Echobelly arrives on Tyneside for their first show in the region in over 20 years.

During the Britpop renaissance of the mid-90’s Echobelly witnessed great success in a rather competitive scene which featured acts such as Elastica and Sleeper.

Earlier this year Echobelly released their first full studio album since 2004’s Gravity Pulls in the shape of Anarchy and Alchemy. Subsequently, the band arrive tonight at the O2 Academy Newcastle in support of their latest offering. Both lead singer Sonya Madan and guitarist Glenn Johansson remain from Echobelly’s original lineup.

As the band hit the stage they open the show with a triple whammy of tracks from their first three albums in the shape of “Drive Me Distracted”, “I Can’t Imagine The World Without Me” and “We Know Better”. This immediately sets the tone for the night ahead.

The audience this evening are transported back to their youth as Echobelly walk their fans down memory lane with many of their anthemic indie numbers featuring in the show. This includes the likes of the band’s infectious hit single “Great Things”, during which the crowd hangs on every word and the classic “Car Fiction” from Echobelly’s seminal album On.

Throughout the course of the show cheers of ‘We love you Sonya’ can be heard from the band’s enthusiastic fans. Of course, the Geordies love a bit of banter and frequently those fans shout their song requests out to the band. With one rather excitable attendee, who we learn is called Lisa, proclaiming ‘Sonya will you play Dark Therapy I’ve got a train to catch’.

However, as nostalgic as those tracks are, and of course, they still sound incredible today, with this show, in particular, Echobelly takes the opportunity to showcase their new record with the lion’s share of the album featuring in the set. This includes the likes of the band’s dreamy current single “Faces In The Mirror”, “Hey Hey Hey” which has an old-school Echobelly feel at the heart of it and the ethereal “Dead Again”. The latter of which concludes with some stunning acapella vocal harmonies and closes out the band’s main set.

After a brief intermission, Echobelly returns to the stage and break into the beautiful title track of their new album. The song starts off rather mellow but as it ebbs and flows it mesmerizes the Tyneside faithful.

The unmistakable and almost hypnotic opening riff of “King of the Kerb” immediately transports the crowd back to 1995. Echobelly closes out their set with a stunning rendition of the epic “Dark Therapy”, which of course is dedicated to Lisa who had requested the song earlier in the evening. As they say, all good things come to those who wait. The track also features some stunning slide guitar from Johansson before the band leaves the stage to rapturous applause from their Geordie fan base.

It may have taken Echobelly in excess of 20 years to return to the North East of England but those in attendance this evening would agree that it was certainly worth the wait.

Echobelly
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Event Date: 24-Nov-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam’s work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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