A bitterly cold evening in Glasgow sees yours truly heading into the warm and welcoming confines of King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on an Echobelly adventure.
The plan is simple…ignore the Red Stripe on offer (what is it with Glasgow gigs and Red Stripe?), purchase a carbonated beverage and meander throughout the venue while the support acts are on in search of the perfect viewing point. This, however, is not so simple as there are rather a lot of people already within the King’s welcoming embrace…must be really cold out there if the place is packed for the support acts!
Well…no for these supports acts are local and bloody good.
First up are NEONWAVES a five piece who have some stonking songs mixing guitar and keyboards into tunes that make you stop and take note…”Pure brilliance” as someone said to me after their set…and you can’t argue with a drunken Weegie! Second up are Sunday Morning Elvis and, let me tell you boys and girls, this lot would be worth the price of admission on their own. Led by Ian Anderson, they power through a set of killer tunes while building a good rapport with the audience. Special mention must go to their “guests” Callum and Andrew who pitched in at the last minute…Callum especially since his kit decided to go walk about on several occasions – never missed a beat! If you see this lot playing near you, go see them they are brilliant!
Enter Echobelly. Now a four piece, they stride onto the stage and kick off with a couple of oldies including the epic “I Can’t Imagine The World Without Me” sounding better than I’ve ever heard it.
Being the sad kind of person I am, I type notes every now and then into my phone…little pointers to remind me when I’m writing things up. On my phone, I have a note that just says “Aaah Sonya”. Now before you accuse me of going all Harvey, let me explain. I loved Echobelly and always thought they got unfairly overlooked by the early 90’s press – probably since Sonya wasn’t basking in the shared glory of her latest (oh, and also her ex) squeeze. And the thing I really love about Echobelly is that, on top of the brilliant songs, Sonya’s voice always had a certain quality…not the knowing or faked archness of some of their contemporaries in the early 90’s but a kind of exuberance, warmth and joy in the tone of her voice…and it’s still there, as strong and as welcoming as before.
The next hour is mixed with classics and songs from their current album “Anarchy And Alchemy” which on this evidence is going on a certain Mr. Watson’s Christmas wish list (the album was available on the night but Mr. Stupid parked in an extortionate multi-storey). The songwriting partnership of Maden and Glenn Johansson is still producing epic songs - “Firefly” and the albums title track are brilliant but I loved the vibe of “If the Dogs Don’t Get You My Sisters Will” definitely a live highlight of the show, along with the mass rendition of the chorus to “Great Things” and Sonya’s (surely feigned?) ignorance of what Buckfast is.
And then, all too soon, Sonya departs the stage leaving Glenn, Olivier McKiernan (bass) and Ash Hall (drums) to bring the evening to a close and I join the line of happy punters wending their way down the stairs and out into the cold November night.
Echobelly…still doing Great Things.
Echobelly - https://www.facebook.com/echobellyofficial/
Sunday Morning Elvis - https://www.facebook.com/sundaymorningelvis/
NEONWAVES - https://www.facebook.com/neonwavesband/
Review - Chris Watson