A few weeks ago we saw the current incarnation of the Christians at Exeter Corn Exchange. The original Christians were a trio of brothers who had a series of blue-eyed soul hits in the 1980s. Many of their songs were ahead of their time and dealt with social issues: Harvest for the world, Hooverville, Ideal World, Forgotten Town, etc.
Fast forward to today and unhappily one of the brothers is dead, while another no longer wishes to tour. Fortunately that leaves Garry Christian - the main voice of the original trio. The current tour sees him working in an unplugged format, supported by Joey Ankrah and Neil Griffiths. Ankrah looks like he's auditioning for Pirates of the Caribbean, while Griffiths resembles a chubby Jean Paul Gaultier. However, they do a great job filling in for the missing Christian brothers and provide accompaniment for all the songs, with Garry only picking up a guitar for one number.
Garry has an easy relaxed style and chats with the audience about the summer heat, about his mates Ian (McNab from The Icicle Works), the other Ian (McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen) and more. The Exchange audience are not your Phoenix audience - middle aged disco kids rather than old hippies.
Garry's voice has weathered well and they do unplugged versions of the old songs together with a few new ones. They talk about a new CD but don't seem to be selling anything. In fact the new single Inner City Blues is out later this month - on the 23rd September. Here is a reminder of the Christians at their peak in the 1980s (I Found Out) followed by the new single:
The Christians still have something to offer in 2013 - apart from some great memories, that is ...