80s stars to harvest the hits in triple bill special

The Christians, coming to Blackpool
The Christians, coming to Blackpool
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Package tours featuring a group of artists from a particular era have become increasingly popular, and a superb eighties package is heading to Blackpool.

Midge Ure with the band Electronica will be performing the cream of his long career with solo hits like If I Was and Ultravox classics like Vienna.

Midge was also heavily involved with Live Aid and co-wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas with Bob Geldof - and played a blinding headline set at this year’s Lytham Festival 80s Vs 90s night.

Altered Images, led by the irrepressible Clare Grogan, will also be there; their hits included the bouncy Happy Birthday and I Could Be Happy.

Completing the line-up is Liverpool band The Christians, who are also celebrating their 30 th anniversary.

Among their hits is the evergreen Harvest For The World, which was a top 10 hit in the autumn of 1988; plus they contributed to the chart-topping Hillsborough charity single Ferry Cross The Mersey with Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney and Gerry Marsden.

The band originally contained three brothers; Garry, Roger and Russell, and was famous for their unique style of soul and Gospel inspired vocals.

Not only is the band back on tour, but also there is a new album - Sings & Strings, a sparkling re-interpretation of nine of the bands’ greatest songs.

“It’s our 30th anniversary and some wag stood up and suggested it,” says Garry. “There’s my vocals, the Echo String Quartet from Liverpool, plus four great singers from the AMC Gospel Choir in Birmingham, Andy Steele on piano, and backing vocals from my band Joey Ankrah and Neil Griffiths.

“You know what? It’s pretty damn’ good. It’s a tricky thing to re-do the songs just as strings, piano and vocals but I’m really happy with it.”

Garry is the only Christian brother still in the band, but he doesn’t really miss singing with his siblings, as he explains.

“No, not at all. My older brother, Roger, died back in 1998 and Russell never did anything anyway,” he laughs.

The tour was suggested late last year, and Garry says it will offer music fans ‘three different artists and therefore three totally different experiences.’

With three acts, time will be tight: “Yeah, we’ve been allocated five minutes, Altered Images three minutes and Midge 120,” he said. “No, we’ve got about 40 minutes, Midge 60 and Altered Images 25.

“With such a short time, it’ll probably be just the hits. We can’t do new stuff on this tour as people will want the hits.”

* The Christians, with Midge Ure and Electronica and Altered Images, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Sunday, November 5.