MORE than three decades after their debut album, best-selling band The Christians are as successful as ever. Lead singer Garry Christian chats to Laura Hanton ahead of the group's performance at Bridport's Electric Palace on Saturday, October 12.

The Christians' eponymous debut album was released to critical acclaim in 1987, reaching number two in the UK album chart and featuring the four top 30 singles, Forgotten Town, Hooverville, Ideal World and Born Again. The band was named after the surname of the three brothers who made up the original line up, although Garry is now the only family member to remain.

"The band's core is now formed of myself, Joey Ankrah and Neil Griffiths," Garry says. "We've been together for 15 years now, so we're pretty tight. My brother Roger sadly died from a brain tumour in 1998, and my other brother Russell is doing his own thing."

So how have things changed in the 32 years since The Christians first entered the music scene?

"It's a lot more relaxed now," Garry says. "In the early days, we were always worrying who was watching our gigs, who was making notes on our performance. These days, it's just a lot of fun, and our harmonies are better than ever; everything is much more honed."

Whenever they're not performing, the band are writing new material.

"People want to hear the hits, so that's what we play, but we also include some new stuff too," Garry says. "I always ask the audience for a mark out of 10 whenever we play a new song!"

The Christians' fanbase has also changed, with a wider range of ages attending their gigs.

"The people who loved us in the 80s and 90s have children now, so they bring them along too," Garry explains. "It's brilliant chatting to them all after the show. It's like a big intergenerational event."

Despite their name, The Christians aren't religious, but often get mistaken as so.

"We once found our album in the religious section of a record store in the US," Garry recalls. "And there was a peculiar spike of sales in Texas. Perhaps people there were under the wrong impression."

Such misconceptions don't seem to have affected their fanbase, and the band have some impressive experiences to their name.

"Meeting and singing with Paul McCartney was a definite highlight," Garry says. "And when we performed at the SOS festival in Paris, we went on before Bruce Springsteen. That was quite surreal."

With a countless number of hits, it's hard to choose a favourite, but surprisingly Garry says it's a song cover that is particularly special to him: "It was 1988, and we released a version of the Isley Brothers' Harvest for the World. All proceeds went to charity, and we received a really complimentary letter from the songwriters. That was amazing."

So what lies in store for fans when The Christians perform in Bridport?

"Audiences can expect the hits, some newbies, and a lot of humour," Garry says. "We're really looking forward to it."

The performance starts at 8pm. Tickets are £24 in advance or £26 on the door, available from the Electric Palace website or by contacting the box office.