|Two decades on
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Date: 5 July, 2012
Unbelievably, the hugely popular Christian rock and worship group Delirious? started out two decades ago. George Luke talks to former lead singer Martin Smith about the anniversary, what the band members are doing now, and what he's doing now.
All the albums from your Cutting Edge Band days have been repackaged and re-released as a box set to mark your 20th anniversary. Does it feel like 20 years to you? It certainly doesn't to me!
[Laughs] I know how you feel! It's crazy, isn't it? And to think that some of those songs are still being sung... it's funny, really.
What are your fondest memories of the period the box set covers?
For me, it's always the memories of what God did through the songs that are the fondest. The times when people would come to Cutting Edge and their lives would get turned around. I can still remember some of their faces now!
Doing the songs at big open-air gigs is always memorable; and just the journey that we the band were on together as a team. It's been amazing, really. None of us knew where it was all going. But we just kept on doing what God asked us to do.
Of course, Delirious finally came to an end with that farewell gig at the Hammersmith Apollo in November 2009. What have you been up to since then?
I came off the road, pretty much. I spent a lot of time at home; I wrote a book and helped Tim Hughes make a record. More recently I've just been recording some of my own songs. I've recorded a couple of EPs that are now out on the MartinSmith.tv site. It's been a great season, actually.
And what about the other former 'D:Boys'; what are they up to?
Two of them moved to Nashville: Stu G and Jon (Thatcher). I do believe they're doing fine, working on new music and stuff. Tim (Jupp) is running a music festival called the Big Church Day Out, and Stew (Smith) is a graphic designer.
Your other big project during the Delirious days was the Compassionart charity. How is that doing these days?
Unfortunately, there's a bit of red tape on that one. Compassionart is sort of on hold, because there was a big charity in America that had a similar name.
They asked us to put everything on hold because of that. So at the moment, we're looking at ways in which we can change that and develop something else in the future.
Aside from that hiccough with Compassionart, how do you feel that your audience is relating to social justice issues generally?
I think that this current generation of 20s-30s is much more aware of all those issues; that we need to be responsible for the planet, and for everybody living on it.
I think people are far more aware – and it's a more 'global' world we live in now, anyway. People are definitely more aware today.
You mentioned your new solo recording, God's Great Dance Floor, earlier. What else can you tell us about it?
I started writing songs during that break after Delirious ended, and it got to the point where I started to record them. I gathered a team from my church, and we just started recording them.
The first EP came out in March; the second one came out on the first of June. Both of them are available on my website.
Do you have any other plans for the future?
Aside from my new recordings, I do have lots of other dreams. I would love to encourage another generation that are coming through, and even dreams for my own children.
To help them develop into whatever they want to do would be great. And above all, to keep the Church worshipping. That's very important, because when the Church worships, anything can happen.