Sunday, 19 May 2013

Among the Echoes ep launch @ 02 Academy

3 acts, all synth related, all different, all entertaining.
Met Amanda for the first time, as it turns out she was the floor above in the same hotel.  She is a big Adam Ant and Johnny Normal fan.
I like the fact that the hotel is only just around the corner from the, 02 Academy.  Anyone going to future gigs at the 02, The holiday Inn, is probably the best place to stay overnight as trains stop way too early
My wife Rhonda had won tickets to see the bands via a competition put on Facebook by Ian of, Among the Echoes. This gig was the launch of Among the Echos ep, Freak

I had never been to an 02 Academy until now and had no idea what to expect. It turns out the bands were going to perform in one of the smaller rooms of the venue. The tickets were only £6, a bargin.
First up, a band i have been wanting to see,since i got their music from, Jet Noir, Elmo Sexwhistle
Fabulous, synth rock sound.  You could see all the band all the way through the performance, as the lights were not blazing in your eyes.  They played a few songs as they only had about 35 minutes to play. Played some songs off their album, a new song, which i didn't catch the title of and the only song i have not heard until the night, Sledgehammer.  I remember American radio listener, Chris Saffle requested this. This was their cover of the Peter Gabriel classic.

Apparantly, the song is a fan favourite and i can see why, fantastic rendition
I like the portable keyboard and the small monitor to the left, with band effects on. They should have had a projector to display it on.  I think Elmo ran over, but you can't stop good musicians, thats for sure
I had a chance to chat with Alex, the front man after the gig, very nice guy and wants to work with Jet Noir 

After a gear change, first time seeing this duo live, Johnny Normal and Pscyho Pete. I had first met these two gentlemen when they come down for an interview in March this year.
The biggest suprise from Johnny and Pete was how much Pete was involved on stage.  Pete is a Lead/Rhythm and Blues guitarist and I knew the guitar work accompanies the electro sounds that Johnny created and sung.  I was very suprised with the guitar work and solo stuff, great to see live and outstanding on stage, great act.
One song which sounds great live, is, Time. reflects the 80s sound to a tee. Alex, frontman of Elmo Sexwhistle, was doing the " Timewarp" moves with Time.  I think he likes it

Now for the band headlinging, Among the Echoes
Never met this band until Friday night.  We bumped into Ian  as he flew out to get to his car before the gig started.
The one element fans listening to the Echoes have to get used to is the rearranged songs that Rachel performed on.  The band were accompanied by Siobhan Penlington on backing vocals who is in a Punk band of her own.
The time that Rachel was with the band, just did not work out, so for the gig Ian had to rearrange the music.
Ian is a great frontman, likes the crowd and went through, Talk Talk, Freak and Pure.  There was a new song, Deep Desire and another, what i thought version of Pure.  This one is a rendition of a, Gary Numan, hit There are four guys in the line up, drums were electronic as every band had.  I am asuming no one had a drum kit to save room and time.
I like the fact that the timing in various point in the songs went with Ian movements. You can tell it was tight and it sounded so.  The only thing that i did not like was when you were right next to the stage, you could not hear the speaker for well. When you walk back and your ears are more in line with the speakers, then you can hear it
We got together with Ian, Johnny, Pete, Alex and Amanda after the performances and went into the other larger room for drinks
After a while and when the nightclub sound became unbearable, Me, Rhonda, Amanda, Pete and Johnny left to go outside and found a huge crowd we had to fight our way to get through. The sound in the nightclub was deafening. I noticed some younger people were suffering as well as it was packed venue. Why is it that when music is played in a club, the volume is raised every 30 minutes, you can't concentate on anything or talk to people
When we got outside and out of the crowd, Pete was on about his fasination with orange and how is entire home is all orange, even his amps........ROCK n ROOOOLL!

Thanks to all three bands for giving us a great night out.  They appreciate the support. Great performances by great musicians, what i call creative people.  We still would have gone if we had bought tickets.  I love going to see live bands. I left interviewing anyone,  just took pictures and filmed a bit as we was just having a good time.  I would say the only part of the night i was disappointment with, was the low attendance. Although the venue was not big, about 150 capacity?  All three acts are unsigned, but if you have heard the music, go and see them live. Both Elmo and Among both Birmingham based bands and Johnny is from Stratford.  I love going to see live acts. I am going to go to Birmingham more as the hotel is close to the station and the 02 is not that far either
Me and Rhonda got a train from Banbury, reserved a room at the, Holiday Inn, so we did not have to rush for the same night train.

Elmo Sexwhistle                              Johnny Normal   Psycho Pete     Among the Echoes

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