Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The 80s were to be seen a boom time for British pop, if there was one great sweeping movement that could see away the frenzied but short lived beauty of Punk it was surely the sometimes sensitive, the occasionally brash, the always fruitful and never ashamed decade of the 1980s and the music that truly dominated it and cursed in many ways the decade the followed.
The arguable home of this dominance was always surely going to be Liverpool, always going to be the place beside the often seen a mystical river of the Mersey; a place where Pop was born in the back streets and underground caverns, where it took on extra resonance perhaps arguably more than any other city and in which the 80s were the first come back, so many number ones, when the charts meant something, fantastic bands, amazing videos, pop culture was ripe for Liverpool in the 80s because the city held a fist against expectation and in that creative soul groups such as China Crisis flourished and became the high standard in which to emulate.
The 80s never truly went away, for the amount of bands that still find themselves worshiped, loved from that period is overwhelming, the 60s may have been the start of the groove but it was the decade of great pop songs and dubious taste in politics that really caught the imagination, whether this was down to accessibility of the music and the advent of music television is up for debate but for the likes of China Crisis it was their music, unfiltered, heartbreaking, soul enhancing, that really caught the attention.
The Philharmonic Hall audience were in a state of rapture during China Crisis’ welcome return to a stage they last graced in the middle of that tumultuous decade and yet as many have testified in the intervening years both Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon have kept the faith, the smile of naughtiness on the stage, the love that is obvious for them and their music, are all so strong, so full of wit and humour and yet with gravitas and humility in their songs.
The applause during and at the end of the performance, one dominated by songs such as cool as King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up), Wishful Thinking, Black Man Ray, You Did Cut Me and Tragedy and Mystery and with the air of beautiful teasing towards the band as they presented each one with certificates for their contribution to the 80s Invasion Tour, was one of absolute respect and esteem.
The Philharmonic Hall might not have had China Crisis on their stage for what could be seen as a criminally long time, but in the short half hour they were upon stage, there was no doubting the sincere love for the duo and their music. The 80s never really went away; it was just overshadowed by the big hearts and great music that came alone with it.
Ian D. Hall