On February 27th, working class heroes, Man and the Echo brought their energy filled show to the City of York for what was a great night of dancing and forgetting about the troubles of the outside world.
The night was opened by sub-par York band The Aloe Veras. Delivering an uninspiring set that seemed rushed it was clear that the young guys were playing for their friends in the crowd. I’m all for York bands trying their hand in the music industry though and hopefully it was a one off. Most of the fans of Man and the Echo are unlikely to remember their set with too much fondness, but all experience is good experience for young artists and with more practice who knows, they might deliver something better in the future.
Main support The Sugarmen however were a different story. They brought a rousing set to York and it didn’t take long for the crowd to buy in to their music. It’s testament to any band where my sister actually enjoys them without having prior knowledge of them so congratulations for that. They were incredibly tight with the lead singer performing an incredible vocal performance that at times reminded me of both The Cure and Kasabian..yeah I’m not sure how either. It was nothing wildly new, but exciting nonetheless and am looking forward to seeing them again this year.
The main act though blew the roof off the “intimate” York venue. Although it was my first time in their presence, it felt like I’d seen them on several occasions as you were immediately welcomed into the Man and the Echo family to join them on their “holiday”. The set is filled with short, punchy tracks that shows off the vocal display of lead singer Gaz Roberts impeccably. I struggle to place them amongst any other bands in the industry but if pushed to make a comparison, I’d say, live, they are a mix of ELO and the Manic Street Preachers. Great musical harmonies and bounce but with a rock edginess that really packs a punch.
The band proved that they can deliver both high paced, energetic tracks whilst also producing wonderfully tight, intricate music. Although some of their tracks may on the face of it seem a little silly “Operation Margarine” and “I don’t give a fuck what you reckon” to name two; lyrically the band actually has serious depth with political and emotional messaging throughout. It was a thoroughly enjoyable set and although “The Last Introvert” was by far the shows highlight (and possibly the best song I’ve seen performed live in 2017) their first encore song, a cover of “Money Money Money” was simply incredible and left the whole crowd with a lasting smile. If you ever get chance to see this great band, snatch at the opportunity you won’t regret it.