Echoboy - University of Central Lancashire - 13.10.02

Nottingham's Richard Warren used to play in underrated indie band The Hybirds. When they disbanded he reinvented himself as Echoboy. His first album was strictly limited edition with only one thousand copies pressed. Impressed with his inventive methods and imaginative take on electronica, record label Mute (who have Moby and Depeche Mode to their bow) signed Echoboy giving him total artistic control while distributing his music to a much wider audience. Within the space of 6 months he had released the albums "Volume 1" and "Volume 2" and the single "Kit and Holly" as well as headlining his own electrifying shows with an ever changing band including members of Spiritualised and Six By Seven.

Since then with the occasional tour, Echoboy have been relatively quiet until now. Having just finished touring with Simian, they're back on the road with Puressence. New album "Giraffe" originally due to be released last month is now having it's release date put back to February because Mute believe they have an international leftfield pop genius on their hands. As Echoboy take to the stage with Richard who has changed job description from the bedroom synth boffin to full time frontman with an axe for his weapon of choice. With a new addition of stylized facial hair he launches into the first song, the explosive "Fun In You". Less reliant on the electronic wall of sound we've become accustomed to, this track is both funky and immediate. It's dark and brooding, yet an anthemic pop smash and show's Echoboy's change of direction - more guitar orientated and in the mould of traditional song structures. But that doesn't mean he's sold out in any way. Like all good musicians he's adapting his style and changing, yet importantly still creating exciting and original music.

From the newly released horror movie "My Little Eye" and the forthcoming album, new track "Wasted Spaces" is an intense industrial noise which at a stretch could be called nu-metal, but so much more British and refined. The muted crowd here to see Puressence show their appreciation and after a solid forty minutes they finish an eclectic performance. By this time next year Echoboy should really cross over into a mainstream audience and be known for making the most interesting pop music of the past decade rather than simply being the bloke who famously turned down Noel Gallagher to temporarily join Oasis.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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