Gig review: Man & The Echo at York Basement

Man & The Echo at York Basement. Picture: David Hodgson
Man & The Echo at York Basement. Picture: David Hodgson
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Modern music performers can be sensitive souls. Whether it’s Mariah Carey storming off stage because a technical fault revealed an alarming lack of natural talent or Beiber because his fans screamed at him, the show hasn’t gone on.

In a similar vein, Man & The Echo have over indulged in scampi and it’s affecting their performance. “Lesson learned” states lead singer Gaz Roberts. It should be a lesson learned to their more cosseted peers, it is still possible to deliver a tight and enthusiastic set even in the most adverse of situations.

The Basement in York is sold out on the Yorkshire leg of the band’s ‘holiday’, as they refer to it. The band are signed to record label 1965, run by James Endeacott, who has something of a track record of spotting emerging bands at the beginning of their trajectory, before providing them with the freedom to grow organically.

The organic growth strategy wouldn’t unfortunately suit most record companies seeking a quick win, hence Man & The Echo’s assertion that their career is a slow burner. But like the film from which their entrance music was taken, The Godfather series hit great heights having been afforded the time and opportunity to develop.

Opener All Right isn’t featured on the band’s eponymous debut album but quickly sets the scene. Roberts covers a wide range of vocal styles and qualities through a set of punchy, short songs, reminiscent of a Franz Ferdinand or Talking Heads style.

There is substance behind the lyrics also. Operation Margarine being a political statement about the current climate being ‘like butter, just sh***er’. Energy is retained throughout the set before picking up towards the conclusion, Very Personally Yours, former single Honeysucker and set closer I Don’t Give a F*** What You Reckon are delivered with a humour rarely seen on the current circuit. The keyboards have been an essential element of the entire set but never more so than on the first encore, an ironic cover of Abba’s Money Money Money before the band leave to The Last Introvert.

Man & The Echo are keen to gain momentum. Their debut single was released 18 months ago, “which seems like a long time ago when your progress is so slow” but following the album release in November now is the time. A dedicated following is being built, they’re looking at larger venues for the next tour and if a much deserved support slot or festival appearance can be secured it could be the well deserved springboard they seek.

Just remember, take it easy with the reconstituted seafood.

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