In the early 90’s London’s Camden, in particular around The Good Mixer and The Dublin Castle pubs, was the catalyst of all the excitement and the momentum of the buzzing Britpop scene. Right in one of those tiny packed venues I saw for the first, and not the last time, a young promising band on everyone’s lips called Echobelly, fresh from their indie debut EP ‘Bellyache‘.
I was immediately intrigued by the shimmering beautiful affected voice of Sonya Aurora Madan, the Marr-like rockin’ guitar-lines of Glenn Johansson, the powerful rhythm section; energy, attitude, enthusiasm, witty lyrics and above all great pop songs, honestly what more can you ask for?
Shortly thereafter, soon lumped into the Britpop tag created by the musical press despite their uniqueness, the band started their constant growth to their nearly ‘world domination’ : signed by Epic, invited by R.E.M. and Morrissey to open their concerts, two fast selling albums like ‘Everyone’s Got One’ (1994) and ‘On‘ (1995) , the appearance with the hit singles ‘Great Things‘ and ‘King Of The Kerb‘ on Top Of The Pops in 1995, extended European and world tours.
Echobelly, now a quartet, based on the core of co-founder duo of Delhi-born guitarist/singer/lyricist Sonya Aurora Madan and Swedish guitarist/songwriter Glenn Johansson, are back with the title track from their forthcoming full-length ‘Anarchy And Alchemy‘, after thirteen years since 2004’s ‘Gravity Pulls‘ album.
My usual skeptical approach with the come-backs fades as soon as the beautiful hypnotic Sonya voice starts and the effective powerful Glen’s riffs soon follow, a vibrant brilliant song that mix their old signature sound with new jazzy hints, with lyrics reflecting Sonya’s keen interest for occultism and the concern to transform the actual fear and pessimism in something positive…and to think that the seeds of today’s social and political disaster had been spread right in those optimistic and superficial early 90s Britpop years…for now the good news is that Echobelly are again with us and in great shape!