Retrospective : The Christians back in 2007 brought an “ideal world” to Edmonton, North London one rainy night in March – Gig Review, March 2nd 2007, Millfield Arts Centre, london

Posted: October 21, 2012 in 1980s, Concerts of 2007, Pop, Popular Music, Soul
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THE CHRISTIANS, MILLFIELD ARTS CENTRE, EDMONTON, LONDON, MARCH 2ND 2007  (as first reviewed in Safeconcerts. Com)

(This was my first ever independent review at the time. I’d done a couple for Blues and Soul magazine and one was about to be published a few after this review in a daily newspaper. Its also one I’m proud. In a tiny theatre not holding more than 300 The Christians rocked out and played their anthology like it was an arena concert. What an amazing experience to be there and I got to say Hello to Gary Christian afterwards)

It has been 20 years since The Christians scored their first major single success with Forgotten Town. This seminal track marked their move into pop’s premier league being regarded as the leading exponent of British Soul in the late 1980’s whose lyric’s provided edgy social commentary. This lead to a successful debut album and a No.1 UK album Colours and a successful European Tour in 1990. So, its was strange to see a grossly underated and talented group playing in a 400 seat theatre. That said, the small venue and a dreary rainy night outside did not dampen the quality of the performance inside. This gig proved to be a greatest hits fest for those priviledged enough to be present. “Whats in a word”, “Born Again”,  “Ideal World” were all on the classic menu. The haunting arrangement of “Words” was particular memorable.  The only modern deviation was “Prodigals Sons” from 2003. In between songs, there was also some entertaining banter. Tongue  firmly in cheek, Garry Christian bemoaned the hardships of ageing by citing the difficulty of climbing the stairs, to which a member of the audience cheekily riposted “Buy a bungalow”.  Through his warm and generous personality he managed to get a somewhat aged audience to sing a along (if somewhat, shakily)  to “The Bottle” and up onto their feet to clap and move to Harvest for The World (no small feat). A grand performance was finished fittingly with perhaps their most socially incisive and anthemic song “Hooverville”.  Throughout,backed by an enthusiatic and competent band,  Garry Christian’s  rich soulful voice was mesmerising and transcended the humble surroundings.  In an era when so many former 80’s band are jumping on the revival bandwagon, The Christians really are a band that deserve to be rediscovered.

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