On the last night of Man & The Echo’s UK tour, Getintothis’ Jackie Lees finds a band unwilling to be categorised.
Named after a poem by W.B. Yeats, Warrington four-piece band, Man & The Echo, played the final night of their national tour to a packed house at Liverpool‘s Buyers Club.
They were supported by Liverpool’s Sugarmen, who ploughed comfortably through their pop punk set, explaining towards the end that they were better at playing songs than the “talking bit in between”. Their infectious, high energy set included tracks selected from their previous work with Mick Jones (The Clash/Big Audio Dynamite) and new songs, yet to be released.
Man & The Echo arrived onstage to the Coronation Street theme tune, celebrating their Northern-ness from the outset. Launching straight into All Right, with energy and impressive musicianship, demonstrating the four-part harmonies which feature in most of the tracks by members, Gaz Roberts, Joe Forshaw, Joey Bennett and Chris Gallagher.
Frontman Gaz Roberts is a poet and storyteller, acutely observed themes are woven into songs which are often presented as upbeat and humorous. They were invited by Billy Bragg to perform on the Left Field stage at Glastonbury but these are not angry songs, they are thought provoking, catchy and memorable, with lyrical undertones that seep into the subconscious.
Honeysucker, a swipe at the state of British politics, contrasts with the wacky Operation Margarine. Then, reflecting how everyone feels sometimes, their ode to social media, I Don’t Give A Fuck What You Reckon, including the lyrics “Don’t care if you just read a Bronte/Don’t care if your pasta’s al-dente”.
Capable of moving into different gears with numbers such as, Very Personally Yours, soulful and reflective and the haunting, Goodnight to Arms, with its falsetto lead and keyboard melodies. Distance Runner is energising, driven by its forceful drum beat, and was featured as one of Getintothis’ #BreakfastBelter’s this week.
Observational pop from an outsider’s perspective, Man & The Echo will always stand apart, in fact, they give the distinct impression of a determined agenda NOT to fit in or be categorised. Passing on an awareness of important issues in a palatable form, Yeats’ sentiment in the poem they are named after seems fitting, “Nor can there be work so great, as that which cleans man’s dirty slate.”
Pictures by Getintothis’ Michael Kirkham