The Christians Return for a Third Coming"

The Christians

Theatre Severn

Friday 13th September 2019

One was particularly interested in watching the Christians tonight not because they are a top band but because the last two visits from the Eighties super-group have seen them performing in the Walker Theatre. I spoke with Garry Christian after those gigs and he had intimated to me that they would like to return and play in Theatre Severn as opposed to the Walker. This was  simply because he wanted to try a bigger space and see if the people came. Well build it Garry and they will come. Tonight I was delighted to see that the theatre was full and every one of the audience was there to feast on this sublime fusion of music which has always given the Christians that unique sound. It is that sound that will keep this band as relevant and as fresh as ever.

To look at the show as a whole although they were up against some Friday the Thirteenth gremlins when they were ironed out a young Liverpool lad by the name of Joe Slater. He played first to warm all up the crowd to bring a little more contrast and artistry to the evening. With a voice well above his age and a boatload of songs self-penned one imagine the future will be rosy for Joe Slater.

Then strolling onto the stage just so noticeably cool as ever, The Christians. Garry Christian defies all the conventions of aging as he looks exactly as he did thirty years ago. Maybe he just looked old back then? However I doubt that, much more likely one believes, there must be a picture in the attic displaying Garry’s sins and true artistic torment. However I guess if all your life you’ve been a pop star you’re bound to look younger than a miner of the same age. However there were no miners to complain but the miner’s strike and the Iron Lady Thatcher all got a mention. This was after all, not just a show for today but a show loaded with content intelligently looking back at where we have come from and where we are now.

One was deeply moved by the Christian’s tribute to the tragic 96, The Red Sky. It was the Christian's own thoughts about the heartbreaking 96 who lost their lives in the terrible Hillsborough football tragedy. The Christians are a Liverpool group and without any slush or sentiment they played a song displaying great sensitivity and understanding of what Liverpool went through following that awful event. Understated in true Christians tradition, potent and poignant. Those sensibilities give the band that extremely approachable and human touch that keep them that little bit higher than others of the same era.

So what is that unique sound that they, The Christains have that does really mark them out? Quite apart from the amazing lyrics the back line with its exciting fusion between Jazz, funk, soul and blues goes a long way to indicating who is playing long before Garry comes in with the vocals. The sensitive and intelligent use of the key boards mark them out from others. That is interesting because most eighties bands have synths and keys but if the lads walked onto the stage and picked up someone elses instruments before a note was sung, blindfolded you would identify them by that full use of sound that make the band just so different.

They layer their music fitting everything in just so. The back line is no different than many others, Drums, Keys, Guitars and Bass and yet they have a fresh and interesting sound, like a Phil Spector wall of sound you know when a Christian’s song is to be played, epic introductions that so beautifully and musically accompany this band and its poetry.

A night with The Christian’s is still a superb night. It is a night of wit, hilarity, pathos and musicianship unequalled. It is hard to remain objective when oneself has been deeply touched by the performance. I realised I have just shown my hand but in this instance you may forgive me. One hopes the Christian’s will go on making music, making intelligent content and go on treating their audience with the love and respect they do.

They are still explosive, electric and eclectic! Once again the Christians hove into view blew a Shrewsbury audience away and on they will humbly go to finish off this amazing 26 date tour. A tour-de-force!!

This is a Five Star Review

Owen J.Lewis


Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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