When China Crisis is mentioned these days, it could mean many things, but tonight I am at the Factory Theatre to see the Liverpudlian 80’s New Wave band. Made up of Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon, this is China Crisis‘s first visit to Australia since they formed in 1979, when they both attended St Kevin’s Catholic Boy School. They are accompanied by Jack Hymers on Keyboards & Vocals and Eric Animan on saxophone. The band had a string of hits in the 80s, including ‘Wishful Thinking’, ‘Working With Fire and Steel’, ‘Black Man Ray,’ ‘Arizona Sky’ and others. They stood shoulder to shoulder with the tsunami of talent that emerged from Liverpool at the time, bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and The Tear Drop Explodes. There are some young fans in the audience tonight, possibly because their song ‘Wall of God’ was included in the hit film ‘Gone Girl’.
The band takes the audience through their catalogue of terrific music and while the hits are coming thick and fast, it is Daly’s commentary about the songs and the history of the band that is fascinating. Whilst on tour with Santana they took a trip into the desert at night that inspired ‘Arizona Sky’, he tells us before they launch into the song.
He points out a Depeche Mode bassline that China Crisis incorporated into one of their songs. At one stage Daly was so captivated by the vocals of David Byrne (Talking Heads) that it inspired his singing on one of their early albums. A melody by George Michael crept into a song he wrote about his mother.
Anecdotes abound – Richard Branson’s hilarious observations about Lundon’s looks when he first viewed a picture of the band. The Yamaha synthesiser that they bought that could only play a few notes. How China Crisis worked with Walter Becker from Steely Dan on their album ‘Flaunt the Imperfection’.
There are some nostalgic moments too – when China Crisis first formed there were no streaming platforms and musical influences were gathered by the sharing of records with friends and family members. Today there is a glut of music available on the internet, but back then, there was one show on television that showcased pop music and it was broadcast only once a week!
China Crisis have finally made it to our shores and it has been well worth the wait. The concert will delight fans, but even for those who don’t know China Crisis, this show is highly recommended because the band are one of the giants of the 80s new wave and new romantic movements, melding melodic masterpieces with astute lyrics. Plus you’ll get a fascinating music history lesson thrown in for free! Don’t miss it.
Get tickets to the Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane shows HERE.