MORE than three decades after their debut album, The Christians are back - and they're coming to Bridport.

Renowned for an endless string of soulful yet socially aware hits, The Christians enjoyed huge acclaim in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their eponymous first album, released in 1987, remains Island Records' highest selling debut record ever and contains seven hit singles, including Words which went to number one in France and Spain.

The name of the Liverpool-based band refers to the surname of the three brothers that made up the original line-up, and has no religious connotation. Garry, Roger and Russell Christian formed the group in 1985 alongside guitarist Henry Priestman, Paul Barlow, Mike Bulger and Tony Jones. Roger's reluctance to tour saw him leave the band early on, and The Christians went on to perform at venues across the UK and Europe. Roger passed away from a brain tumour in 1998.

The band notably performed a version of Ferry Cross the Mersey alongside Paul McCartney and Holly Johnson, released in aid of those affected by the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster. The single stayed at number one for three weeks.

Their second album, Colour, was released in 1990 and went to number one in the album chart, with popular tracks including I Found Out and Greenbank Drive. The Christian's third album, Happy in Hell, came in 1992, followed by a greatest hits album in 1993.

Lead singer Garry moved to Paris towards the end of the millennium and released a solo album, Your Cool Mystery, in 1998. The Christians continued to perform live, largely acoustic, sets and released several albums throughout the noughties, before producing Speed of Life in 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of their entry onto the musical scene. Deluxe alums of The Christians and Colour were also released to mark this milestone, alongside a number of bonus tracks and remixes.

These days, The Christians continue to tour extensively in the UK, France and Spain, receiving rave reviews for their live performances and entertaining audiences from young to old. The group is currently made up of lead singer Garry Christian, lead guitarist Joey Ankrah, Neil Griffiths on guiter and vocals, and Mike Triggers on keyboards. Bass players and drummers vary from gig to gig.

*The Christians will appear at Bridport Electric Palace on Saturday, October 12. Fans can expect a 90-minute set including all of the band's greatest hits, from Forgotten Town and Ideal World to Harvest for the World and Hooverville.

The show begins at 8pm. All tickets are £24, available from the Electric Palace website or by contacting the box office.