The Christians, Gig Review. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Originally published by L.S. Media. September 11th 2010.

One of the last times The Christians came to Liverpool was to perform at the Liverpool Academy and even though the band went down well that night, there seemed to be something missing from the overall experience that audiences expect from one of Liverpool’s finest and most respected bands.

Anything that was sadly remiss on that balmy summer’s night in 2009 was put right by having the band in a setting which suited their style and laid back harmonic approach such as the Philharmonic.

Garry and the guys opened a night of sweet soft music with I Shall be Released and What’s in a Word and even though the atmosphere both inside and outside was slightly stifling, the band, especially fellow vocalist and lead guitarist Joey Ankrah, continued to look at ease and supremely cool.

The audience lapped up this rare opportunity to see the band and made their warm opinions known throughout a long and informative set which included Yusuf Islam’s Where Do the Children Play? The song that summed up a generation lost and feeling dejected, the fantastic Forgotten Town and a rather special cover version of The Beatles hit Here Comes the Sun. This song can often let down a performer who doesn’t get the feel for the emotion that is needed to carry it off but Garry engendered a touching, emotive respectful vibe for the lyrics.

The band finished their main set with the fabulous Hooverville and Sad Songs.

As the band came back on to take their places for the encores, Garry Christian welcomed on stage his 16 year old son Miles who wowed the awe struck audience with his skills as a saxophonist for the songs Greenbank Drive and the socially aware Harvest for the World. Garry also took the chance to meet some of his loyal fans by climbing off the stage and shaking hands warmly with anybody who felt brave enough to respond to the gesture.

This proved to be a tantalising end to an evening of pure and unadulterated Liverpool Soul.

Ian D. Hall