The Christians, Gig Review. Grand Central Hall, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

There is a night out, the all guns blazing, bring the house down and sweat pouring off the worthy and the thrilled and then there is the night out where the gig becomes almost regal, hosted by the statesman like quality of the front man whose very smile leads you down a path of hope and faith.

Both nights are always well attended but there is something about the latter that really brings home to the attendee the power of music, its ability to make you cry true tears of regret, make your heart bleed and yet grow wings to soar above the petty and the ignorant at the same time. It is a virtue that Liverpool’s The Christians have in abundance.

There surely isn’t a venue that the band have not played in their home city in recent years, the authority, the mischievous smile of Garry Christian as he playfully leads the audience through Time and songs, all the unknowns coming together to give the crowd a sense of the muse and to take back what the songs meant to them and yet the control belongs firmly with the musicians on stage; for each perfectly crafted tune is a reminder of what the city means to people such as Garry Christian and the band’s loyal followers. It is the memory of just how far the city has come in its resurgence, of how the bitterness and contempt shown the proud citizens of the area by the powers that be, could never last; not because Liverpool people changed but because the outside world has been forced to.

Whether in tracks such as Perfect Moment, Greenbank Drive, the enormous hit and social reminder of Forgotten Town, Ideal World, Rise or Hooverville, The Christians gave the peace of soul and fusion of popular hits its deserved space and respect. It was though the respect shown to the city, it’s indefatigable people, unbowed despite all that been placed against them over the decades that made the night as special as it was.

With pictures, stills from another time and place being shown behind the band from both the day that football became a political lie to the bravery of women such as Anne Williams, Margaret Aspinall, Trevor and Jenny Hicks, the city as a whole, justice was given its solemn moment as the beautifully haunting Big Red Sky caused many a tear and a few audible sobs to heard resonating round the grand old hall. It was a touch of rememberance to the fight that the city had resolved, a gesture of thanks to those who took the struggle to the world and the simple statement that justice has not quite arrived, not until those in charge on that day in Sheffield, those who decided the lie was better than the truth are finally given the penalty they deserve.

A superb evening by a great band, one of the city’s finest and one to whom, to a single person in the Grand Central Hall, found their heart beating with pleasure and their ears seduced by smooth integrity.

Ian D. Hall