The massive eighties Liverpool band China Crisis are celebrating 25 years together with an intimate gig at the Unity Theatre at LIPA on 16th September. Two of the lads from the band - Eddie Lundon & Gary Daly came in for a chat with our Billy!
Billy: They’ve appeared with Bowie, U2, Eurythmics, Simple Minds, they’ve sold out at the summer pops, they’ve played before 87,000 people in Germany but they’re always skint so don’t try and get a pint out of any of em!!
‘Typical Kirkby voice!’
Billy: Good to have you here boys, 25 years!!
Yeah we sound about 12 on that record there don’t we!
Billy: And the thing as well about China Crisis, it’s like OMD and all the groups of that time - they were very experimental, they all had something different to offer.
Yeah, Billy you know what I think what it was is that we weren’t trying to sound like anybody, it was a era and they called it New Wave, it was because everybody was trying to sound new, we weren’t looking back were we - we weren’t trying to sound like the people we’d grown up with!
Billy: I mean I’ve been in the business a bit myself, and I couldn’t think of anyone who’s influenced China Crisis!
It was everyone from the average white band, to Stevie Wonder to Eeno (?) to Bowie..
Billy: But I couldn’t see any of them there - I just saw China Crisis!
I think it was just a mixed bag of influences, I think it’s really important to get a unique sound that people can identify you alone by, I think if you try to follow fashion and vogue you just become dated, you know it’s your downfall.
Billy: But even your titles!
Yeah they were a bit strange weren’t they - off the wall!
Billy: But people are influenced by titles, sometimes you look through an album and you see a title, you know The Last Love I Will Ever Have and you think I’ll play that - you don’t play ‘King in a Catholic Style’!!
|"we did go to a gig at Eric’s and we saw the Bunnymen, the Bunnymen supporting the tear Drops was it, and it was brilliant!"|
That was in the reggae thing though that was going over a bit to Tocky, my sister in law was in Tocky and that was all the Catholic style fella!
Billy: And African and white!
African and White - Mile’s before it’s time I might add, that was 25 years ago now and it’s more important today than it was then.
Billy: Do you think maybe because your songs are so personal and that, that they’ve not been covered, they are good songs but I’ve not heard any cover versions?
They have been covered in some of the strangest languages though, like Cantonese..
We have got Black Man Ray actually in Cantonese and it’s absolutely fantastic, it’s hilarious, but it is lovely as well!
Billy: Did you fellas ever break up or did you just stop playing, did you ever fall out or anything?
We always fall out, we fall out day in day out!
Billy: Well you’re from Kirkby aren’t yer!
Well that’s a proper partnership isn’t it when you do properly fall out ‘No you - No, No you’ you know!
We took breaks from time to time, but we never announced to the world that we’ve actually split up and never want to see each other again and all that kind of stuff, we’d just stop and then start again when we wanted to.
It would be nice though that thing of being covered though Billy, that would be a dream. And I’d like that to happen sort of now-ish. The biggest regret funnily enough is not having a pop at a Christmas song!
Billy: I know this might sound daft, but I’d like to see Bowie do King in a Catholic Style! (Laughs) he’s got that kind of stuttering vocally.
He did go a bit jungle for a while there, he could do a good jungle version!
Billy: I mean somebody’s gotta tell Chaz Cole (?) or imprison him, because next year at the Pops he’s got to do some of our eighties bands.
I don’t know why he doesn’t put a few of us on…they’ve never done a night dedicated just to Liverpool.
You cold do a whole week couldn’t you!
You could do an A-Z, A - Atomic Kitten, Z - The Zutons (laughs)!
Billy: You’re at LIPA to celebrate your 25th year in the business, why did you pick LIPA?
It’s a beautiful auditorium, the Paul McCartney auditorium there is fantastic, it hold over 400 people, and I do a lot of teaching there as well - and we’ve played most places in Liverpool.
It was because basically we’ve done a deal to do a film and a live album, so we had to choose somewhere to play, and we’ve both played in there as China Crisis and in this musical, and we just thought it is just a fantastic little theatre, it’s like a Victorian theatre but in miniature, it’s like the Playhouse - the way the playhouse is small, it’s even a little bit smaller. So it’s going to be a nice atmosphere.
Billy: So what’s you’re line-up for Friday night?
It’s a big line up, there’s about 10 of us, we’ve got saxophone and keyboards…
It’s like an 11 piece band, considering that we were an electronic duo when we started, there’s 11 cheeky monkeys on there now!
Billy: You must’ve enjoyed it in the early 80’s, during that scene that was with McCulloch and Whiley and Pete Burns and all the gang going in Probe, and posing - because it was all focused on Matthew Street even then wasn’t it!
It was yeah, it was - see who could look the most different!!
Billy: Oh Burns won that hands down!
Well they did seem a bit older than us though, because we’d come from Kirkby and come into town, we’d see these fellas, and although they were only a couple of years older than us, when you’re 16 / 17 a couple of years is a lot isn’t it, and we’d be like ‘god look at them’! But I tell you what we did go to a gig didn’t we at Eric’s and we saw the Bunnymen, the Bunnymen supporting the tear Drops was it, and it was brilliant!