guy, shame about the shirt...' He has also had many different hair colours since Delirious? first started.
A guitarist who has developed his own unique style of playing, which has become known to some people, although probably not many, as 'octave distortion'. He also writes music and lyrics, and sings backing vocals and occasionally lead vocals. He is instantly recognisable as a result of his bald head and goatee beard. He is the oldest member of the band.
Baby-faced (compared to the rest of the band, anyway) cool-guy bass guitarist. Nothing fazes him at all, it seems. Generally he just plays bass, although he has contributed to some songs and does sing occasionally. But he never says anything at gigs, 'cos he's just too cool for that.
Keyboardist and the unsung link in the Delirious? sound - the member who generally holds back whilst the others take the limelight, although he has recently come to the fore due to some of the beautiful piano work on Audio Lessonover? He occasionally contributes backing vocals at gigs and, when not playing during a song at a gig, can usually be seen dancing around behind his keyboards.
Last, but by no means least, the backbone to the band's sound is drummer, Stewart Smith (no relation to Martin, although their two wives are sisters). He has an incredible amount of stamina and could probably keep going (along with Jon) much longer than the other three members. Stew also sings backing vocals, although most of the time he is too busy concentrating on his drumming. Stew also had a mohican haircut before David Beckham.
Delirious? releases are different on each side of the Atlantic, as in America they are signed to Sparrow Records and, ultimately, Sparrow has control over which tracks on albums are released. Broadly speaking though, the same material has been released on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are their UK releases to date:
The UK Albums
- Cutting Edge One (1993)
- Cutting Edge Two (1994)
- Cutting Edge Three: The Red Tape (1995)
- Cutting Edge Fore (1996)
- King of Fools (April 1997)
- D:tour 1997 Live (1998)
- Mezzamorphis (June 1999)
- Glo (July 2000)
- Audio Lessonover? (August 2001)
The Cutting Edge albums have since been released on two CDs, the first one containing 1 and 2, the second containing 3 and 4.
- 'White Ribbon Day' (February 1997, number 41 in the charts)
- 'Deeper' (May 1997, number 20)
- 'Promise' (2 CDs, June/July 1997, number 20)
- 'DeEPer' (late 1997, number 36)
- 'See the Star' (2 CDs, April 1999, number 16)
- 'It's OK' (2 CDs, February 2000, number 18)
- 'Waiting for the Summer' (2 CDs, summer 2001, number 26)
- 'Take me Away' (summer 2001, into the top 10 on mp3.com)
- 'I Could Sing of Your Love Forever' (2 CDs, December 2001, number 40)
Where Can I Find Out More About Delirious?
Visit the official Delirious? website, and also pay a visit to the best of the unofficial fan sites: Dave Wood's site. To find out all you could ever want to know about Delirious?, and probably more, visit the Delirious? newsgroup FAQ.Delirious?'s record collections