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

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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. Follow hos blogspot at https://owenscribblerlewis.blogspot.com

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