China Crisis took to the stage this evening and wow’d at ‘Eleven’ in Sandyford. Taking a slight detour from their 40th anniversary tour before they head off on the North American leg starting in Seattle in June, Gary and Eddie were accompanied by Eric Animan on Sax and Jack Hymers on Keyboard at the intimate venue.
When Gary and Eddie sit down to plan a gig, where do they start? With an enormous back-catalog of quality song after song, how do you limit a set to just 90-120 minutes is my question? Working their way chronologically during part one, they started with the beautifully melodic and captivating ‘The Soul Awakening’, the final track from ‘Working With Fire And Steel’, that was to set the tone for the night with ‘Arizona Sky’, ‘Red Sails’ and ‘Bigger The Punch I’m Feeling’ following in quick succession.
I was lucky enough to interview Eddie and Gary a number of years ago and their razor sharp wit and humour were as present tonight as it was back then. In-between songs Gary had the audience belly-laughing with his recollections from the past years’ together. It was a joy to watch Eddie and Gary with the audience and boy how we missed them in the area for the last couple of years.
The second half upped the tempo even more with the classic hits ‘Black Man Ray’, ‘King In A Catholic Style’, ‘Wishful Thinking’ and ‘Tragedy And Mystery’ with the audience naturally belting out choruses, dancing and clapping along.
The penultimate ‘Christian’ was touchingly dedicated to the memory of the late Janice Long, personal friend and supporter of the band, whilst the encore ‘My Sweet Delight’, taken from ‘Autumn In The Neighbourhood’ perfectly rounded off a wonderful evening.
You must go and see these to fully appreciate the genuine warmness between the band and the audience. It’s genuinely astounding to hear them belting out hits with the same quality, ease and enthusiasm which has never wavered over the years. Tickets for later in the year, once they return from their US dates are on sale from various outlets online.
For more information on Eleven and forthcoming acts, please see their webpage here