The clattering sounds of a locomotive emanated through the speakers as a packed out audience looked to each other in confusion. The backing tracks had stopped and without warning it was apparent that the train within the speakers was heading our way. As the churning metallic sounds surged ever closer as did the bands entrance. Gaz, Chris, Fush and Joey made their way onto the stage met with a thunderous cheer. And as the train sounds faded they were paralleled by the systematic and meaningful bounces of the ‘Distance Runner’ intro.

A historical event in the bands story was about to take place; their first album launch. To follow up the opener they played the 2nd song from the record ‘On holidays’. Thus keeping in line with the track listing of their debut self titled album ‘Man and The Echo’. Towards the end of the song the tempo picked up and a fist pumping outro filled the room with welcomed angst, an obvious reaction given the songs cunningly sarcastic call to arms.

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Next the 9th song from the album ‘Pulse’ burst through the speakers with its swinging guitar hooks and jazzy organ synths; drawing a slight reminiscence to 60’s music. The songs drumbeat charmingly persuaded our hands to repeatedly meet. The excitable swing of the track was broken up and juxtaposed by the jaunty middle 8 with its ominous backing vocals, alternate drum beat and deep lyrics. However the main melody of the song eased back in perfectly and we were back to grooving in no time.

The crowd was calmed by the melodic and sublimely slow tones of ‘goodnight to arms’. A well placed break from the fast paced throws of the previous tunes. However this break proved to be short lived as we were treated to single from the album ‘Operation Margarine’. While introducing the single Gaz informed us that ‘those down in London sang every letter perfectly’ which riled us up just enough to take part in a sing off (or rather shout off on our part) during the brilliant disco-pop chorus of the song.

‘All right’ followed, and it served as the glue in which the set sat upon. While all the songs from the new album were more than interesting enough in their own right to keep everyone swaying and jumping; including a song from the back catalogue was a great way of making the crowd feel part of the momentous album launch.

The band continued showcasing tune after tune each with their own personal charm and sound. Until it was finally and unfortunately time for the closing song. Gaz thanked us for coming and for the support and seemed genuinely grateful for each persons presence at the gig, as did all of the band. The final song of the evening was the penultimate song from the album ‘the last introvert’. And so the night was over, or at least that’s what someone who had never been to a gig in their life would have thought.

Front man Gaz informed us he was ‘Glad to be back in the countries capital’ and adorned a cheeky grin. To encore a recording of the speech starts up ‘care routine’ echoed through the speakers. The band readied themselves to begin the first encore track ‘Honeysucker’. A slight timing issue caused a false start but was dealt perfectly with all of the lads laughing and throwing around banter on stage before restarting.

The second encore track was ‘I don’t give a fuck what you reckon’ a true fan favorite. The hook of this song is sure to repeat in your mind during your next Facebook session. Upon the conclusion of the encore the crowd was greeted by several colorful hand gestures from the band. In return we rallied a flurry of “V’s” back towards the stage in what could be seen as the bands signature signing off. If not to hear the amazingly diverse sounds of their debut album then you must go and see Man and the echo for this spectacle alone. Although if you don’t go and see them, well the lads will let you know what they reckon.Man and The Echo - The Soup Kitchen, Manchester (23rd Nov 2016)

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