China Crisis emerged in 1981 from their native Kirkby in LIverpool as the songwriting duo of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist / vocalist Eddie Lundon. Over the years they have been accompanied by a gifted and creative group of musicians both on stage and in their recordings, but always with Gary and Eddie at the heart. The group was part of an early 1980’s Liverpool musical renaissance that included new wave legends OMD and the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, A Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
China Crisis first grew to national prominence in the UK when the single ‘Christian’ made climbed to no. 12 in the charts in 1983. They would go on to have eleven hit singles and three Top 40 albums in their home country, as well as considerable commercial success in Western Europe, ANZ, Southeast Asia and the Americas. In Ireland, they had 7 Top 30 hits in total.
They consolidated their breakthrough success in early 1984, when the single ‘Wishful Thinking’ also became a hit, reaching no. 7 in the Irish charts.
Citing influences as varied as David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and Eric Satie, it’s not entirely surprising that their sound was distinctive amongst their peers, often combining elements of jazz, reggae, country and other styles with their own unique melodies and harmonies. With their philosophy that “the song is the most important thing”, China Crisis didn’t just stretch the creative limits of the technology of the time, but incorporated horns, strings, woodwinds, pedal steel and did whatever they sensed would serve to create the best possible outcome for a given song. The result of their effort was a clearly identifiable China Crisis sound that stood out from the crowd.
The band’s third album, Flaunt the Imperfection, reached no. 9 in the album chart and included the hit ‘Black Man Ray’ – a true classic of the period.
This was followed up by ‘King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)’, which charted at no. 6 in Ireland but proved to be the band’s last substantial hit.
In recent times the band have undertaken extensive touring to mark the celebration of 4 decades of music-making, selling out shows throughout the UK the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and Europe. The band also released their “40th Anniversary: Live from the Liverpool Philharmonic”, a lovingly produced live concert video from their inaugural 40th Anniversary show which features songs from every one of their albums (some never before performed live), recorded in their hometown with an all-star 16-piece China Crisis band.
With a combination of truly engaging music, a good bit of Scouse humor, and the clear kinship the band have with their fans, any China Crisis show is one you leave happier for having been part of. Their live performances are truly must-see.
China Crisis play the ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Sunday July 16th, 2023. ‘Forever Young’ is a 3-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Bananarama, BIlly Ocean, Tony Hadley, Andy Bell (Erasure), Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins), ABC and many more.
Full line-up and tickets are available here