Radio & TV Snub Delirious?

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Tuesday 1st June 1999

Delirious? cancel release of single

BRITAIN'S top CCM band Delirious? have cancelled the planned release of the single "Gravity" in the light of what they see as the "prejudices" of the BBC following the failure of BBC Radio One to playlist their intended new single and BBC Television to feature the band despite a consecutive run of five chart hits.

On the eve of the band's tour to promote their 'Mezzamorphis' album, the band's keyboard player Tim Jupp told Cross Rhythms, "To get 'See The Star' at 16 in the pop charts was really fantastic and again it's thanks to all the people who have been supporting us for the last few years. But we've struggled again with the radio. Our hunch is that there are a lot of prejudices and probably a lot of cynicism there. What seems to happen is that people have a pre-conceived idea about what we're doing and even what we're like and what the music's like. The best way to overcome that is to meet these people personally. We're trying to do our best to meet the Radio One people, the producers and DJs."

The new single was delivered to radio in early May but the band continued to encounter the same difficulties. The band have enjoyed numerous TV appearances with the release of "See The Star" but an appearance on Top Of The Pops has eluded them making Delirious? the only band in pop history to achieve three top 20 hit singles without an appearance on the show. They are now considering trying out another song later in the year, possibly to coincide with their Sunday night mainstage appearance at the Glastonbury festival.

In a series of events that might amaze long time fans, Delirious? have won fresh admiration in an unlikely quarter. Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrisey has become a committed Delirious? fan. Jupp confirmed, "We've got to know Neil Morrisey really well and even though he hasn't got a faith or anything, he's personally championing the band. He's into what we're doing and so he became our plugger visiting Radio One for the day. He saw all the producers. Everybody in the building wanted to see him. He gave them what for and wouldn't leave the room until they listened to the record." Even after such celebrity endorsement Radio One would not playlist "Gravity". Jupp confirmed, "It's still difficult and people are shy to support us. It just feels as though if someone took the jump and supported us, the rest would follow."

There are now over 200 internet sites devoted to Delirious? but the growth of their fan base has also brought criticisms. In response to some fans' dissatisfaction, Jupp said, "We've had such an interesting mailbag in response to the new record. Some people think if you haven't mentioned the word Jesus, you have completely lost your faith. I think it's all in there in those lyrics and I would encourage anyone to take time and sit down and listen to what the words are saying and the whole spiritual emphasis and direction of the record.

"We are trying to make friends in areas where we haven't moved before and sometimes people are quick to criticise us but we're meeting people almost on a daily basis who have a measure of influence in the media or music business and I think those relationships come because they're respecting what we're doing and the way we're doing it and I wouldn't want people to be too hasty thinking we're not out there trying to make a difference. There are an awful lot of things that go on behind the scenes that people don't know about and probably will never know about. It always comes up in conversation! A good example is when we got to know Neil Morrisey. It was a chance to explain our whole roots to him. We had a frank conversation with him and he really respected us for what we believed and relationally we're trying to make headway with things like that. We're doing whatever we can to be real and do whatever we can to be Jesus to these people.

"We do have a heart to get the music out further than we have done. We're trying every way we can but we know we can't strive for these things so that it becomes the be all and end all. We believe that these things will break out but we don't know how it will happen. You cannot plan for something like the Neil Morrisey thing to happen but neither can you know that things like that are going to do the job. We don't want to keep relying on the fan base and presume on those people's support. Although we have 40,000 names on our data base, it's usually only 25 per cent who buy a single. If they all went and bought it we could have a top five or even a number one but you can't manipulate into that. We never wanted people to buy the music because of the cause, but to buy it because they liked the music. So it's up to us to make good music that they like.

The band's 'Mezzamorphis' album received a four star (excellent) review in the June issue of the top selling Q magazine. A major article on Delirious? is scheduled for the July Q. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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