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The Christians

Walker Theatre

Friday 7th April

 

There is always delight in watching a band that has been around since the mid-eighties, rocking as any band of today should. The Christian’s who were  back for their second time at Walker Theatre without doubt, proved they are one such band. From the average age of the audience one wouldn’t imagine there to be too many novices at Christian appreciation, those that were new however soon found the groove and enjoyed their first Christians' gig.

If you have been to a Christians concert then it will delight you to know that everything is as it should be. Garry Christian is his own affable, hilarious and warm self and the band are great. So tight and clearly they work as a team. There’s no them and us between band members and they have sealed their expected greatness tonight and consequently no one went home disappointed.

If you don’t know too much about the Christians they are a Liverpool outfit that enjoyed great chart success in the eighties and nineties.

I think the mention of Liverpool is worthy and relevant because for some reason when you hear a Liverpool accent emitting from the stage, you hope your long held belief that the majority of Liverpudlians are normally, rib-ticklingly funny,will be proven. In the Christians’ show there is nothing to dispel that myth.

However not so for some audience who, at the expense of the first band’s audience numbers, decided to stay in the bar until it was time for the main band. I sadly was seated near them and they tried their best to prove that maybe not all Liverpudlians are funny, especially after filling up at the watering hole first.

So deadly unfunny audience members notwithstanding the show was packed with fun and everyone laughed together for most of the time.

But this is not the review of a comedian.  What of the band? How did they sound. Overall the sound front of house was amazing but thanks to the Christian’s technical operative Damien, we were made award that they were having trouble in their monitors or fold-back as it can be called. They had sound checked prior but things slip and mistakes can be made. Throughout the show the poor beleaguered Damien was given such a hard time by Garry. We loved it, it was all more banter but one imagines when the hilarity ceases there may be a little enquiry as to what happened with the monitors. However as already indicated this had no effect of the great sound out front.

It’s an interesting fact to notice when one goes to see an eighties band invariably they are just looking back at the good old days and making anachronistic references etc. Some eighties bands are held back in the timeline of music in aspic. They will come do their eighties songs, take their bow and finish. If they went out again the following year it would keep on happening until in the end the memory gap is too wide to bridge and those artists are lost. Bands have to pick up their own pace run with the crowd or be trampled and forgotten like so many of yesterday’s daisies: Not so with the Christians.

The Christians are relevant and needed today, being the perfect example of a band not too afraid to wander off the conventional route. Maybe they see themselves as pop stars secondly, and first and foremost and most importantly, they are musicians. It’s what they do.  Their sound is bold, fresh and exciting.

I believe to reinforce that point;  the absolute show stopper was a song called, Under a Red Sky.” It was written to raise money for the Hillsborough victims. Whether it was such a sad issue that we could all remember what we were doing that day or whether the song put into words everything we all feel about Hillsborough and the shocking cover up from upper government down, whatever it was, it captured a moment where we all connected and realised what an awfully sad affair the whole thing was. Members of the audience were discreetly trying to wipe their tears away before anyone noticed. There were several others of us who didn’t hide our tears, wet faced or not everyone was reading the same letter and believe this reviewer, every word hit home and rang true.

That is mastery of stagecraft, you give out enough warmth so everyone in the building feels  attached, then take them all on roller coaster ride of emotions, that is musically brilliant,  hilariously funny at times and poignant and sublime at others. This is a show that has everything.

The Christians do not demand reverential worship, well not these Christian’s anyway. They were there to be enjoyed and loved but it wasn’t a one way street and no one felt left out!

This is A Four Star Review

Owen J.Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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