Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

"We haven't got anyone to sell our teeshirts," jokes singer Sonya Madan.

Cue half a dozen middle-aged indie 'kids' to volunteer as stand-in merch sellers for returning indie Gods Echobelly.

It's been nearly half-a-century since the Kings of the Kerb first graced Britpop with top tunes and sold-out shows.

In the mid 1990s it seemed like we were at an Echobelly gig every other week.

In Liverpool at the Lomax and Academy and in Manchester at the Students Union.

Our Echobelly high was watching them play in front of 30000 people supporting REM at Huddersfield in July 1995.

More than two decades on Echobelly are back with a new album and tour of some of the places that loved them the most.

"If nothing lasts forever then why are we all still here?" sings Sonya during the group's excellent new single Faces in the Mirror.

Sonya's voice is as sparkling as ever.

And there's a wonderful relaxed charm about her during this winter Sunday show at Liverpool Arts Club.

As Echobelly beautifully whirl through their hits of old there's plenty of flashbacks to the Britpop era. 

Sonya is the kick-boxer from a strict Indian family who made Top of the Pops and the front pages of the music magazines.

Her photo proudly pinned on the bedroom walls of boys and girls alike. 

Now in her late 40s, Sonia still looks and sounds like she did in the 1990s. 

It's also a unique time travel act guitarist and songwriting partner Glenn Johansson has got going on. 

Both look young, fresh and up for the fight

There are many Britpop bands doing the rounds of the live circuit and at times it feels like pure nostalgia.

What makes Echobelly different is that they return with a new album which is every bit as good as anything else they've ever produced before. 

So tonight we are treated to Great Things but the crowd are equally mesmerised by tracks from 2017's Anarchy and Alchemy album.

Car Fiction - which the group famously recorded in French as well as English sounds outstanding. 

"Now play the French version," shouts one fan. 

Hey Hey Hey - the opener of the latest album, sounds as purposeful and powerful as Shake Dog Shake by The Cure - only with better singing and better make-up. 

The last song is the epic Dark Therapy - which rises to unimaginable highs.

There is still magic to the songwriting team of Glenn Johansson and Sonya Madan. 

They shouldn't have to sell their own teeshirts. 

 

Get the new album here.

 

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