Live Review: Euros Childs

19 Dec

Brighton Unitarian Church: Saturday, December 17 2011

A few hours ago, the streets outside  Brighton’s Unitarian Church were rammed with manic, wide-eyed Christmas shoppers, their bags bulging with pointless tat that no-one really wants. Now they’re stalked by people three sheets to the wind, giddy because they’ve got a festive excuse for getting tanked-up.

Even Christopher Hitchens would have thanked Christ for being inside the church, having these bah humbug grumbles soothed by the playfully eccentric sounds and lyrics of Euros Childs.

The elf-like former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci frontman’s show is a fine leveller at this time of year; there’s no brash fanfare, painful pretence or flashy distractions, just one man, his piano, a collection of instantly memorable wonky pop tunes and plenty of endearing between-song rambling.

Touring on the back of new album Ends, he opened with Spin That Girl Around, which is just about the most perfect, understated pop song released this year. 

Hunched over the piano, feet pounding and endlessly fidgeting, Childs then dipped in and out of his extensive back catalogue, reworking the likes of the comical Horse Riding and the euphoric A Good Feeling About Today to suit the stripped-down show.

He even eliminated the swearing from his lyrics out of respect for the venue. He shouldn’t have bothered, because the Big Man clearly had it in for him. After 45 minutes, something on his piano snapped and it ended in the front row.

The piano was unplayable and Childs looked mortified. Thankfully, five minutes later we were all in the back room and Childs was on the church piano, finishing his set in suitably surreal Sunday school surroundings with the Gorky’s Patio Song (“this one’s a bit different, some people actually bought this,” he said) before he took a couple of requests.

Like Darren Hayman and even the Magnetic Field’s Stephen Merritt, Childs’ will forever be a cult hero who deserves far wider acclaim.

At least his CD stand did a roaring trend, hopefully helping to fund his next self-released album and ensuring a few people will be receiving something far better than a giant Toblerone or Clarkson DVD come the 25th.


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