Echolyn In The UK 2005
Echolyn and Strangefish, The Mean Fiddler, London 3rd September 2005, Echolyn, The Boardwalk, Sheffield, 4th September 2005
Echolyn's first ever European tour kicked off in London at The Mean Fiddler, where they were supported by one of brightest British bands of recent times, Strangefish. The early doors meant that an early finish was in order for a different event after the show, so at seven o'clock sharp, Strangefish entered the stage.
Strangefish made a impact the last time they were in the capital, almost a year ago to be exact, so this time they started with last year's final song, Shifting Sands And Turning Tides. From the first power chords from Bob's guitar, the small crowd were taken back by their entrance, and when Steve Taylor's strong clear vocals rang from out of the PA, any new punters would have got a good idea of what Strangefish are about. With wives, girlfriends and fans who had made the journey on the 'fish coach', this was looking like a home banker with the famous inflatable shark and the hankies what some of the crowd were wearing on their heads.
From the reaction of the crowd, it felt like there were more than a hundred plus people who had made the effort, and when such gems as Wallflower and Listening To Ghosts were aired from debut album Full Scale, you could tell from the reaction that some potential CD sales would arise.
Steve also mentioned that their new album would be completed shortly, and the band presented us with some songs from Fortune Telling, and for me, Ignorance Of Bliss looks to be a crowd pleaser in times to come. We all had a dance to the band's final song of the night The Lighthouse Jig, where Steve made his usual off stage routine dancing with the punters, while Julian Gregory performed a perfect rendition on his violin. A mention must go out to keyboard player Paul O'Neil who done a great job on backing vocals, and Dave Whittaker on drums. The new album holds a lot of promise, and should establish the band as a headline act in the near future, and yet again, a good performance from this Northwest English five piece.
Now, Echolyn have been around for many years, and for me personally since the release of As The World back in ninety-five, I've had a ten year wait to see them live. And from the two shows, I was not disappointed. I felt that most of the steadily growing crowd had the same feeling as myself as the band opened with Brittany from Cowboy Poems Free. This year's release The End Is Beautiful (see review) is a great album in my opinion, and from this very release, Georgia Pine and Heavy Blue Miles soon followed. By this time, the punters were watching a well complex and polished live act, faultless on every note, and as you would expect, and full enjoyment all around.
The Cheese Stands Alone from the classic album As The World followed to many people's applause, and guitarist Brett Kull just performed with ease, sometimes lead vocalist along side Ray Weston, who played a little guitar and Tom Hyatt's bass on two songs. Drummer Paul Ramsey kept things in order, and in my opinion is a fine percussionist while Ray's vocals rang strong and clear. All in all, the band are just very accomplished musicians who enjoy performing, and worth checking out on the rest of their tour.
67 Degrees was a welcomed song also, along with pieces from previous album Mei, but the title track from latest album The End Is Beautiful sent a warming glow around both venues with it's meaning. Keyboard player Chris Buzby informed myself and a few others before the London show about what it is all about, and for me made the song stand out as a topic.
Now, for me the highlight of both evenings was As The World, with it's chops and changes in tempo, and backing and vocal harmonies, but as before, pure genius and faultless, and the comedy ending with four conversations going on at the same time!. You could tell from both shows that this track is a big favourite, and as both sets of crowds were quite small (Sheffield was around half the London turn out) we all knew we had witnessed an amazing two gigs, and they will remain in my memory for many years to come.
Sadly, all good things come to an end, and One For The
Show was their swansong for this trip. As before, if they are in your
country, go and see this fine quintet, you will witness a fine performance and
be found wanting more.
There are two 'galleries' of photos below, the first being from the London show and the second taken at Sheffield. Click on the 'arrows' to move the thumbnail selection along and click on a thumbnail to se the full size photo below.
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