The Christians, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

It may have been a shorter set than any of their home grown fans may have liked but there could be no doubting the honesty, the respect and love from band to audience and given back a hundred times over.  There was obvious mutual sheer enjoyment which accompanied the half dozen songs performed by The Christians as they opened up a terrific night of 80s/90s musical nostalgia at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

It never seems to matter where The Christians perform, especially when lead vocalist Garry Christian is back in hometown, whether it is the Pier Head in front of many thousands of people enjoying the summer sun, a couple of hours later in a relaxed atmosphere at the Atkinson in Southport, The 02 Academy or in the plush interior of the Philharmonic Hall.  This is one man who knows exactly what his audience wants and loves to give them everything he can, and as always with the beautiful tone of self-mockery that endears him to the Liverpool public.

The evening though could not have been complete without the wonderful sentiment spoken by Garry before even a not had been wrung out, that their performance was being dedicated to the wonderful Liverpool musician Michael Malloy who tragically lost his life in 2012.

As part of an evening of music packaged together with great effect, whoever came on stage would obviously draw the short straw in terms of songs available to them to perform. Supporting Hue and Cry and Go West though is no easy task but that doesn’t matter to The Christians. Their songs, just like Hue and Cry’s and Go West’s have stood the test of time and it with little wonder with tracks such as Born Again, the still sadly relevant Forgotten Town, Ideal World, the brilliance of Hooverville and Harvest for the World all being played with a certain equal amount of relish and regret. Relish because of the beauty of these well-crafted songs, regret because in nearly four decades nothing seems to have changed.

With Hue and Cry and Go West still to come and take the audience on a further trip in the world of nostalgia and meaningful times, The Christians, as always, received more than the usual round of applause gifted those who open up at any type of gig, they received the accolade that is afforded all Liverpool musicians when playing in the city that overlooks the River Mersey, they were welcomed home and told how much they have been missed.

Ian D. Hall