24/11/2023 China Crisis Review by Claire Spencer

It seems incredible that it's 40 years since China Crisis first burst onto the UK pop scene at the height of mullet hair styles and synth-pop led bands like Depeche Mode, The Human League and Duran Duran, but tonight at The Flowerpot they looked and sounded as fresh as if they were on Top of the Pops all over again.

China Crisis last played here a couple of years ago in 2021, and tonight they played a practically perfect gig that was memorable on so many levels with a wonderful ambience, great crowd, superb sound and lights and so much more. There was most definitely a party atmosphere going, with many people dancing and singing along with the music and just having a really good time.

Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon sound pretty much the same as they did back in 1983 when their first big hit, 'Christian' inspired the imagination of the nation's record buying public. In fact, tonight's performance was almost like listening to their records on a high quality stereo, with a wide selection of their greatest hits including 'King in a Catholic Style,' 'Black Man Ray' and 'Wishful Thinking.' Gary had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his amusing and colourful dialogues between songs, whilst Eddie's guitar playing was right on the button.

Jack Hymers, their current keyboard player, has managed to recreate that 80s electronica sound well, whilst Eric Animan the sax and electronic oboe player captures that soulful sound that is maybe reminiscent at times of Steely Dan. Gary and Eddie admit they were influenced by Steely Dan when they first formed China Crisis, and this is apparent as Steely Dan's Walter Becker was actually a member of the band for a while in 1985, producing their album 'Flaunt the Imperfection.'

As the band played their final song, Gary announced that they'd pretend to go off and then return for an encore, which they duly did, to play their first big hit single from 1983, which was 'Christian.'

China Crisis are still a force to be reckoned with in today's fickle music scene, with its accent on nostalgia with so many tribute bands around, and tonight's performance was of the highest quality. Alan and Lisa Woolley of Raw Promotions certainly have the knack of attracting big names to play here, and hopefully it won't be too long before the likely lads from Liverpool grace the hallowed halls of the Flowerpot once again.