Eddie Lundon, Friars 2009. Photo
Two of Liverpool's finest, China
Crisis troubled the charts a lot in the 1980s and played Friars in 1983
for the 14th birthday party. They are back at Friars on November 27th
2009 after a brief 26 year absence. The band is still going strong and
regularly gigging. We caught up with Eddie from the band and you can
read about what to expect at Friars, his work with Paul McCartney's LIPA
and the fact they are recording a new album for their 30th anniversary
tour next year.
It's great that
you're back at Friars after 26 years!
Bloody hell! It's unbelievable - I
didn't realise it was so long!
It was the Friars Aylesbury 14th
birthday party in 1983!
I know the venue really well, but I
can't remember what it looks like inside! It's going to be a good night
and with Kid Creole as well.
We know David Stopps from there
and we gave Howard (Jones) his first tour.
1983 was the first big year for China
Crisis wasn't it?
We did really well from 1981, we had a good run of albums and hit singles.
Even from the fourth album, we had a big hit with Best Kept Secret. But
from the first album (Difficult Shapes), we had African and White and
Christian. 1983 Was a great year with the hit album Working
And Steel and the
hugely successful single Wishful Thinking but it was not our best year
though, that was 1985/1986 when we had hits with Black Man Ray and King in
a Catholic Style from the Walter Becker produced album Flaunt the
Yes, I'd forgotten how much you
did after that 1983 period! Time flies! What I have said in my Friars
newsletters of late is that you forget just how many hit singles China
If you look in the Guinness Book of
Hit Singles and stuff like that, there are ten or twelve top 40 hits. We
sold about seven million albums. It wasn't just here that we were
successful. It was all over we did really well.
Did you have success in America?
We did OK over there, and had sell
out tours. We did well in various territories - in Europe, Australia,
New Zealand and the Far East.
You did alright when so many
British acts don't even get a sniff of success in America.....
It was good!
It took you round the world!
Another thing I have mentioned
on my newsletters is that I saw you live last year and you were
Where was that?
At the Roundhouse with OMD. I
thought that not only was the crowd up for it, you and Gary (Daly)
clearly were too!
We were - we thoroughly enjoyed it!
Two of the best Liverpool bands
on one stage!
Thank you very much!
It could only have been topped by having
Deaf School on as well!
Clive Langer (from Deaf School) produced one of our albums! What Price
Paradise, which has Best Kept Secrets on it! Deaf School are playing in
Liverpool again at Christmas.
can't get to that, but will be seeing them in London in a couple of
We play Christmas gigs in Liverpool
and usually play the Cavern. We do two gigs there. It's world
famous...it's the Cavern and it has to be played! It's a great venue. We
do two nights there because it only holds 450 people. You go downstairs
to it and it freaks you out a little bit because you think if anything
happens, how the hell do you get out? The the atmosphere is rowdy and
good fun but looks a little dangerous! It's not the original Cavern? No,
it's still a series of tunnels. The original one was built under a road
and this one is just like the old one, but isn't the real one.
I've seen the recreation of the
Cavern at The Beatles Story in Albert Dock.......
Last year, we went to Florida with
the kids, and as you have to do, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe and they
have one wall that was the Cavern! The kids couldn't get over it!
Amongst China Crisis' musical
influences is Steely Dan....you got Walter Becker to produce a couple of
He produced two albums and produced
Black Man Ray and King In A Catholic Style. We had great times with
Walter. When we did the second album with him, he was living in Hawaii
so we recorded there which was fantastic!
There are worse things you could
Yes, but I couldn't surf! Couldn't
crack that nut!
Warped By Success was your last
It was our last studio album for Virgin Records, but we recorded another
Warped By Success after that. Everything since then (1994) has been 'Best
Of' albums. We have a ton of stuff we have never got round to recording
which we will do for next year as it will be our 30th anniversary
You've told us first! There's a
new China Crisis album on the way!
Yes, for the 30th anniversary.
Will you be doing a 30th
anniversary tour off of the back of that?
you said yourself, we enjoy playing, so absolutely.
It was brilliant as I said to
see you guys enjoying yourself so much.
We keep it fresh and the musicians
are great so it sounds so much better.
You have an extensive back
catalogue, which we will hear in Aylesbury on Friday, but seeing you
doing your best known songs, you weren't going through the motions
(which I have seen from artists I won't name) which was great.....
If it was a case of doing that, I
wouldn't do it as that's dishonest. People have paid good money to see
You've worked together for near
on 30 years, but with the last 15 years seeing mainly compilation and
live albums, what else have you been doing?
I teach for Paul
McCartney at LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts). I've been
there quite a while. They give me time off to tour and record so best of
both worlds. We've had some great students come through there and been
successful - The Wombats, The Zutons, Sandi Thom......and I've been part
There will be a lot of respect
as you've been there and done it....
I teach songwriting (obviously!),
sound recording and some of the business side. I work mainly with
songwriting and performance elements.
I remember the publicity when
It is doing
really well now. About 50% of the students are from abroad. The parents
attitude is if you're going to music school, you are going to the best,
Paul McCartney's!! It's got five recording studios and it's fantastic!
What's Gary done to keep himself
He paints. He's an artist, he's
actually gone down to Windsor today as he's got an exhibition going on.
I'm in London tomorrow doing some LIPA work and then it's up to
So we can expect to hear a best
of China Crisis set on Friday....and what else? Any new stuff?
We're going to do some obscure album
tracks that people won't have heard for ages and we're going to do all
It will be rocking on Friday!
We played with Kid Creole this summer
at a festival in Henley. We do a fair amount of festivals.
Looking forward to seeing you
and Gary on Friday, Eddie....thanks very much for your time.
Official China Crisis MySpace
Official LIPA website
This interview and its content are © 2009 Mike O'Connor/www.aylesburyfriars.co.uk and
may not be used in whole or in part without permission.