Review by Isabelle Evans
When you go to a gig you do not always know what to expect, usually you will know the genre of the bands performing and the type of music you will hear, but you can never tell who is going to be a wonderful performer or what songs they will play. That is part of what makes live music so fun and going to watch Echo Gecco and their fantastic support acts perform at The Victoria was an example of this fun.
The first act up was E.L.B (otherwise known as Eating Lemons Badly), a three piece band from Birmingham. The first thing I noticed was how charismatic they were to watch, it was fairly entrancing to see how they all interacted with each other on stage as well as the audience. It was amazing to see people so obviously have fun when playing. Their set started off mainly with originals, which they made a few jokes about, asking who wrote the setlist, it really helped to engage the audience when sometimes having that many originals in a row could isolate the audience. The originals they did have sounded beautiful and switched between being calming and energetic. My personal favourite part of their setlist was their cover of ‘Superstition’, mainly because of the amount of engagement with the crowd. During the song they got off stage and walked into the crowd, it was such an entertaining moment.
Second up was King Atomic, a self described ‘Atomic Power Trio’. They started off their set strongly by encouraging the audience to move forward to fill the empty space in the centre of the room. The immediate crowd interaction built up my expectations, especially after how good E.L.B was, and they did not disappoint. With continuous crowd interaction and their obvious talent and ability on their instruments as they went through the set playing complex sections, I thoroughly enjoyed their
set. Throughout the performance they would continuously move around the stage, being increasingly engaging to watch. It made it so much more interesting and allowed you to get the sense that the music came more naturally to them and that they were enjoying the performance. It is always wonderful to watch people who seem to love what they do.
The next band were Massasauga, a two piece rock band, who seemed like the odd ones out in the lineup. They were much heavier than every other band, despite that though they still managed to deliver a spectacular performance and were clearly aware they played very different music to everyone else. The front man made several jokes about it, using the situation to engage the audience before launching into distorted guitar tones and tough drums. Their Black Sabbath cover was enticing to watch and all of their originals were unique while still paying homage to past rock acts, it was superb to see a band celebrate the history of their genre in the music while still staying individual. To add on, they were only a two piece band (guitars, vocals and drums), yet the music was carefully crafted so it would never feel empty even with the lack of a bass or a second guitar.
Onto the headliner, Echo Gecco, a three piece band who got onto stage then proceeded to announce that a lot of their set was going to be improvised. This immediately surprised me, however to me the ability to improvise the majority of a set is incredibly impressive. To add on to that, they continued to play until the venue’s curfew, even when they finished what they had previously planned for the gig about 40 minutes earlier, so they completely improvised the better part of an hour. They managed to do this with everything sounding polished as well, every part of the music went together incredibly well fitting into a song. To add on, they tailored the music they played to the audience, asking them what kind of mood they were in and whether they wanted to hear something “weird”, allowing the audience to feel included instead of just feeling like onlookers. Their crowd interaction was spectacular, making sure they were engaged as well as promoting themselves and making the audience feel special by saying that each gig is a completely unique experience because of the improvisation.
This gig was so different from the other gigs I have had the pleasure of reviewing so far and it made it feel much more interesting, I was not sure what to expect and ended up having a wonderful time. Each band phenomenally delivered a fantastic experience and would be amazing to see again.