As part of the ‘Sueña Valencia’ festival, chart-topping British band ‘The Christians’ were a major draw this past weekend for a mostly Spanish audience. Those who were lucky enough to get a free online ticket at this “first come/first served” event were rewarded with what turned out to be a really memorable show that had been sold out… in literally a number of minutes!

Last Saturday, as the lights went down on the audience and the announcer announced that ‘The Christians’ were about to come on…all eyes were on stage. Smoke billowed out atmospherically but there was an eerie silence and the band mysteriously did not take to the stage for another 4 minutes or so, which created a palpable tension in the audience. However, all was forgiven when ‘The Christians’ did finally take to the stage with warm greetings in affectionate “Spanglish” from frontman Garry Christian.  Fellow Liverpudlian Ringo Starr once said that once you cross the Mersey, everybody is a comedian. Indeed, the singer proved this throughout the show with self-effacing and somewhat surreal between song banter about his sciatica, enjoying paella too much, getting old and wondering if he had enough of a beer belly yet! Here’s a singer with enough talent and success to last a lifetime and he spent the whole show gently sending himself up! The audience loved it too.

Jokes aside, ‘The Christians’ put on a really enjoyable show. They got down to business straight away with one of  their big hits ‘Forgotten Town,’ showing the public that they have never forgotten their Scouse roots and that it takes a lot of steel to get to the top 30 in the charts (so many times) when you came up the hard way. ‘Words’ and ‘Sad Songs’ stood out as timeless songs from their extensive back catalogue and they saved big hit ‘Hooverville’ for the near end.

Their catchy mixture of pitch perfect soul-pop with bluesy & gospel touches really brought out the beauty of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall be Released’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner-City Blues’. This reflected a band very much conscious of the spirituality within music at its best and the responsibility and necessity of fighting injustice with thoughtful words and defiant tunes too. Indeed, when Garry asked the audience for requests they got the answer they were looking for and ‘The Christians’ delivered a storming ‘Harvest for the World’ with plenty of public participation too.

It was a great night out of uplifting music and good cheer too. “What an amazing place!” reflected the singer in the atmospheric monastery turned music venue for this spring festival. Garry Christian and the band waved the joyous crowd a final goodbye, after the encore, and promised we’ll “be back in Valencia someday.”


Report by Will McCarthy

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

Photo copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

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